Bread / challah / Main dish / soup

Toasted herb croutons + homemade tomato soup

I once stated in this very blog that my challah recipe is foolproof.

That is, unless you leave it in the oven to rise under the pilot light and later turn on the oven to bake your pizza.

Oops.

I, of course, tried to peel off the crusty top part of my 5lbs. of challah dough in order to salvage some challahs. No dice.

And no problem. Rather than eat the ugliest, densest challahs I’ve ever seen, I got to work making breadcrumbs. And then I made croutons with fresh garden herbs.

And then I needed tomato soup from our plethora of garden tomatoes.

Ruined challah turned out to be my good fortune.

HOMEMADE HERB CROUTONS
4 cups diced old challah or bread
3T grape seed oil
1/2 cup assorted freshly chopped herbs (I used basil, rosemary and oregano)
1/2t salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375. Combine the herbs, salt, pepper and oil in a cup. Place the challah in a large bowl and pour the herb and oil mixture over it. Stir until the challah is fully coated. Spread the challah out on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Let fully cool and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

HOMEMADE TOMATO SOUP
3 cups assorted diced tomatoes
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 shallot or small onion
1T olive oil
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh basil
1T salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil over a medium flame and add the onion and garlic until soft and brown. Add the tomatoes and saute about 3 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the basil and milk and heat for another minute without bringing it to a boil. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Serve with croutons and a basil leaf for garnish.

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