I served the bread with a homemade Minestrone soup that I did in the slow cooker. It was really good too and perfect for all those summer vegetables coming out of your garden right now. The recipe is below.
The final course was fresh mint ice cream made with real mint from the garden. Don't expect your typical flavor here. This stuff is slightly vegetal but oh so good and refreshing. A remarkable ending to a summer supper.
Adapted from Cook's Country
1 cup dried white beans (I used flageolets.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped fine
4 carrots, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh green beans cut into 2 inch pieces
1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup dried macaroni
Salt and pepper
1. Soak beans overnight. Drain and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain. Put in slow cooker.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Saute onions and carrots over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic. Saute for another minute. Add tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
3. Chop 1/2 cup of the basil. Add it to the slow cooker along with the broth, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
4. During the last hour of cooking, add the green beans, Swiss chard, and dried macaroni to soup.
5. Before serving chop remaining 1 1/2 cup basil. Stir basil into soup. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with plenty of parmesan cheese.