Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beer Batter Quick Bread with White Bean & Tomato Soup

It was 6 pm on a weeknight. I am (almost) ashamed to admit that I had already changed into my comfy pajamas.  In contemplating dinner, I realized that all I really wanted in the entire world was some home baked bread and a hot bowl of soup.  Running to a bakery was out of the question, and I was too hungry to wait. What to do?

Having recently been bitten by the bread baking bug, I figured now was the perfect time to try a savory quick bread.  After reading a bunch of recipes online - and keeping ingredient proportions in mind - I came up with a recipe that was an amalgamation of everything I liked the sound of best. That said, I was a bit concerned that I would end up with a hard brick rather than a nice, soft loaf, especially after getting a good look at my batter, which looked disconcertingly  like lumpy oatmeal.  I needn't have worried - this bread was moist and hearty, and had a faint, comforting yeast-y smell thanks to the beer. 

As for the soup,  I nearly always have on hand onions, garlic, canned whole tomatoes,  veggie broth, and cannellini beans. Add to that some fresh thyme and Swiss chard, and you've got the makings for a rustic, satisfying, Tuscan-style soup that comes together in no time. 

Beer Batter Quick Bread
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar (this really offsets the potential "sour" beer taste, but doesn't make the bread sweet.)
1/3 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano 
1 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
12 oz. beer, at room temperature (I used Yuengling)

Combine the dry ingredients, add the beer and gently mix to combine thoroughly. Pour the batter into a greased 9 by 5 loaf pan and pour the melted butter on top. I let my loaf sit for about 15 minutes before putting it into a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. It's done when a toothpick comes out clean.

White Bean & Tomato Soup
2 cups chopped tender greens such as Swiss chard or spinach
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 can cannellini beans
5 (or so) canned Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups (or just enough to cover everything) vegetable broth
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, slowly cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for a couple more minutes. Add the greens and cook until very tender. Next add the  tomatoes, beans, broth, thyme, salt and pepper and simmer until all the flavors come together. The beauty of this soup is that you can make it while the bread cooks.  It's very low stress, but high yield in the flavor department!

Wrap any unused bread tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate - warmed up with a little butter, it makes for some great leftovers the next day.

Rustic White Bean & Tomato Soup on Foodista


  1. Sounds good! Great idea - may try this tonight!

  2. excellent idea! I love the simplicity of this dish

  3. I can practically smell that bread. Sounds delicious!

  4. Yum, sounds awesome. I have not made bread in ages, but this recipe and your foccacia one from the other week are inspiring me. :)

  5. Can you believe that, for as big a boozehound as I am, I've never attempted beer bread? This one looks delicious. The flavors seem very well-balanced. Added it to my favorites on Foodbuzz. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks everyone - yes, this bread really did smell incredible while cooking. Jenny - do make this! It's so easy and the rewards are big. Chickenless Chick - it's nice to see that other people realize that everything with booze is better.

  7. Oh my gosh, that bread and soup both look amazing! wow, I'd love to be eating that right now!

  8. Sounds and looks delicious. Beer bread. I have not made bread for awhile now. This may be an interesting bread to get back my bread making bug!

  9. mmm I love the subtle yet rich beer flavor in food. Looks great!

  10. Maybe this bread would be on my list to make without the need to wait for a long time for freshly baked bread. It's good to have some staples that you've mentioned. You'll never know when you're going to be hungry. :)

  11. Perfect for the chilly nights we're having now-- love the quick bread! I have only made sweet ones and now you've got me thinking about all the savory options.

  12. i just made a soup similar to this... very easy and delicious! the bread sounds great also!

  13. oh wow what a fab meal oh I get in PJS early too lol

  14. Perfect dinner for the season. Looks Delicious!

  15. Oh, comfort food! Looks delish! Best eaten in your comfy PJs ;)

  16. Looks delicious. I'll be trying this very soon!

  17. What a great winning combination - freshly baked bread & Tuscan-style soup! Yummy.