Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking's pea soup was very good BUT it did not match that of Paul's grandma Josie. What can we say? There is something about mom and grandma's home cooking that always wins over in the end.
The book doesn't call for many 'side dishes' or pairings (other than wine) so we have been pairing at our discretion. Unlike the vegetable minestrone, we decided to pair the pea soup with a meat. The monkfish recipe had been calling our names and we finally found it fresh at our local Whole Foods.
Between the soup and monkfish, these recipes required quite a few pots, pans, and kitchen tools. It was only second time we've broken out our new food processor. The pea soup was a bit more complicated because you had to cook, process, strain, then cook again while the monkfish was very simple.
Every step is worth it for the flavor you get in the end. We toasted fresh bread as a garnish for the pea soup and it added just the right crunch. With a mix of spices, the monkfish had a tantalizing aroma and taste. We will absolutely use both of these recipes again; especially the monkfish with other pairings.
Speaking of pairings, we chose to pair the pea soup and monkfish with a white blend. We weren't sure what direction to go in so this felt like a great fit. This dry blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer complemented the unique flavor combinations from the two dishes. The Kitchen Sink White Blend retails at only $9.99 ($8.99 at Total Wine) which is a steal for a quality dinner wine.