Wine Shines in this Soup-er Meal With White Beans & Spinach

Any time of year is soup time in our household. Soups are great for lunch or a pre-dinner course, and the hardier soups/stews are dinner staples in the colder months of the year. The soup featured in this post is light enough to be served year-round, is packed with flavor, lean on calories, and heavy on vitamins and nutrition. What more could you want? Wine? Of course, May is Oregon Wine Month!

This combination of ingredients and flavors is one of my favorites. It is very similar to the Italian soup Ribolitta. You can add any vegetables you wish. In spring, fresh veggies from the garden don’t exist in our area so I use canned tomatoes, root veggies such as onions, and canned beans. I do prefer using fresh spinach instead of frozen.

Springtime in the Pacific Northwest still has some cold nights and cool days so this soup is perfect to have on hand. It’s a great vegetarian meal, however, if you want to add sausage (for meat lovers and a more substantial soup), feel free!

The white wine featured in this recipe is a chardonnay from Averaen Wines, Flood Line 2019. Averaen calls it a “full-bodied Chardonnay with a viscous texture and elegant wood tannin structure,” and I agree. Personally, I’m not much of a Chardonnay drinker, but the two varietals from Averaen changed my opinion.  I paired this soup with Averaen’s other chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2019. Either are excellent Chard’s for drinking and cooking. 

There aren’t a lot of steps to making this soup and it cooks up in about 30 minutes. 

Substitute vegetable broth if you do not wish to add wine to the soup.

While experimenting with this Chardonnay, I made a white wine sauce for grilled salmon. It is good enough to be considered for the Wine & Food Pairings cookbook in development.

It’s Soup Time With White Beans & Spinach

Yields 4 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped small
  • 1 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white beans (great northern or cannellini), drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups fresh spinach (approximately 6-8 ounces)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cheese rind (approx 2-3 inches long)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. In a large Dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and red pepper flakes. Saute until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pan and continue to cook for another 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Taste, season with salt and pepper and serve with Parmesan cheese.
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