With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start planning food. Yes, really. I love Christmas and all that it entails but sometimes the food is so time-consuming and faffy. At the moment my mum hosts Christmas, she always has and for good reason. She’s very good at it. Every year she cooks for at least 12 of us whilst making it look like a total doddle. She is a whizz in the kitchen but she is also a mum of three so has many tricks and tips up her sleeve to make the food you serve at Christmas have the wow factor without the hassle. So when Wren’s Kitchen asked us if we wanted to share a recipe for a Christmas classic with a twist I knew who to ask for help.
Christmas dinner always starts with soup in our family. My mum cooks homemade soup each year but the added pizzaz comes from the croutons she serves with it. We all know the stuffed to bursting feeling that comes with Christmas dinner, so rather than serving bread rolls with soup my mum serves these. Christmas croutons.
These are super simple to make, and are loved equally by both the kids and the adults. They would also make a ready-made soup seem so much fancier if you were surprised by unexpected guests.
So without further ado, here’s how you do them.
You will need:
– Garlic infused olive oil (if you don’t have any crush some garlic into some olive oil and leave overnight. If you’re doing it on the hoof leave it at least 10 minutes).
– Thick bread. For best results use stale bread but anything will do. For a quick fix dig out the Hovis, or if you preparing in advance a fancier bread will also work.
– Christmas shaped biscuit cutters
- Brush garlic infused olive oil on to the bread.
- Place into a preheated oven at 180 for approx 10 minutes. This is using my fan assisted oven, so if you are using a different kind of oven just keep your eyes on it. It should be crispy to touch but not burnt.
- Take out of oven and use your cutters to cut shapes out of it.
- At this point you can add a sprinkle of Parmesan to your shapes and then pop them back into the oven until the cheese has melted and has gone crispy.
Serve alongside soup or even with pâté, et voilà! Simple easy Christmas recipe.
Another way to do these would be to add passata after the first bake in the oven and sprinkle with cheese . Pop them back into the oven to make mini pizzas. My mum serves these as an alternative starter for the smaller kids. They would also be great to serve with drinks those unexpected guests at Christmas too.
This easy Christmas recipe is so versatile and you can use many other infused oils depending on your taste. How about using basil infused oil to go with tomato soup? Or chilli infused oil to go with spicy parsnip soup on Boxing day. The possibilities are endless.
Nonna’s top tip: Freeze the leftover bread to make flavoured bread crumbs. Perfect for topping macaroni cheese or turkey curry on boxing day. Secondly, the soup used for this post was made from leftovers from Sunday lunch. So this would be an easy soup to make from your leftover turkey and veg.
Our recipe is on the Wren Kitchen website with 23 other Christmas classics to inspire you this Christmas.