A Perfect Autumn Evening

14 mths in French oak, stunning wine, concentrated spice and vanilla notes

As the clocks go back, the nights become longer and the cool weather sets in, what could be better than a hearty winter soup with the perfect autumnal wine?

Pruno Wines founder, wine expert and former restaurateur Sean Millar, shares his favourite soothing soup recipe and a delightful red to suit.

He said: “What could be better than an earthy rich soup on a cold Winters afternoon or evening matched by a hearty red. This is one of my favourite soup recipes and one which was regularly featured on the menu at my restaurant. Its relatively simple to make and definitely gets better the day after cooking.”

Casa La Rad Rioja Tinto 2015

Sean added: “Match the Chestnut and Chorizo soup with this ageing Rioja, a red that matches the season well with subtle mellow roundness, autumnal aroma’s ranging from earthy tobacco to cinnamon & nutmeg. This is undoubtedly a natural pairing for hearty fall dishes.”

Chestnut and Chorizo Soup Serves 4

Ingredients:

A little olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stick, thinly sliced
120g mild cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1⁄2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 small dried chillies, crushed
2 tomatoes, fresh or tinned, roughly chopped
500g cooked peeled chestnuts (fresh or vacuum-packed), roughly chopped 20 saffron threads, infused in 3-4 tbsp boiling water
1 l water
Sea salt and black pepper

Method

In a large saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onion, carrot, celery, chorizo and a pinch of salt and fry for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything caramelises and turns quite brown. This will help create a wonderful rich colour and taste. Now add the garlic, cumin, thyme and chilli and cook for 1 more minute, followed by the tomato and, after about 2 minutes, the chestnuts. Give everything a good stir then add the saffron-infused liquid, and the water, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher until almost smooth but still with a little bit of texture. Season with salt and pepper.

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