The  Key to Better Soups and  Salads

The Key to Better Soups and Salads

Dennis Weaver Dennis Weaver Jun 25, 2024

Well, that's exciting! No more plain soups and salads. You can engineer both the texture and the flavor. You can make better soups and salads than the restaurants. And it will be exactly the flavors that you want and what your family loves. 


When your bread starts to stale, there are three things you can do:

  1. Make croutons
  2. Make French toast
  3. Make bread pudding


The nice thing about making croutons is that you can freeze what you don't use. (More about that later.)  And you can make them ahead and keep them in the freezer.


This is a panzanella, an Italian salad made with fresh veggies and croutons.


You can make better croutons than what comes on your salads in the restaurants. But if you're a soup lover, you'll use your croutons on your soup also.

Adding croutons to your soups and salads, changes the texture. But you can engineer a change in the taste also. Tuscany Tomato Bread will impart a very different flavor than Salsa Bread with its heat. But you're the engineer. You can keep several flavors of coupons in the freezer and please every member of your family.

Choose either savory croutons or sweet croutons. Both go great in your favorite salad or soup.

What’s the difference between savory croutons and sweet croutons?

Savory croutons are made with olive oil and herbs. Sweet croutons are made with butter and usually from bread with fruit or nuts in it. We love dried fruit and nuts on our salads. The next best thing is croutons made with bread that has fruit, nuts, and a little cinnamon. Try Cranberry Nut Bread or California Raisin Bread.

To make savory croutons, again, start with the savory bread of your choice. Two of our favorites are Tuscany Tomato Basil Bread and Italian Herb and Cheese Bread.

Here are more breads that will make great croutons:


croutons in soup

To Make Savory Croutons

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

  1. Using a bread knife, slice the bread into 1/2-inch thick slices and then cut the slices into one-inch squares.
  2. For a small loaf of bread, mix 4 tablespoons of oil in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper.
  3. Add fresh or dried herbs. Basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, celery leaves, or parsley work well.
  4. Stir to dissolve the salt and then add the bread cubes tossing them lightly until coated with oil and herbs.
  5. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cubes start to brown. They should be crisp all the way through. The baking time will vary depending on the size of the croutons, how many are on the sheet, and how moist the bread is. It is important to drive the moisture from the croutons.


If you have leftover croutons, freeze them in a plastic bag. To use them, heat the frozen croutons on a baking sheet at 250 degrees until thawed and crisp again.



To Make Sweet Croutons.

Make sweet croutons like savory croutons but omit the salt, pepper, and herbs. Toss the bread in melted butter instead of olive oil. For sweet croutons, sprinkle the cubes with cinnamon before baking—if you choose. If you want you can sprinkle a little sugar over them but that's not necessary.

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