When the great lockdown of 2020 started, Lentil soup was a popular dish as Lentils pack a lot of flavours, nutrition and keep for an extremely long time. The whole shebang is easy enough to cook up in an InstaPot while you go about your day.
Recipes for Lentil Soup vary, but most of the time, you’re left with an earthier soup that is chunky and savoury. Indian recipes will call for some spicy heat, and North American recipes might include sausage. For most of our pairings, we are focused on vegan versions that aren’t overly spicy and include a wide variety of veggies to liven things up.
Lentil soup pairs best with medium-bodied and lighter reds with a touch of earthiness like Pinot Noir, Chianti, Cabernet Franc, or a French Syrah. White wines work just as well, in particular, a full-bodied Chardonnay or a Vouvray will match the weight of the soup. Should your Lentil Soup be spicy, a flavourful Gewurztraminer makes for a wonderful pairing, as will a Riesling.
Pinot Noir & Lentil Soup Pairing
Pinot Noir is my number one choice for Lentil Soup as this light, and fruity red wine has a dark side with its famous earthy flavours. I, personally, love to throw dehydrated mushrooms into my Lentil Soups as I find they add more character, and Pinot Noir’s forest floor characteristics will complement the mushrooms, along with any other earthy veggies you may have tossed in. No matter what else you’ve tossed in your lentil soup, such as chunks of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, rice, pasta, barley, onion, garlic or any other beans, everything should get along just fine with your glass of Pinot Noir.
The light and fruity nature of Pinot Noir keeps things refreshing, without interfering with all the unique flavours that will pop out of your steamy bowl of Lentil Soup.
Cabernet Franc & Lentil Soup Pairing
Cabernet Franc is a tart red wine that has a green, almost bell pepper, note to it. It’s this tartness and green flavour that makes Cabernet Franc exceptional with Lentil soup. Aside from its herbal and green flavours, Cabernet Franc has lovely flavours of plum and black currant.
A single varietal of Cabernet Franc might be difficult to find, but if you are a vegetarian, it’s worth experimenting with Cabernet Franc as it partners up with so many vegan dishes.
Chianti Classico & Lentil Soup Pairing with Sausage
Chianti Classico is a medium-bodied red wine that is balanced with tannin and acidity. Acidity is important if you’ve tossed some tomatoes into your Lentil soup, or are perhaps eating a tomato based lentil stew. Tomatoes are acidic, and when paired up with a wine that lacks acidity, it makes the wine taste flat and metallic.
Chianti is also grippy with tannin, which will bite into any chunks of sausage. The fat and protein content of the sausage will help smooth out the wine, giving it a velvety shimmer.
Regardless of if your Lentil Soup has tomatoes or not, Chianti is a wise choice as despite being fruity with notes of cherry and raspberry, Chianti has a rustic herbal flavour that complements the earthy nature of Lentil Soup. Not everyone appreciates the herbal flavours of Italian red wines, so if you’re holding a dinner party, a light and fruity Pinot Noir might make for a crowd pleasing choice.
Chardonnay & Lentil Soup Pairing
I’m not a big fan of chilled white wines with hot soups as the shift in temperature change bothers me. If you don’t mind pairing up something cool with something hot, Chardonnay makes for an excellent choice with Lentil Soup. An Oaked Chardonnay is full of toasty vanilla notes along with tropical fruit flavours. The toasty notes complement the earthiness of the lentils, while the tropical fruity flavours provide lots of contrasting refreshment.
Gewürztraminer & Spicy Lentil Soup Pairing
Gewürztraminer is not a white wine meant for everyone as it is full of strong Lychee flavours that not everyone loves, along with some spicy ginger, smoke and cinnamon notes. Furthermore, it’s a touch sweet due to residual sugar, and sweet wines are often not popular sellers.
If you’re willing to expand your palate, an off-dry Gewürztraminer is wonderful with a spicy lentil soup as the the touch of sweetness helps put out the flames of any hot curries used. Meanwhile, the ginger, cinnamon, and smoke notes complement the spicier flavours of the lentil soup, along with the earthiness of the lentils.
If you’re having difficulty finding a Gewürztraminer, or the wine does not jive with your personal tastes, a citrusy and off-dry Riesling will saddle up perfectly fine to a hearty bowl of spicy lentil soup.