Summer Soup

I've never really understood the whole soup-as-winter-food thing. A light and fresh veggie soup is best enjoyed when all the ingredients are in season — like, um, now. Nearly every ingredient in my Summer's Bounty Veggie Soup came from the Memphis Farmers Market:

Whole, fresh tomatoes were cooked down to make the base, and then I added summer squash, okra, potatoes, onions, corn, carrots, celery, and purple hull peas (that I shelled with my very own hands). I even made the broth from scratch by cooking down odds and ends of veggie scraps.

The full recipe is going in my cookbook, but this is a meal I only recommend for summer or early fall. It just wouldn't taste the same with yucky old winter tomatoes and crappy canned corn.

On the side, I baked a loaf of my Whole Wheat Beer Bread:

I'd intended on purchasing a crusty whole wheat baguette to dip into my soup. But I couldn't find a purely whole wheat loaf without driving all the way out to Whole Foods. I had a few extra beers in the fridge and figured a beer loaf would be the quickest route to carb heaven.

I've posted the beer bread recipe before, but I've made a few changes since then. Here's the revised version.

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 Tbsp. evaporated cane juice (or white sugar if you please)

1/4 tsp. sea salt

12 ounces of tasty vegan beer (I used New Belgium black English ale, but PBR will work too!)

1 Tbsp. soy margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Add beer. Stir to combine. Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes, and then brush margarine over the top. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.