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gettin’ me all warm inside

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Last week, Rachel posted a recipe for something that combines two of my greatest loves:  beer and bread.  The only thing I love more than ripping into a deliciously carby loaf of bread and feeling the goodness sticking to my teeth is opening my mouth wide to feel the carbonated carbaliciousness (that’s a word now, didn’t you hear?) slide down my throat.  Mmmm…

Wait, what were we talking about?

Oh yes, beer bread.

I saw this recipe one of the first times she posted it…maybe Christmas, I think?  And I’ve been meaning to whip it out ever since.  I’d been craving some warm soup lately, especially since I had all these lentils to play around with, so I decided to see what I could come up with.  (Rachel’s post features a broccoli and cheddar soup that I’m sure is fabulous, but I don’t really do Velveeta.)

For the soup, I decided make a sort of stew with roasted carrots (what little I had left) and sweet potatoes.  For my bread, I had a lone bottle of Harpoon Octoberfest sleeping in my fridge that I decided to put to good use.

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First up, I chopped up my sweet potatoes and carrots, knowing they’d take longer.  (Preheated the oven to about 400 or so.)  I sprayed down a sheet covered with aluminum foil, then gave the veggies a spritz after spreading them out, and then sprinkled on some rosemary and s&p and popped them into the oven.

DSC03890 Post-roasting

I chopped up about 3 short celery sticks and a quarter of a white onion.

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On the stove, in a large dutch oven, I melted some Smart Balance.  Probably about a tablespoon.  Once it began to heat up, I sauteed  the chopped onion and celery and garlic, along with some coriander and cumin  (about 1/2 tsp each) and a dash of cayenne pepper.

When they were sufficiently cooked through, I added about 2 cups of broth and 3 cups of water.  I threw a few other spices into the mix, including some sage.  Once that got up to a boil, I added approximately 8 ounces of lentils, turning the heat down slightly and leaving the pot lid cracked.  Soon it was time to remove the veggies, and I turned the oven down slightly to get it ready for the bread.

The bread is as simple as it gets:  flour, beer, sugar, baking powder, salt.  I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and one cup of bread flour, and I also used kosher salt.  Step one:  Mix it all together.

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And that’s it.  Well, you have to bake it, but let’s not get too far ahead.  (Check the link for Rachel’s exact recipe.)

I used two smaller loaf pans because I knew I would eat the hound out of the stuff.  I lined one with foil (the method I now recommend) and spray each down with my Misto.  I divided the dough in half for each of the loaf pans and baked for about 40 minutes.

When there was about ten minutes left on the bread, I added the roasted vegetables to the pot.  After taking the bread out, let in cool 10 minutes in the pan and 10 out.

This. Was. Epic.

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The bread was just salty enough and moist from the beer.  The flavor was perfection, and it completed the heart lentil stew/soup really well.

What’s your favorite hearty soup or stew?  This was good, but I’m a little partial to chili and real tomato soup.  My new soup venture will be carrot soup.  I had some from Urban Standard that was ah-maze-ing, and I want to attempt to recreate it.

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2 responses »

  1. Butternut squash soup. Hands down. I love how beer bread is so easy to make! The last time I tried it, I didn’t follow the suggestions and used a dark beer… which turned the bread bitter just like they said it would. I should try again!

    Reply
  2. Pingback: heart vs. soles « that's what summer said.

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