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Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Quick Lunch on All Saints Day--Soup and Croutons

Today is All Saints Day in France, which means that almost everything is closed in Strasbourg. Desperate for lunch, I scanned my shelves. All I found that was lunch-like and would only take a few minutes to prepare was a box of butternut squash soup and a chunk of day-old bread. So, I decided to heat up the soup and make some homemade croutons. I learned that homemade croutons are one of the easiest ways to make a non-homemade dish look homemade back in college while visiting a friend's sister on spring break in Whistler, Canada. She made the yummiest garlic-herb croutons to add to a very simple salad. Now I'm a salad person to the core, but I was ready to ditch the lettuce and just munch on the croutons as a snack!

Since then, I've played with making croutons. I like to make mine in the oven, mostly because I don't have to babysit them like when I make them on the stovetop. All it takes is some bread, any bread, (cut into chunks), olive oil, and the seasonings of your choice. Today I used the leftover pain de campagne (a local wheat-based loaf), olive oil, and simple salt and pepper. Then I put them on a baking sheet and baked at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, checking on them a couple of times to shake and turn them over so that they became a nice golden brown. Often I chop up some garlic and add it in, but I was in too much of a hurry today. Feel free to add whatever herbs from your pantry you'd like!


Laura in Paris November 1, 2008 at 4:07 PM  

Hello Mindy, THank you for stopping at my blog. Yes, if you live in Starsbourg, France you will find "Fromage Blanc", which you will use when my recipe calls for "cream cheese".

Unknown November 2, 2008 at 1:54 PM  

Hi Mindy,
Thanks for friending me on Foodbuzz. I was looking on your blog for your email address, but I couldn't find it. I LOVE your list of stained cookbooks and I have 2 of the same ones REALLY stained - Madhur Jaffrey and Penelope Casas. I love them both to pieces.

That's so cool that you're in Strasbourg for the year. Enjoy!

Mindy November 2, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

Hi Sue! And I tried to find you back, but your profile isn't enabled and I don't think you go by Sue on Foodbuzz, so I don't know where you are!

I really love Penelope Casas. I lived in Spain for a year after college as an au pair, and her books are so authentic to what I learned from the family I lived with.

As for the Madhur Jaffrey, I love it, but it can be so time consuming. I've been playing with her recipes to make them crockpot friendly, and so far a couple of them have worked!

Unknown November 2, 2008 at 2:29 PM  

I left you a note on Foodbuzz. Somebody in France must not like me. When you click on Sue in my comment, it doesn't take you to my blog profile page? Visit me anytime at http://foodnetworkmusings.

I also found Penelope Casas after we'd lived in Spain for 3 years. And, yes, her recipes are really Spanish. I love her.

Madhur is the best, too, but yeah, very time consuming.

Chef E November 13, 2008 at 9:37 AM  

I will email you the recipe, I have been hesitant to post the exact ones, unless someone requests...send me email elizabeth@cookappeal.com, I thought I had yours, and I love soup! -E

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