Having time to cook again has been wonderful. As our temperatures dip lower each day I get excited for soups. We make our own stock from leftover vegetable cuttings and bones from other meals as I don’t tolerate the sodium levels in commercial broth. I keep the cuttings and bones in the freezer until I have enough to cook a large pot full. (We don’t have a compost pile, so this eases my mind a little bit about food waste.) Nutrition and healthy eating is not an option in this house; I usually adjust recipes due to food allergies and sensitivities but tastiness is very important. One recipe that made its way to me is Calypso Beef Soup from Diabetic Gourmet; this is basically a curry soup with lots of vegetables.
I also make my own curry blend to avoid nightshade seasonings for the most part. When I minimize my exposure to even a little I find I can handle the occasion I have no/minimal choice but to eat tomatoes or peppers. Does anyone else attempt to eat Nightshade Free (#nsf)?
When I discovered the recipe I began thinking about wines to pair, so did my hubby. Since the recipe made enough for us to have it twice, we decided to pair it with both wines, one each night. I chose the Locati Cellars Walla Walla Pinot Grigio. Hubby chose College Cellars Viognier.
The first night we paired it with Locati’s Pinot Grigio. Crisp and bright with grapefruit as the predominant aroma we tucked into the soup, subtly spicy it is a coconut milk smooth base with a delightful play of savory flavors mingled with the spices. I enjoyed the Pinot Grigio with it, but Hubby wasn’t as fond of it. The grapefruit receded and nectarine became the prominent aroma joining the minerality I love so much; it played very nicely with the soup but palate is definitely an individual preference.
Two nights later, after we both worked late, we were thrilled to sit down to this soup again. Time in the fridge was very favorable; the flavors smoothed themselves out but didn’t lose any of their intensity. Opening the College Cellars Viognier we sat down with great expectations. This was by far the better pairing for this soup. The apricot and herb aromas and flavors of this wine balanced the spiciness perfectly. We will be making this soup again (although I might alter it further now and again) and I will bring home the Locati Cellars Reed Vineyard (Columbia Valley) Pinot Grigio to see if it would be better, and the Dry Orange Muscat should I kick the heat up in the curry.
You can use the recipe here or the link above go to the Diabetic Gourmet Website for this recipe: Calypso Beef Soup
Makes 6 servings
– 1-1/2 pounds 95% ground beef
– 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
– 1/2 cup chopped onion
– 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (left this out, I can’t eat them)
– 1 teaspoon curry powder
– 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (left this out)
– 2 cups water or ready-to-serve beef broth (homemade stock was fantastic)
– 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained
– 1 can (13-1/2 ounces) light unsweetened coconut milk (regular unsweetened was my choice)
– 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
– 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
– Salt and ground black pepper
Heat large non-skillet over medium heat until hot.
Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch
crumbles and stirring occasionally.
Remove from skillet with slotted spoon. Pour off drippings in pan;
add sweet potato, onion, bell pepper and curry powder.
Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until onion and pepper are crisp-tender,
stirring occasionally. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 minute.
Stir in water, black-eyed peas and coconut milk; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 to 8 minutes or until sweet
potato is tender. Stir in spinach and thyme. Cook 1 minute or
until spinach wilts. Season with salt and black pepper, as desired.
Having been part of the wine making team for both of the wines we were pairing was both exciting and humbling. Growing our herbs and some vegetables, sourcing our meat locally, and making excellent use of our resources is satisfying by itself. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work making wine to share with family and friends – be they at my table or through the tasting room.
Make it and let me know what you pair it with. Cheers!