I grew up eating unadulterated soup. Crackers or bread were not part of this heart warming ritual. At the most, we would add a spoon-full of creme fraiche to cool off a cream of vegetable soup.
I like to end the day, especially in Fall and Winter, with a nice bowl of soup. I pair it up with homemade bread, muffins or crackers whenever possible. It adds another dimension to the meal. The sweet creaminess of butternut squash goes especially well with parmesan crackers. I added some pumpkin seeds to the recipe for some added crunch. Now, that you have the perfect recipe, all you'll need is to decide whether it's appropriate to dunk or not.
I am all about playing with my food, so I say: dunk, dunk, dunk.
Parmesan, Pumpkin-Seed Crackers
This recipe works well with all purpose flour. If you are not concerned about gluten or wheat, omit the xantham gum and use 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose instead of flours called for in this recipe.
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lowfat milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water, beaten
In a mixer, combine all the dry ingredients. Then drizzle in the olive oil. Turn mixer on for two more minutes. While the mixer is going, prepare the egg in a bowl and mix with the milk. Drizzle in to form a batter. Mix well for about 3 minutes. Wrap the batter with a piece of parchment paper coated with some oil. Store in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F.
oil a cookie-sheet
Spread a thin coating of gluten free flour onto a board and a rolling-pin. Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. With a knife cut strips 3/4" wide. Gently take the strip and shape them into a twig. You can be as creative as you would like with the shape as long as it is fairly thin. I pinched and twisted mine to make them look as organic as possible.
Arrange them onto the cookie sheet. Baste them with some egg-wash and bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes or so. The cracker sticks should be golden. Serve with your favorite dip or soup.
Velvet Butternut Squash and Lima Bean Soup (serves 10)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups sliced leeks, whites only
8 cups cubed butternut squash
16oz frozen Lima beans
2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
2 teaspoon sea salt
8 cups water
1/4 cup light sour cream
salt to taste
In a large pot, heat the oil and then add the leeks. Saute on medium heat until translucent. Add the butternut squash, beans, sage leaves and salt. Mix well and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until squash and beans are really soft. Add sour cream. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and let cool for ten minutes. Blend until really smooth. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve with bread or crackers.
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