I made a huge pot of pea soup the other day. (Click here to read how easy and cheap pea soup is to make yourself.) The second time I ate it, though, I felt it needed some crunch, so I decided to make some croutons.
I've shown how to make croutons in a frying pan, but—to be honest—I felt a little lazy and didn't want to deal with the hassle (and cleaning) associated with frying. But I still wanted my croutons!
Easy solution: I cut some slices of whole wheat bread into cubes, put them in a bowl, added some olive oil, unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper and mixed until the oil and seasonings were evenly distributed.
(Oh, you want "Italian Seasoned" croutons [without the artificial ingredients for "flavor," texture and extended shelf life]? Sprinkle in some garlic powder!)
I then put the cubes of bread into the toaster oven (on the oven's baking tray) and cooked them at 350 until they were crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Careful they don't burn.)
They were delicious and worked perfectly in the soup. They were also much healthier and cheaper than any croutons from a package.