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!
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.