Pairings | Soup
The 10 trickiest foods to pair with wine
Look up any guide to food and wine matching and you’ll find a list of foods that are regarded as anathema to wine. I’ve done it myself but have come to the conclusion recently that the problems are overstated.
Wines to pair with fennel
Fennel is one of the handful of vegetables that can influence a main course pairing - almost always for the better. Its aniseed flavour seems to have a pronounced affinity with many wines, especially whites. Here are some suggested matches with recipes that two British chefs have published this weekend - Gordon Ramsay in the Times and Skye Gyngell in the Independent on Sunday.
Which wine pairs best with tomatoes?
Tomatoes are generally held to be a problem for wine but as Jane McQuitty robustly puts it in The Times today - nonsense!
The best wines to pair with squash and pumpkin
Nothing proclaims autumn more clearly than squash and pumpkin but what wine should you pair with them? It depends whether the dish is savoury or sweet obviously but here are a few options that might help
The best wine pairings with beans
Pulses such as beans are a good friend to the vegetarian winelover - their rich, mealy texture provides a similar foil as meat to a hearty full-bodied red.
When to pair red wine with fish
Few people now throw up their hands in horror at the idea of matching red wine with fish. But how many realise just how often you can pair the two?
Some top food pairings for pear cider and perry
Pear cider - also known as perry - has a different taste from apple cider. It’s generally lighter, drier and more fragrant, a better match for delicate ingredients like fish.
Six of the best drink pairings for kale
Although there's not quite the feverish frenzy there was about kale a couple of years ago there's still a lot of kale lurve around.
How to pair wine with fish
Advertisement feature Fish can be cooked so many different ways these days that you may wonder what kind of wine you should pair with it.
Which drinks pair best with Thai food?
The predominant flavours of Thai cuisine are sweet, sour, hot and salty - slightly different from the warm spicing of many Indian curries or the more fragrant, herbal notes of Vietnamese. So which which drinks pair best with a Thai meal?
The best wine - and other - pairings for leeks
Leeks generally feature in dishes in their own right rather than as a side and have a mild sweet flavour you want to respect.
Best food pairings with sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc is many people's favourite wine but what type of food pairs with it best?
Matching wine and soup
One of the few food and drink combinations I don’t feel that happy about is wine and soup. Not all soups, obviously, but many of them.
Soup for Syria: spiced red lentil soup
I don't often post commercial recipes but this delicious soup from London restaurant Arabica Bar & Kitchen is being promoted in a very good cause.
French Onion Soup
French onion soup is one of the classic French bistro dishes, famously served to late night Parisian partygoers. But if you don't feel up to it at 2am or whenever you roll in, it makes a warming supper for a chilly winter evening.
Asparagus soup topped with ricotta, chives and crispy chicken
A clever recipe from Tom Kitchin's Kitchin Suppers making the best of the short homegrown asparagus season. I love the twist of adding shredded chicken wings and ricotta as a topping which both poshes it up and makes it more substantial.
Hiyajiru (chilled miso soup) with cucumber ice cubes
The perfect hot weather dish from chef Tim Anderson's Nanban - even if you only make the cucumber ice cubes
Pumpkin, coconut and lentil soup
If you're carving a pumpkin for Hallowe'en this weekend here's a gorgeous spicy soup from Jenny Chandler's excellent book Pulse to make with the discarded pulp.
Carrot, lemon and tahini soup with Roussanne
i haven't written about soup and wine for ages - I've always felt a bit ambivalent about it on the grounds that it seems counter-intuitive to pair one liquid with another - but this is the second post in as many weeks (the other one being here)
Mushroom and Mustard soup
With the country blanketed by snow what else can you think of but soup? A favourite recipe from my book An Appetite for Ale that makes a great pairing with a dark, Trappist beer. You can decide how creamy you want it - my preference is to add just a dash to the soup then swirl a little in each bowl to decorate.
Chipotle-spiced black bean soup
Pulse-based soups like this black bean soup are super-comforting and warming in chilly weather. I rustled it up to use a batch of black beans my neighbour Jenny Chandler had given me and wouldn’t claim for a moment it's authentic but it is good!
A vegetarian harvest supper
Before we finally plunge into winter here's a late autumn supper menu from my book Food, Wine and Friends that combines the best of autumn’s produce with a couple of convenience products.
Beetroot soup and English Pinot Noir
The other day I enjoyed a surprisingly good pairing of a beetroot soup with an English blend of Pinot Noir and Rondo from Kent winery Chapel Down at the London restaurant Roast. I say surprising a) because soup is difficult to pair and b) because the two are so similar in colour that you’d think the wine wouldn’t be a sufficient contrast to the soup. In fact its fruitiness and crisp acidity (the Rondo making it taste more like a mid-weight Italian red) was just the right counterpoint to the earthy rich character of the beetroot.
Celeriac, celery and caerphilly soup with Coteau des Treilles Anjou blanc
It's always difficult to decide what to drink with soup - one liquid with another never seems quite right as I've remarked before - but the thicker the soup is the easier it is.
Tuscan bean soup and Sangiovese
Last week I was on an assignment in Tuscany for a couple of days. It was pretty hot but that didn’t discourage the Tuscans from serving the kind of food they enjoy all the year round - namely substantial bean and chickpea soups.
Parsley soup, snails and Muscadet!
Not the most appealing food and wine pairing you may think but I have to assure you it was delicious! It was at the newly opened Berners Tavern which is run by chef-of-the-moment Jason Atherton.
Mushroom soup and Rignes Polaris Røykbokk
This was part of an expertly paired meal at a restaurant in Trondheim called To Rom og Kjøkken (Two Rooms and a Kitchen) last Saturday night.
Cecina, potato and kale soup and Chateau Montus Madiran
The idea of matching a soup with a full-bodied south-western French red wine might seem bizarre but it proved a surprisingly good pairing.
Spiced parsnip soup with Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted
Although I’ve tasted some good wines this week it’s beer that has provided the highlights. The Magic Rock Rapture amber ale I drank at The Pint Shop in Cambridge with their awesome beer brined chicken was pretty good but it’s pipped into the ‘drink of the week’ slot by this pairing at The Hole in the Wall in Little Wilbraham
White onion and bay leaf soup with Ogleshield and hazelnuts
I ordered this amazing soup at one of my favourite local Bristol restaurants Wallfish (now Wallfish & Wellbourne) and begged the recipe from the chef, Seldon Curry. It's tastes like the sweetest of oniony fondues and is soooo delicious.
Provençal-style fish soup and Picpoul de Pinet
We’re down in the Languedoc for a few days and ended up at one of our favourite fish restaurant Le Glacier at Marseillan.
Chilled cucumber and garlic soup and Chenin Blanc
On Saturday, as I mentioned in my blog, I was at a food and wine festival in Constantia, where we wandered round the impossibly beautiful Buitenverwachting estate sipping wine and grazing on upmarket canapés devised by a selection of the area's best local chefs. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon ....
A simple spring supper for 4
This is the kind of easy meal I like to make for friends. The soup can be made in advance (or buy one of the excellent ready made chilled soups there are nowadays and dress it up with some fresh herbs), the steak is finished in the oven and the dessert literally takes minutes.
Assyrtiko and cold herb soup
As Greece’s best known grape variety you’d probably think of pairing assyrtiko with meze or seafood but as this week’s match of the week shows it’s good away from its home territory too.
Smoked eel and potato soup with dry Moscatel
I could have picked any number of pairings from the really inspiring wine dinner hosted by Bodegas Bentomiz at Gambas tapas bar in Bristol last week but this marginally inched it.
Essence: recipes from Le Champignon Sauvage by David Everitt-Mathias
If you haven't heard of David Everitt-Mathias I wouldn't be surprised. But ask any leading chef in Britain - including Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal, who have both paid tribute to him in this book - and they certainly will.
