Gathering inspiration from my crisper drawer and my desire to enjoy garlicky bread in as many ways as possible, this vegetable soup with garlicky croutons was born. I prefer soups with are heavy on substance and not too liquid, so I added a hefty dose of veggies to the pot. The soup is great all on its own, but the croutons just take it over the top. I’m very glad to have another excellent soup recipe in my repertoire.

Veggie Soup & Garlic Croutons

By Annie
Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

For soup:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Parmesan rind (optional, but recommended)
12 ounces fingerling potatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
4 cups baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

For croutons: 

3 cups multigrain bread cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In Dutch oven or large stockpot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery to pot and cook until mostly softened, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté about 1 minute, just until fragrant. Stir in diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaf, thyme and Parmesan rind. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Add chopped fingerling potatoes to pot and simmer just until potatoes are fork tender. Stir in spinach and cook until fully wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf.

While soup is simmering, make croutons. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Stir in bread cubes, tossing with butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook bread cubes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and crisp on all sides (adjusting heat if necessary). Serve soup warm with the croutons on top.

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