Feasting at Home: Wholesome Soup Recipes

By Will Stewart

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.

Much like how a recipe developed over time, it talks to the culture, the agriculture as well as the individual cook. Adding individual touches and making it your own is part of the fun of cooking but there is something comforting in the familiarity of a recipe passed down through generations.

One food that speaks to all of this is soup. Perhaps one of the most underrated food topics.

From the aromatic flavours of a laksa to a hearty, rich goulash – the flavours that form the base of these soups can transport you to a kitchen half-way across the world.

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.

Making a broth, letting it simmer and develop its flavour is not unlike cultivating the perfect grape for the wine making process. Pressing the grapes, choosing the right barrel, letting the flavours develop and enhance over time. This makes the idea pairing of soup to wine an exciting proposition.

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.

Smokey Minestrone with Ginger and Chorizo Soup

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.

I’ve added fresh ginger and smoky chorizo. The punchy flavours stand up to a full-bodied Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon. I serve this dish with a generous helping of aged parmesan cheese. As the cheese melts over the top of the steaming bowl of soup the aroma doesn’t help but draw you in and back for more.

Recipe here

French Onion Soup

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.

The scent of the thyme, coupled with the peppery spice from the Shiraz when cooking creates a deep broth, rich in flavour. Topping with a mixture of cheeses on the toasted baguette and some more thyme leaves to garnish, this soup is wonderful warm and comforting plate of food.

Recipe here

Super Greens Soup with Cream & Herbs

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. This nourishing soup recipe is packed with nutrients and flavour.

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.

I’d serve this for a Sunday lunch with an open sandwich of mortadella, mustard and pickles. And of course, a glass of the Pinot Grigio.

Recipe here

Pairing soup and wine

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.

Soup and wine – the French way

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.

As always, it’s all about Food, Wine and Good Times.