A Hallowe'en supper for 4-6
With Hallowe'en just a few days away here's a sophisticated supper for those of you who don't have to go out trick or treating . . .
10 top wine matches for Christmas starters
You may well know what you’re going to drink with the turkey by now but here are some ideas for what to match with your Christmas starters, paired with recipes from some of Britain’s favourite chefs and cookery writers.
Is cider more food-friendly than wine?
Susanna Forbes of Drink Britain reports on a vigorously fought contest over dinner at The Thatchers Arms near Colchester last month
Is Koshu the best match for Japanese food?
I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about Koshu this year. No, it’s not some unfamiliar aspect of Japanese cuisine but a white wine made from a grape of the same name. A campaign to promote it in the UK was launched at a lunch in London yesterday by a VIP line-up of Japanese goverment officials from the Yamanashi prefecture where most of the winemakers are based.
Which wine to choose for Thanksgiving
The first thing to bear in mind about Thanksgiving - and for that matter Christmas - is that it’s as much about mood as food. Who you’re inviting, what age they are and how big your party is are factors every bit as important as what you’re eating.
Laksa and Riesling
Laksa is one of those dishes you hesitate to pair with wine being both a soup and really spicy but the pairing I came across at the Pegasus Bay wine dinner at The Providores the other night was spot on.
Matching wine and fusion food
It has been both the handicap and the saving grace of the English-speaking countries not to have a recognised centuries-long gastronomic tradition behind them. Settlers and colonists brought their own food customs with them to what became the British dominions.
Gratinated onion and sercial madeira
If you eat in a 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, as I did last week at Le Cinq at the George V in Paris, you’d expect the sommelier to come up with some pretty fantastic pairings with the food.
Game consommé with a Croatian red
Given that wine dinners are all about combining food and wine it’s not that often that the resulting pairings blow you away but I was hard pushed to pick just one out of the four brilliant matches at last week’s Autumn Delights dinner at Adelina Yard in Bristol.
Pairing Indian food with the biodynamic wines of Bonny Doon
I have to confess I found it pretty hard to concentrate on the finer nuances of the food and wine combinations at the recent Cinnamon Club dinner. But when the speaker is the discursive Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon and you're sitting next to him that's no great surprise. Before the meal had even started we were into Kierkegaard and a vigorous discussion of terroir in the bar below over our glasses of Vin Gris de Cigare (a typically unorthodox full-bodied rosé based on Grenache, Cinsault and Roussanne).
Wines for some tricky Chinese dishes
When I read Mark Hix recipes in The Independent today they were so challenging that I nearly gave up but as everyone else seems to be writing about asparagus today and I’ve done a lot on asparagus recently there was no other option . . .
What to drink with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's veggie recipes
If you’re used to choosing wine - or other drinks - to match with meat or fish you may be flummoxed when it comes to chosing one for vegetarian friends. But as I explain in my Guardian column today it’s a question of finding out how the wine is made - and in particular whether any animal-based products have been used in the fining process.
Velouté of asparagus with Grüner Veltliner
It's been a while since I've posted about soup - it's notoriously tricky to match with wine - but this weekend I came across a great combination at a new restaurant in Bath, the oddly named Menu Gordon Jones*
What to drink with Heston’s Diamond Jubilee picnic
Heston Blumenthal’s Jubilee picnic hamper was unveiled yesterday - to be served at Buckingham Palace before an open-air concert on June 4th. The picnic is being funded by Waitrose who must be pleased as punch to have the Palace’s endorsement in this video. The guests will also apparently be given vouchers for a glass of Moët or a bottle of Cobra beer (the other sponsors of the event).
Carrot and beetroot borscht
New year tends to mean two things - frugal living and healthy eating - and this recipe my eldest daughter Jo devised when she was a student ticks both boxes. Best, of course, with organic veg if you can get hold of them.
Cullen skink (smoked haddock and leek chowder)
If you can't face the thought of haggis on Burns' Night how about a warming bowl of deliciously creamy cullen skink - the Scots' answer to chowder?