Thursday, November 6, 2008

Soup Dilemma: To Dunk or Not to Dunk?

butternut soup with crackers

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.

butternut squash soup up-close

I am all about playing with my food, so I say: dunk, dunk, dunk.

parmesan pumpkin crackers

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

Egg Wash:
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.

parmesan crackers

butternut squash 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.

More related recipes:
Daring Bakers Lavash Crackers
Miso Soup


Passionate About Baking said...

Velvety & beautifully warm Alexa...I think I'll dunk!! Love the ceramic bowl too...

VeggieGirl said...

Gorgeous soup & crackers!! I'm a dunker :-D

Stacey Snacks said...

I dunk cookies in milk and never add crackers to my soup.
Your crackers are too nice on their own to dunk!

Elra said...

Delicious velvety looking soup, Alexa.
The crackers look pretty good as well. What a perefect meal to end the day!

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

The cracker are lovely, but tell me how else can I use xantham gum??? Its almost winter now and I am craving for hot hot soups :)

kat said...

The perfect cold weather dinner to us is a big bowl of soup & fresh crusty bread to dip in it.

Alexa said...


Xantham is used in gluten free cooking as a binding agent. So you don't need it if you use wheat flour in the mixture because the gluten strands do the trick. If you don't have gluten or wheat concerns, I wouldn't worry about buying xantham--it's expensive ($11.00/small package). Instead, I would replace half the flours in the recipe with regular all-purpose or just use a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose.

Xantham can also be used as a binder for salad dressings. In fact, a lot of commercial salad dressings and sauces have it listed as an ingredient.

Hope this answers your question, Ramya. If not, let me know. :-)

CECIL said...

Dunk Dunk Dunk!! :) I love dunking stuff to my soup, even sandwich. I love the stick-crackers, Alexa.

Maris said...

I love to dip! These crackers look perfect because sometimes when you dunk bread, it absorbs too much of the soup so you have less to enjoy!

Mary Ann said...

I have been wanting to try butternut soup this fall but have yet to find a recipe that I wanted to use. What can you swap out for Fava beans? I haven't seen them in my local grocery stores. These both look wonderful!

Alexa said...

Hi Mary Ann,

You can swap the fava beans with cooked white beans or lima beans. Basically, any creamy bean will work well in this recipe. I hope you can make this work for you. Enjoy!

rachel said...

I say Dunk, Dunk, Dunker Scheine- for this amazing recipe!

Holler said...

I am with you, definitely dunk! Although maybe not whilst eating in a posh restaurant :)

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Wow I love the soup and those crackers! There would be much dunking from me, for sure.

Sophie said...

I dunk everything! ...And if I could, I'd dunk my whole face into that soup, lol :). It does look velvety and delicious. I have to try that cracker recipe! Gluten free crackers are so darn expensive!

mikky said...

both i think... alone and dunked... they are amazing!!! :)

Robin Sue said...

One Must Dunk! I love the rustic look of your crackers very beautiful and delicious looking!

Yasmeen said...

The crusty crackers with the warm velvety butternut squash and beans soup on side ..mmm...I'm getting hungry.

Sharon said...

Sounds fabulous...I'm a serious dunker. But. To heck with the soup! I gotta have that BOWL!

Where did you find it? It's just gorgeous.

Marysol said...

Another incurable dunker here. Alexa. But with soup that looks that good, I'd need a bigger bowl too. [G]

RecipeGirl said...

I'm a serious dunker. These look like a great change from the usual bread or biscuits with soup. And that Soup! WOw!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Yes I'm all for the dunking! Love dunking! In my soup, in milk (cookies), it's just conforting! Soup's awesome!

Maureen "Hold The Gluten" said...

You had me at parmesan crackers! :) Great post -- can't wait to give these a try.

Jeanine said...

I'm a dunkin' gal myself, and those cracker sticks look fantastic! The soup looks delicious too. :)

Alexa said...

Thanks for your comment. The bowl was a present given to me for my birthday about five years ago. My friend bought it at Cost Plus.

Colloquial Cook said...

Hey there! Tried the crackers to go with a butternut squash soup, I must have gotten the cooking time wrong, they were a tad dry! Maybe more oil next time, and a shorter time in the oven. Otherwaise, beautiful Parmesan flavour!

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