Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cheese, Please, and Beans and Greens

Looking for an easy little something to go with soup, I remembered these bite-sized cookies of Parmesan and Cheddar. It's just four ingredients, really, just adding butter and flour to the shredded cheese. They're baked in a moderate oven and emerge slightly chewy, puffy and tender. The perfect little dipper for your bowl of homemade Cream of Tomato Soup (I love Crescent Dragonwagon's version from "Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread.) Or perhaps dunked in this warming vegetarian beans-and-greens soup.

We name the cheese cookies Geronimo's, for the children's book character Geronimo Stilton, a mouse and reporter, narrator of a charming series of First Reader books. And I know you'll go to your nearest Borders store to find that series for your beginning readers.

Geronimo's Cheese Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shredded Parmesam cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until mixture comes together to form a dough. Remove work bowl from processor and, using whatever little hands are available (my three year old loves this part), form walnut-sized balls and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet (the slick wrapper from the butter works especially well for this purpose). Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until set, but not really brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Don't let them cool too long on the baking sheet or they may stick. When cool, place in a paper-towel-lined airtight container.

Beans and Greens Soup

4 cups water
2 leeks, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 can V-8 juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked chickpeas or your favorite beans
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

In medium saucepan over medium flame, heat water. Add vegetables, except for beans and spinach, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and let simmer until softened. Add V-8. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper. You could even add fresh herbs at this point; a little thyme or basil might be nice. Finish by adding the chickpeas and baby spinach and heat through. Serve with the cheese cookies above or some cheesy garlic bread toasts.

No comments: