Entertain/Food / January 10, 2014

Sassy Soups – New Year. New You. Recipes

Wine Sisterhood Sassy Soup Recipes

As part of our New Year. New You. resolution, we’re sharing some of our favorite recipes that are not only healthy, but also very satisfying. And here at the Wine Sisterhood, we believe that even healthy recipes must be tasty! 

Join us in our New Year. New You. adventure and try one of our tried-and-true Sassy Soup recipes listed below. Have a yummy and healthy soup recipe you love to make? Share it with us in a comment at the end of this post!   

Don’t forget that we have these handy recipe cards to jot down any of these recipes. 

Harira from Natalie Wassum

Thai Butternut Squash Curry with Dungeness Crab from Mary Ann Vangrin

Vegetarian Chili from Chelsea Duran

Hot Winter Gazpacho from Aliza Sherman

Beef & Barley Soup from Angeles Winesett

Harira Sassy Soup Recipe Card from Wine Sisterhood
Click for pdf

Harira from Natalie Wassum

Harira is a fragrant Moroccan stew with a tomato and lentil base. I’ve been making this recipe from Cooking Light since college. Though it’s delicious year round, I always make it when the weather first begins to change in the fall.

Download a printable pdf of this recipe

Lamb is the star of this hearty Harira. Two varieties are often paired with lamb: Merlot and Pinot Noir. Our Middle Sister Forever Cool Merlot or Tenacious Red Night Rider Merlot would be great with this sassy soup. If you’re a Pinot Noir lover, try Middle Sister Goodie Two Shoes Pinot Noir.

Thai Butternut Squash Curry from Mav

Thai Butternut Squash Curry with Dungeness Crab from Mary Ann Vangrin 

This is a light and delicious soup which can be prepared vegetarian if desired.

This time of year, Dungeness crab is in season on the West Coast. Feel free to substitute your favorite local crab, salmon, shrimp or even sautéed shiitake mushrooms.

Butternut squash can be notoriously difficult to peel but happily many grocery stores now stock peeled and prepared squash chunks making this part of the preparation a snap. 

Bonus for those of us avoiding gluten: this recipe is gluten-free!

Wine Pairing: Anything with Asian flavors, especially when there’s seafood involved, pairs beautifully with lighter, even slightly sweet white wines with no oak. I love Middle Sister Drama Queen Pinot Grigio or Wine Sisterhood Pinot Grigio with this soup.

For the Curry:

  • 5 cups butternut squash chunks
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (look for “lite” if desired)
  • 3 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (if unavailable, use 2 tsp. grated lime zest)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (plus more as needed. Use Thai Kitchen brand for vegetarian version. This brand contains no shrimp paste. )
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce (omit for vegetarian version)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • juice of one lime

To Serve:

  • 12 oz.  Dungeness crab
  • 1 scallion, very thinly sliced on the bias into 2” long pieces

Combine all of the curry ingredients except the lime juice in a 3 quart saucepan and place over medium heat. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours.

Let curry slightly cool and transfer in batches to a blender. Blend well. Pass the curry through a fine meshed strainer to make silky smooth. Return to a clean saucepan and add lime juice. Taste and add additional red curry paste for a spicier curry.  Adjust seasoning with the addition of more salt, as needed. Keep hot until ready to serve.

Divide Dungeness crabmeat between 6 warm soup bowls. Ladle curry over crab, garnish with a sprinkling of scallion and serve.

 Serves 6. Calories per serving 265 (with regular unsweetened coconut milk), 190 (with “lite” unsweetened coconut milk)


Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili from Chelsea Duran

Years ago, I decided to go “almost-vegetarian” and drastically cut down the amount of meat in my diet. I happily discovered how fabulous the vegetarian world can be! I think it can be a challenge to make a vegetarian diet work for a former meat-eater, but that’s also the fun part. I’ve modified this recipe for vegetarian chili over the years and can usually pull it together without even looking at the ingredient list. Feel free to swap out different kinds of beans and omit the veggie burger crumbles if that isn’t your thing, or substitute your favorite protein instead. 

Although many vegetable-based dishes are more typically paired with a light, fruity, crisp white wine, given the season, the chill outside and the bold personality of this chili, we’re going in the opposite direction. Try a fruit-forward, moderate alcohol Zinfandel like our Gold Medal winning Deep Purple Zinfandel from Lodi, California.


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 2 T. dried oregano
  • 1 T. salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped 
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (4 oz.) cans green chiles, drained
  • 2 (12 oz.) packages veggie burger crumbles
  • 3 (28 oz.) cans whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 c. chili powder
  • 1 T. black pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 C. fresh cooked corn kernels or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained


Head olive oil in large pot, stir in onion, bay leaves, cumin, oregano and salt Add celery, peppers, garlic and green chiles. When veggies are heated through, add burger crumbles and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes. 

