Soups can be broadly classified into two categories, clear, thin soups like consommé, and thick soups which can be smooth or chunky, depending on whether the ingredients are puréed or not. They are usually served hot, but can come cold as in the case of gazpacho or vichyssoise.
Tomato soup can be difficult to match. It has gutsy and earthy flavours so avoid anything too tannic and go for a something young and fruity – like a Grenache/Garnacha
Butternut squash and pumpkin soups go well with New World Chardonnays that have seen some oak. In fact this is a good match with many soups that have been made with cream.
Onion and leek soups have an inherent sweetness and pair very well with opulent Rieslings, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blancs from Alsace.
Mushroom soup is lovely with Burgundy, either red [Pinot Noir] or white [Chardonnay]. Or try Burgundy ‘look-a-likes’ from the New World.
With asparagus soup a zesty Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice. The classic wine to match with consommé is dry Madeira.
For gazpacho, Spain’s chilled savoury soup based on tomato, take a tip from its country of origin. The Spanish accompany it with a Fino or Manzanilla Sherry, or try Verdejo – there are some lovely examples from Rueda. Sauvignon Blanc is also a good match.
For Bouillabaisse, a traditional fish soup from Marseille that is served all over the Mediterranean, Rosé is a nice match – try one of the many choices from the area in Southern France.
Creamy seafood bisques require full bodied white wines like Chardonnay or Pinot Gris.