RECIPE: Hungarian-style paprika mushroom soup paired with Stellenbosch Hills’ Chenin Blanc & Merlot

Stuck for a simple, but great food-and-wine recipe? Stellenbosch Hills always has your back, thanks to its diverse range of sumptuous food-friendly wines. The dish also happens to be meatless – so great for vegetarians too!

The occasion is the celebration of Stellenbosch Hills’ latest vintage wines – a 2021 Chenin Blanc and 2018 Merlot. Notable for their quality and intense flavour profiles, the wines are great by themselves but even better when served with a delicious meal.

The recipe that marries the two – a Hungarian-style paprika mushroom soup – was developed for Stellenbosch Hills by well-known foodie and cookbook author, Ilse van der Merwe, aka The Food Fox.


Recipe: Hungarian-style paprika mushroom soup

(serve 3-4 as a main, or 6 as a starter)

60g (4 tablespoons) butter
30ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
500g brown or portabellini mushrooms, sliced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely grated/chopped
20ml (4 teaspoons) sweet paprika
30-45ml (2-3 tablespoons) fresh thyme leaves, stalks discarded
10ml (2 teaspoons) dried origanum
500ml (2 cups) chicken/vegetable stock
125ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine
30ml (2 tablespoons) soy sauce 250ml (1 cup) milk
45ml (3 tablespoons) flour – cake or white bread flour
250ml (1 cup) fresh cream
Salt & pepper
15ml lemon juice
A handful Italian parsley, finely chopped, to serve
Fresh bread/baguette, buttered & toasted, to serve (or chunky croutons)
A few dollops sour cream or thickened cream, to serve (optional)

In a large wide pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the oil. Add the onions and fry until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the mushrooms, garlic, paprika, thyme and origanum and continue to fry for about 10 minutes, stirring until the mushrooms have softened and the bottom of the pot starts to become sticky.
Add the stock, wine and soy sauce and bring to a simmer – cook for 5 minutes. In a medium jug or mixing bowl, add the milk and flour and whisk to mix thoroughly. Then, add the mixture to the pot along with the cream. Stir well and bring to a simmer, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the soup has thickened, stirring often. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, then taste and season further if needed.
Serve hot in bowls, scatter with chopped parsley, toasted bread/croutons, and if you wish, a dollop of sour cream or cream.


Wine pairing and tasting notes:

Hallmarks of the Chenin Blanc include its fine balance, fruity character and crisp acidity. Imagine a burst of passion fruit and stone fruit from the glass with notes of melon, green apples and litchi, held together by a hint of lemon zest.

As for the full-bodied Merlot, the wine sings of red, black and mulberries as well as ripe plums on a backdrop of oak spice and hint of cloves. It won Double Gold at the 2021 National Wine Challenge and was named Red Wine of the Year in the 2021 Ultra Value Wine Challenge.

The 2018 Stellenbosch Hills Merlot sells for around R94/bottle; and, the 2021 Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc, for around R63/bottle.

The wines are available online via or at leading wine retailers countrywide.