Mix in tomatoes, season with chili powder and pepper. Stir in beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer 45 minutes to one hour. Stir in corn, cook 5 minutes before serving. 

Gazpacho tomato soup

Hot Gazpacho from Aliza Sherman

Cold temps call for hot foods and this warm winter version of a traditionally cold summer soup will help heat you up from the inside out! 

We’re loving the idea of a hot Gazpacho—genius for cool weather months. Since this version has Latin flavors and flair, Middle Sister Wild One Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina sounds like a heavenly match.


  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks 
  • ½ English cucumber, cut into large chunks or zucchini 
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks 
  • 1 15-ounce can of organic kidney beans, rinsed well and drained 
  • 1 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes 
  • 2 cups low sodium tomato or vegetable juice, or vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder, or to taste 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice 
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro  


1. Grind carrot, parsnip, pepper, cucumber, and garlic in a food processor or blender until ground but not puréed. Place in a stockpot.  

2. Purée onion until smooth, and add to the vegetables in the stockpot. 

3. Put kidney beans in the food processor and grind them for about 30 seconds—long enough to give them a fine texture but not long enough to purée. Transfer ground beans to the stockpot. 

4. Add the juice from the tomatoes to the stockpot. Purée tomatoes in the processor and add to the stockpot. Stir to combine. Add the juice or stock, cumin and chile powder, and warm over a medium flame. Taste for seasonings, and adjust if necessary by adding salt and pepper. Keep warm over a low flame until ready to serve. 

5. Right before serving, add lime juice and stir, and garnish each serving with cilantro leaves.  

130 calories per serving from Natural Health

Beef Barley Soup

Beef & Barley Soup from Angeles

Beef and barley soup is always a hit in our home. I drop Kale in just before I serve it, and I use twice as many mushrooms. I use fresh stock whenever possible – I make it with the bone of the meat I use for the soup. And every bowl gets topped with 3-4 slices of fresh jalapeño. Yum!

A beef-based soup points in the direction of a red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or a red blend. We recommend Wine Sisterhood Courageous Cabernet Sauvignon, Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red (50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah) or PromisQous Red which is Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah. These wines are all medium to full-bodied matching the texture of this comforting soup.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. beef chuck (get bone-in, cut the meat away, and make stock with the bone, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 celery stock, 1/2 onion, 1 carrot)
  • 1 T. grapeseed oil (or your fav oil)
  • 1 C. barley (I use pearled)
  • 2 C. Kale – fresh, rough-chopped
  • 2 C. chopped onion
  • 1 C. diced carrots
  • 1-2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1-2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 C. beef stock (or 2 beef & 2 any combo of chicken/veggie stock)
  • 2 C. water
  • 1/4 C. red wine (I use Purple Cowboy Tenacious Red)
  • Oregano or Parsley to taste (dried – approx 1/2 t. of your choice; fresh – just rough chop & add approx. 3-4 T.)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper


Sear meat on high heat in 1 T. grapeseed oil, drop pan/dutch oven to medium-low, add salt & pepper, continue until fully cooked. Add medium-size pinch of chosen herb to meat, give it a quick stir over the heat. Pour wine over meat, use to loosen the drippings from the bottom of the pan.

Set meat aside & turn heat back up to med-high. Add carrots, onions, celery to drippings in the pot & cook til tender (approx 4-6 mins). Add mushrooms & garlic, cook 3 minutes. 

Add herbs (parsley or oregano) – if dried, crush between palm & finger to “awaken” herb – & cook additional minute. 

Add beef stock & water, bring to a boil. Add meat & barley.

Cover, reduce heat, simmer for 1 hour. 

About 5-10 minutes before serving, drop kale into the water and stir gently. Top each bowl with fresh jalapeño, bean sprouts, or fresh slices of ginger for a little kick. Serve with crusty bread.



    • Chelsea

      Thanks Kelsey! Looks delicious!

      10 . Jan . 2014
  1. Wendy Crispell

    My chicken chili is delicious and healthy. Try it with suggested pairings. Cheers! http://sassysipsnyc.com/2014/01/10/pairing-for-chilly-chili-nights-american-flavor-to-fill-your-bowl-and-glass/

    17 . Jan . 2014
    • Chelsea

      Thanks Wendy! Looks delicious!

      17 . Jan . 2014
  2. Cozy Recipes for Chilly Nights – Wine Sisterhood: Women who love wine, food, travel, crafts, entertaining

    […] is a fragrant Moroccan stew with a tomato and lentil base. Lamb is the star of this hearty recipe that is delicious all year round, but truly shines on chilly […]

    17 . Jan . 2019

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