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May 21, 2011 / City Living (Boston)

The Glory of Stale Bread

Although I don’t think of Spring as a typical soup season except for “soupe a l’oseille” which I remember vividly from my childhood days in France.  Not only the taste but also the little “ditty” we used to sing.

“La soupe a l’oseille.  Pour les demoiseille (mispronounced to rhyme).
La soupe a l’ognion c’est pour les garcons.”

Our soup of the week is a roasted asparagus soup that I pulled up on my phone on epicurious when I found some gorgeous, relatively inexpensive US asparagus at Russo‘s.  I’m not a huge fan of leftovers and by day three of having this soup two things ring true:

1)  It’s a great recipe because I’m still eating it three days later.
2) I need something to bring it up a notch and make it feel different.

A few weeks ago I bought a brioche for French toast that just never happened.  It was the same week I decided to olive oil roast some cashews and ramps.  After a day or two the brioche was rock hard and ready for the birds.  Instead I cut it into crunchy stale cubes and slowly cooked them on the stove top in a cast iron pan with a little bit of the left over olive oil from roasting the nuts.  The crumbs from the bread board were tossed on the back porch for the birds. I added a few more of the ramps cut in large pieces to be removed later.  Once they were nice and crunchy in a crisp way not a stale way, I sprinkled some fleur de sel over them and let them cool.  Once cool they were tossed into a plastic bag and stored in the freezer.

On day three of the soup, I grabbed a handful of croutons straight from the freezer and tossed them atop the hot soup.  Bread never freezes completely so it’s good to go straight from the freezer.

Hooray for grey rainy days, tasty asparagus soup and some stale bread!


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