Admittedly not the most glamourous of made from scratches, but still an interesting one I think.  The croutons you buy in shops are over salted, stale things that can only be livened up by covering them with soup.  My croutons liven up the soup itself adding in the exciting flavours of the bread and whatever else you can throw at them in the way of spices and fancy olive oil.  We had loads of old bread hanging around at home this morning, and I hate wasting things, so I decided I had to come up with a use for it.  This is one of the most simple uses available and tarts up my bog standard lentil soup a treat.

Croutons

Staling bread – as much as you like – cubed
Good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cut the bread into cubes and cover in large quantities of olive oil , making sure all sides of the cube have some familiarity with the oil. Season liberally. Put in the oven in a tray with sides at gas mark 2, and bake for 20 minutes. Alternatively you could fry them, but baking is healthier.

Croutons are very versatile and take on flavours well. Sophie Dahl does a great clam chowdah with rosemary croutons which are amazing.

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