Cultivating and growing a grape variety – it’s history, the land it’s grown on and the influence of the individual winemaker – tells a rich story. One food that speaks to all of this is soup. Perhaps one of the most underrated food topics.
Ph talks to a Vietnamese love of aromatic ingredients like lemongrass and a celebration of fresh herbs using a lighter broth loaded with flavour. European soups can be rustic with beans and root vegetables or more refined such as a bisque or a consommé.
I’ve taken inspiration from around the world to not only pair with the wine but to use the wine as part of the recipes. Wine adds a depth of flavour that allows the humblest of recipes to be elevated to something luxurious, but most of all – comforting.
This hearty Minestrone is a one pot wonder that can be served on its own or with some crusty bread and butter to wipe the bowl clean.
Cooking the onions really slowly with a large knob of butter, some olive oil and a pinch of salt will give you the most delicious soup from the sweetness of the caramelised onions. To really bring this to soup to another level, I deglaze the pot with a glass of Estate Shiraz and a bunch of freshly picked thyme leaves.
There is so much variety in abundance of green vegetables during Spring and Summer but you can make this dish all year round with any green vegetables in season. Here is my Super Greens soup with cream and herbs paired with the beautiful Promised Land Pinot Grigio. The light mouth-watering acidity from the white goes really well with fresh herbs like the coriander and parsley in the soup. Adding fresh cream – either blended through the soup or served as a garnish on the top – balances this acidity out and compliments the wine perfectly.
In terms of matching wine to soup. My advice is always the same. Drink what you love and work out if you enjoy the combination. What’s good for the goose, may not be good for the gander. Now, left over roast goose for a soup, there’s a thought.
For all of these soups I thought I’d share an old French tradition. A custom in the Dordogne is ‘Faire Chabrot’ or ‘Faire Chabròl’. This is where the local farmers, rather than wiping their bowl clean with a piece of baguette, they add the last of their (traditionally red) wine from their glass, swill it around and slurp it all down directly from the bowl. Never wasting a drop of either soup or wine. Delicious and the epitome of comfort.