There’s nothing better than a bowl of warm soup that fills our stomachs in winter. But does that mean we have to sacrifice the joy of the wine? Absolutely not. In this post, I will share eight of the soup and wine pairings. They are all homemade and paired with a wine that elevates the experience.
Before starting with the soup and wine pairings, let’s look at the serving temperatures, both for wine and soup. The temperature difference between wine and soup not only makes the pairing unpleasant, it also can be uncomfortable for your stomach. Especially in the white wine pairings where the wine will be served around 10 ̊ C, and the soup around 75 ̊ C. I suggest serving the soup too hot, never boiling. Try to find the corresponding serving temperature of each soup. Some soups are denser than others, so be careful to not overheat. They will be more pleasant when they are just warm.
S is for soup, W is for wine… Let’s look at all the pairings:
1) Bean soup – Cabernet Franc
S: This soup is inspired by the famous Italian dish “pasta e fagioli”, meaning pasta and beans. In this version, for beans I used mixed beans with red kidney beans, black beans, white beans and black-eyed beans, and for pasta I used macaroni. After both beans and pasta are boiled, I add them to boiling tomato juice and season with salt, black pepper and dried oregano. It’s an easy and nutritious soup.
W: There are a variety of ingredients in this soup, and the base is tomato which adds freshness to this soup. That’s why a medium bodied red wine would make a great pairing. My suggestion is Cabernet Franc from British Columbia, where this variety gives elegant and aromatic red wines.
2) Chicken soup – Rosé of Tempranillo
S: Chicken soup is the one that gives us warmth and cosiness. It’s quite easy to prepare, the only thing you need to do is to boil the chicken with lots of water and add your favourite vegetables; onions, carrots, zucchini… Try to garnish it with some lemon juice and fresh parsley leaves just before serving.
W: Although rosé wine mostly has a summer wine image, they are here for us to enjoy all year long. Rosés made from Tempranillo grapes from Spain are attractive with their lively color and fruit forward aromas. Try to pair them with chicken soup, it’s delicious. Moreover, it adds up a nice color to the grey winter evenings.
3) Cream of broccoli soup – Chardonnay
S: ‘Eat your broccoli!’ might not be your favorite sentence you hear from your mom, but drinking it with lots of cream is a definitely good idea. With the touch of the cream and a little bit of garlic, it becomes very tasty.
W: Chardonnay from sunny California can be a good pairing with any creamy soup, and this creamy broccoli soup was not an exception. Chardonnay reveals a little bit of sunshine kept in the bottle with its gold yellow color. It fills the glass with its full body and the creaminess of the wine and soup elevates each other.
4) Creamy Mushroom soup – Gamay
S: Mushroom soup is one of the hardest one to make in this list, but if you love mushrooms, I am sure the result will make you very happy. To make it, you need to stir the mushrooms with some onion and garlic until all are soft and add some chicken broth, heavy cream and a little bit of flour if you like it denser. Serve it with some croutons and cheese on top.
W: Gamay Noir from Beaujolais, France is one of the red wines friendly for the vegetable dishes. With its light body and soft tannins, it pairs beautifully with this soup.
5) Lentil soup – Pinot Noir
S: This is a lentil base soup, a great option as a vegetarian and vegan soup. Apart from the lentils, it has many other vegetables inside, carrot, tomato, potatoes, onions, as well as some rice. They are all cooked together with the lentils and mashed by a hand blender. Serve with a piece of lemon on the side and decorate with some parsley leaves.
W: Try pairing this lentil soup with a glass of Pinot Noir from Casablanca Valley of Chile. Pinot Noir makes a lovely pair with its lively aromas, fresh acidity and smooth texture.
6) Minestrone soup – Albariño
S: Another inspiration from Italian cuisine. Minestrone is a thick Italian soup made with vegetables and pasta or rice. In the classic version, you’ll generally find beans, carrots, zucchini, peas, onions, tomatoes, potatoes… Be courageous and create your version with the veggies you find in your fridge.
W: Pair it with Albariño from Rias Baixas, Spain. It’s a fresh and aromatic white wine, it’ll embrace the freshness of the veggies.
7) Pumpkin soup – Viognier
S: Who doesn’t like a nice warm bowl of pumpkin soup? Get your favorite type of pumpkin and cut it into pieces. Boil them together with some onions in chicken broth. Don’t forget to season it with some ginger, turmeric and black pepper. When everything is soft, mash it by a hand blender, and add a touch of cream depending on your taste.
W: A Viogner from South Australia will bring you flowers and a good body. If you choose one with over-lees aging it will have a special richness and accompany the spices you add in your pumpkin soup.
8) Salmon soup – Sparkling wine
S: This rich salmon soup has cream, veggies and salmon pieces inside. It’s a complete meal as itself, very filling and nutritious.
W: A sparkling wine made with Chenin Blanc grapes from Loire Valley of France, aka Crémant de Loire. This pairing creates an enjoyable harmony of the flavors, and bubbles add a new layer of texture. I suggest giving this pairing a try.
Here were my recent trials, and I will keep on trying new soup and wine pairings, since we have a long winter awaiting us here in snowy Canada. I hope some of these pairings inspire you. You can always change the ingredients, or find similar wines to pair the soups. More important is using what you have in hand, and choosing wines that you enjoy. And don’t forget to let me know if you have a favorite pairing that I should try.
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