Croûtons are a very traditional garnish for soups. To make your own, remove the crusts from slices of stale bread and cut the bread into even-sized cubes. Heat plenty of oil or fat – olive oil, duck or goose fat or garlic butter with some oil are specially good – in a large frying pan, then add the bread cubes in a single layer. Fry gently, tossing the cubes often, so they become crisp and evenly browned, then drain well on crumpled kitchen paper.
You can make fat-free croûtons from slices of toast or day-old bread dried out in a warm oven.
Add flavour by rubbing the surfaces with a peeled garlic clove. For variety, cut into shapes using small cutters.
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