Good Question: What Goes with Black Bean Soup?

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Dear The Kitchen,

I'm part of a rotating dinner party group and I'm up next. I've got a killer recipe for vegetable black bean soup that's pretty hearty and spicy, but I'm not sure what else to serve with it.

I was thinking maybe cornbread or something, but do you have suggestions for bread, salads, sides or types of wine that would go well with such a soup? Thanks! And I'll let you know how it goes!
- Marie

Dear Marie,

The first thing that popped into my head was my mom's beer bread recipe. It's buttery (not to mention beer-y) and dipped into a spicy black bean soup, it would be divine, especially in winter. A quick google search will turn up many recipes, all similar to one another (it's a pretty basic formula). I will also post mom's recipe once I get my hands on it this weekend.

As for wine, I patched in a message to Jenny, our wine correspondent, and she says "Here are my three, totally oppositional recommendations:"

1) A rich, alcoholic, extracted Zinfandel, like a Ridge. Or try Bodegas Juan Gil Jumilla Monastrell - a Spanish wine available in NYC at Union Square Wines & Spirits, and Astor Wines. Something with lots and lots of fruit, big alcohol but not too much tannin. Tannin and black beans are not friendly with one another.

2) A dry Sherry; these are an acquired taste, personally I love them but they are bone dry, mildly oxidative and really nutty. Either a fino or a Manzanilla but not a cream Sherry.

3) Demi-Sec Vouvray, a soft light Chenin Blanc with a hint of sweetness, just a hint.

Good luck!

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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