Food and Wine Pairing – With winter upon us, we love nothing more than making delicious creamy comfort soups paired with a tall glass of clean organic wine. Cozy winter meals with food and wine pairing is perfect for cold winter evening dinners or weekend lunches.
You will find a handful of our favorite food and wine pairing options along with our delicious Leek Potato Soup Recipe.
Food and Wine Pairings for Cozy Winter Meals
For years, when it comes to food and wine pairing, I was very limited in my wine sommelier knowledge. In fact, I could only tell you the most striking difference between Sanjiovese and Sauvignon Blanc is that one is red and the other is white. However, detailing the subtleties of each was something I would most definitely defer to a sommelier.
Learning to pair food and wine together took some effort and I can honestly tell you, I enjoyed the process. Learning the notes of each wine and pairing it delicately with clean recipes here on our website is delightful. One we look forward to as we continue to add new recipes bursting with flavor for you to enjoy.
So, why not pair our favorite recipes with a delicious bottle of wine.
Is Wine Considered Clean?
Yes and no. Yes when you choose a delicious clean organic bottle of wine knowing the origin, farming methods and more. No, not when you buy a bottle of wine loaded with sugars and made from pesticide-induced fruits.
I always enjoy a glass of wine with my evening meal. And yes, “Clean Cuisine” and a glass of wine are perfectly compatible. The choice of wine used to be more of an afterthought. But, with confidence thanks to Thrive Market’s organic wine selection, I know immediately what food and wine pairing works.
Food and Wine Pairing for Cozy Winter Meals
Let’s face it; the holiday season might bring good cheer, but it can all be a little bit exhausting too. Sometimes it is nice to just have a cozy winter “picnic” in front of the fireplace (or the Christmas tree!) with food that is easy to prepare, fills you up and makes you feel good.
Red Wine Pairing #1: Leek Potato Soup Recipe + Gruyere Grilled Cheese + Red Wine
First, I wanted to make a Leek Potato Soup recipe using leeks, potatoes, onions and a few green Granny Smith apples. Once the soup was decided and a delicious grilled cheese with gruyere, I would be able to consider the flavor profile of the recipe.
With this in mind, I shared my Savory Whole Grain Bread Recipe (made with superfoods: hemp and chia seeds), and wanted to create a simple winter menu consisting of a “grown-up” grilled cheese with some sort of vegetable-based soup. Brilliant idea I thought! Why complicate things? Plus, you’ll have plenty of leftovers with the bread recipe, so you can do it all over again the next night if you like.
The combination of lemons and apple contributed a nice brightness and acidity that was offset by the richness of the pine nut “cream”. By the way, the pine nut “cream” enabled me to make the recipe completely dairy-free. But whether you serve the Leek Potato Soup recipe with the grilled cheese or not, it’s a great recipe for a winter evening.
Use High Quality, Grass Fed Gourmet Cheese
Clean Cuisine is primarily dairy-free, but still allows for a bit of gourmet cheese. Which means you have some leeway to introduce the deliciously complex flavors of a creamy, earthy and nutty gruyere. And for adults, this always makes the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches. And trust me, a little melted gruyere goes a long, long way to making any homemade whole grain bread recipe instantly more amazing!
After we had the food nailed down, the wine selection could then be determined. Easy peasy. Winter is the perfect season for a Pinot Noir and that this particular wine had just enough acidity to cut through the creaminess of the cheese, but not so much to overpower the soup. The best part is that you can pick up a bottle for about $22. and store on your wine rack for the perfect weekend meal.
Rose Wine Pairing #2: Roasted Chicken and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
A delightful Rose wine pairs perfectly with this delicious Roasted Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. Rose wine is typically juicy, bold and fruity with notes ranging from fruits such as red cherry, strawberry candy drop, and fresh-cut watermelon.
This Roasted Chicken Recipe made with lemon and herbs is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next holiday meal or weekend retreat! Full of fresh flavors, and juicy all the way through, this finished chicken is surprisingly easy to make!
We pair this delicious roasted chicken with savory, crispy and delicious Roasted Brussels Sprouts along with a green salad. Plus, if you’re trying to convinced your loved ones just how delicious Brussels sprouts are, then this recipe will work.
White Wine Pairing #3: Seafood and More Seafood
In general, white wine pairs beautifully with seafood recipes. Try one of these recipes and a bottle of our favorite Sauvignon Blanc.
- Fish Cakes Recipe – This is truly the best fish cakes recipe, not only because it’s delicious but because it’s healthy and clean too. These fish cakes made with raw fish is a game changer!
- Recipe for New England Clam Chowder – Typically loaded with dairy laden cream and butter, this cleaned up recipe for New England Clam Chowder is better than the original. Not only does it taste better, but your gut will thank you for it.
- Shrimp and Grits Recipe – I’ll be honest, every single time I took a big bite from this dinner bowl, I became 1000% certain that THIS is the Best Shrimp and Grits recipe ever made. And Wow!!! Expect a southern-shrimp-cheesy-grits-food-coma!
And there you have it! A simple food and wine pairing for a deliciously comfy, cozy winter dinner. The only thing missing are the cookies (wink).
Food and Wine – Leek Potato Soup Recipe
Food and wine pairing for cozy winter meals including this delicious Leek Potato Soup with Red wine.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups sliced leeks
- 2 cups white skinned potatoes, diced
- 1 cup Spanish onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 organic Granny Smith apples, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- Place the vegetable broth and pine nuts in a high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Set creamy broth aside.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a 5.5 quart ceramic stock pot. Immediately add the leeks, potatoes and onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft. Season with salt to taste.
- Next, to the stock pot, add the chopped apples and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until apples soften. Sprinkle with white pepper and nutmeg. Add the lemon juice and thyme and cook until liquid is reduced, about 2 or 3 minutes.
- Pour the creamy broth in with the onions, leeks and apples.
- Transfer the hot soup to a stainless steel high speed blender and pulse for 20-40 seconds until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, add the soup to a large bowl and use a handheld stick blender and process ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Return to the large stock pot and simmer over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.
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Keywords: Leek Potato Soup Recipe
How to Make Gruyere Grilled Cheese to Pair with the Leek Potato Soup Recipe
For the grilled cheese sandwich, it made sense to incorporate the apple and thyme called for in the soup. A nice Gruyere-Apple & Thyme Grilled Cheese with plenty of mache lettuce sounded very “grown up” to me!
To make the grilled cheese, you’ll want to either have two medium-thick slices of my Savory Bread or 2 slices of another whole grain gluten free bread. Simply brush both sides of the bread lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Then, assemble your sandwich by adding 3 tablespoons of shredded gruyere with several slices of thinly sliced Granny Smith apple. The crisp, tart apple slices are so delicious when combined with nutty gruyere. Add a teaspoon of fresh thyme and some soft, buttery mache lettuce.
Grill the sandwich in a hot pan, making sure both sides get nice and toasty. Oh! And be sure to use a handheld sandwich press to press your sandwich together. If you have never used a handheld sandwich press, trust me, once you use one you will never make another grilled cheese or any grilled sandwich ever again without it. Of course you will definitely want to eat your sandwich warm. So be sure the soup is ready before you grill your sandwich.