Soup can be rather difficult to pair with beer, but it doesn’t need to be. The next time you’re craving a glass of ice cold, foamy beer with your bowl of chili but don’t know what to choose, don’t worry about bouquets and overtones, just focus on the ingredients in the bowl and the origins of the beer.
A chilled Corona with a wedge of lime is always a good accompaniment for Mexican food, but it also goes brilliantly with a Greek-style prawn stew studded with herbed tomatoes, garlic, and onion and topped with tangy Feta cheese.
Try it with Mexican-inspired soups such as tortilla drizzled with lime and sprinkled with fresh coriander, or a smooth black bean spiced with cumin. It’s also a good accompaniment to clear Asian soups like Vietnamese Pho, a rich beef broth poured over noodles, bean sprouts, thinly sliced beef, and fresh Thai basil.
For hearty, rib-sticking soups and stews, look to the cold-weather countries for beer inspiration.
Try a rich slow-cooker bean soup with spicy Chorizo alongside an icy Dutch Heineken, or pair a creamy potato corn chowder sprinkled with sharp cheddar cheese with a luscious Belgian Trapiste.
If lighter vegetable soups such as roasted red pepper, smooth parsnip, or carrot dill are more your style, turn to a lighter yet full-flavored beer like a Sam Adams lager. This beer is a versatile one and goes equally well with sturdier fare such as black-eyed pea soup with luscious chunks of tender ham, beef stew with a hint of Worcestershire, or white chili laced with cumin and mild green chilies.
Whatever your favorite autumn soup is, there is a great beer out there to accompany it.
Carrot Dill Soup
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- olive oil for frying
- 8-10 carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into chunks
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat and add onions. Cook about 5 minutes until golden and translucent. Add chunks of carrots and cook 5 minutes.
Pour over broth, stir in dill, bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes until carrots are very soft.
Remove to cool 5-10 minutes. Using immersion blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve warm.
Greek-style Prawn Tomato Stew with Feta
- olive oil for frying
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 3-4 heads garlic, peeled and sliced
- sea salt
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with herbs and garlic
- 2-3 cups raw prawns
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 cup Feta cheese, cubed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sea salt and sauté until onions are browned and translucent.
Scrape onion-garlic mixture into a deep casserole dish. Add tomatoes, prawns, and fresh herbs. Stir well and top with Feta cheese. Place in hot oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until mixture is bubbling and Feta is browned.
Serve warm as is or over rice.
Slow-Cooker Two-Bean Soup with Chorizo
- 1 chorizo sausage, halved and sliced
- 2 cans cannellini beans (do not drain)
- 2 cans kidney beans (do not drain)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic and herbs
- 1 can sweet corn, drained (optional)
Place chorizo in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté until browned and crispy.
Combine chorizo with remaining ingredients (except corn) in slow-cooker. Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Just before serving, stir in sweet corn.
All photos are courtesy of the author.