February 10, 2008

Plate Profile – Tinto’s Sopa de Castaño

Sopa de Castaño

It’s time for another Plate Profile—a feature designed to highlight a dish being served in a Philadelphia restaurant that you need to try.

The chill of winter begs for hearty bowl of soup. And restaurants all over Philadelphia have been doing their part this season to create interesting versions of our favorite comfort classics such as butternut squash and carrot soups.

But the one soup that should not be missed this winter is Tinto’s Sopa de Castaño, a truffled chestnut soup ($12). What makes this soup so special is that it delivers intricate structure without tasting busy or out of balance.

The sweet, velvety soup is poured around a pillow of savory duck and mushroom hash that’s crowned with a fried quail egg. The hash’s chewy royal trumpet mushrooms parallel a delicate whisper of truffle oil to provide deep layers of woodsy and earthy goodness. Flecks of pistachio add texture while simultaneously echoing the soup’s nutty core. So intense, sinfully rich and satisfying on a primal level—one bowl of this soup will make even the most faithful man or woman feel like they just cheated on their spouse.

The wine you’ll want to pair with this decadent delight is the Domaine Brana Irouléguy Ohitza ($13/glass), a blend of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Smokey with dark fruit flavors and notably round for the typically angular varietals at play, this medium-bodied wine has the weight to stand up to this powerful soup. At the same time, its woody tannins not only cut through the soup’s richness but also seemlessly blend with its earthy texture. The Ohitza also boasts a remarkable current of acidity that elevates the soup’s flavor.

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