Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wine Society Soup Pairings and Broccoli Mascarpone Soup

Last spring a group of us got together and created the Bainbridge Island Wine Society.  Our stated purpose is to learn more about wine but our actual purpose is to drink a lot of wine and eat a lot of food while talking about learning about wine.

Get that?

Halloween 223 Anyway, we’re meeting soon and the menu committee is having a bit of a tussle with a brash young Pinot Noir.  We want this haughty newbie to pair with a soup and so far it’s not cooperating.  If this wine got a report card it would read “does not play well with others,”  It’s probably just that it’s misunderstood, we are, after all newbie's ourselves at pairings. 

My foodie pals Hollind and Veni and I got together with a bottle and three soups: Tuscan white bean, broccoli mascarpone and curry cauliflower.

Admittedly it’s no hardship to have to drink wine and taste soup on a rainy Wednesday afternoon and I for one think we ought to make a habit of it. 

Halloween 200 Halloween 219

Halloween 226 Halloween 196

The  white bean soup came the closest, mostly because it laid down and let the pinot walk all over it.  The other two showed a feisty side with the broccoli sucker punching the pinot up front then playing nice later.  translation:  (the broccoli overwhelmed the wine but got better as we tasted).   The cauliflower soup just turned up her nose and refused to play and neither the soup nor the wine benefitted.

Can you help us?  If you’ve got a great soup that would work let me know and I’ll hastily arrange another wine-Wednesday and give it a go.  (Even if you don’t have a recipe; make one up so I can have another wine Wednesday.)

I was really rooting for the broccoli mascarpone.  I love its velvety texture and soft green color.  And I used shallots from my very own garden.  This soup is easy to make.  You can substitute cream cheese if you want because mascarpone can get a bit pricey.  Great as a starter or a light dinner with salad and a baguette. 

Broccoli Mascarpone Soup

From Bon Appétit

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups sliced shallots

1 1/2 pounds broccoli florets, cut into one inch pieces.

6 cups low salt chicken broth

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) mascarpone cheese, divided.

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons chopped, fresh chives.


Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes.  Add broccoli; sauté 1 minute.  Add broth, bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Working in batches, transfer soup to blender,  puree until smooth.  Return to pot.  Reserve 1/4 cup mascarpone in small bowl.; cover and chill.  Whisk 1 1/4 cup mascarpone and cayenne pepper into soup.  Season with salt.  DO AHEAD:  Can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover, chill. Heat soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Do not boil.

Garnish with remaining mascarpone and chives.


El said...

It's definitely soup season. Can't wait to try it.

rwc said...

Try a Black Bean soup. Elizabeth made it tonight and we had it with a pretty young red. The pecan pie afterwards wasn't bad either....

Carla said...

rwc Great suggestion. Sarah Albee of Eleven Winery here on Bainbridge Island served up some wonderful black bean soup one afternoon while we were bottling Syrah. I've been meaning to get the recipe and your post has inspired me to do so. Thanks.
PS No fair bringing up pecan pie; it's 7:30 am and a piece of pie sounds divine.