Christmas soup

Soup and wine at Christmas

By Nick Adams

Tis the season for soup for sure. This recipe below is one of my favourites, and is my homemade recommendation for the holidays.

Nothing beats a great pan of vegetable soup: put in the pan some onion, leek, celery, carrot, black cabbage (cavolo nero is delicious in soup) garlic, borlotti beans, flat leaf parsley with pressed tomato and deseeded chopped pulp. What makes this so flexible is you use two pans – in one add chicken stock and shredded ham hock for the carnivores, and in the other, skip the ham and use vegetable stock for the veggies – then everyone is happy!

To finish, use any leftover bread to make your own crostini (roast in the oven with a little olive oil) topped with cheese and re bake – either a good cheddar, or gruyere, or hunt out the amazing smoked Lincolnshire Poacher. Or indulge in some shaved truffle on top.

Or, with your left-over game and chicken bones, roast these and use as the basis for a game soup –just perfect when you come back from that Christmas or Boxing Day walk. 

Shellfish bisque soup

But to finish the whole experience off – and trust me – chill down a bottle of Fino sherry – the Inocente from Valdespino in the dinky ½ bottle. This match is also made in heaven if you want to indulge in a shellfish bisque style soup (see below). I do understand when people say they don’t like liquid with liquid, but I would encourage you to give it a go.

The nuttier, dry Lustau Pata de Gallina Oloroso version also works well with vegetable soup (see below).

Valdespino, Fino ‘Inocente’ Pago de Macharnudo – £9.95

Dry Oloroso ‘Pata de Gallina’, Lustau (50cl bottle) – £26