For some, soup is what you eat on a blustery winter night when you're chilled to the bone. On such nights, a steaming tureen will warm the body and salve the soul.\r\n\r\nBut soup is also a summer thing. When the garden and the farmer's market are overflowing with gorgeous produce, your homemade soup will come out of the pot bursting with flavors you just can't replicate any other time of year. And on sultry nights when it's too hot to think about solid food, soup\u2014eaten either chilled or hot\u2014is the perfect tonic.\r\n\r\nStill, once the concept of summer soup is embraced there's another hurdle to overcome. Traditionalists hold that soup, whether in summer or winter, does not go with wine, as it dulls the palate to the charms of the grape. But tradition is giving way to a more relaxed and enlightened view of soup and wine.\r\n\r\n"There's a bit of a stigma out there about pairing soup and wine," says Chef Michael Allemeier, winery chef at Mission Hill Family Estate in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley. "The older sommeliers just cringe when they hear this, but we want to debunk that myth."\r\n\r\n"Traditionally, one wouldn't serve alcohol with soup," says Chef Annie Wayte, of Nicole's and 202 in New York and London. "In the past the alcohol was in the soup." But in her restaurants today, she reports, "the majority do drink wine with soup."\r\n\r\nPairing modern-day soups\r\nBut can soup and wine work when the soup has characteristics of the so-called "emerging" flavor profiles\u2014Latin and Asian\u2014that are so popular today?\r\n\r\nYes, says Chef Richard Sandoval, who has won acclaim for his "modern Mexican" cuisine at Maya in New York and some six other restaurants in San Francisco, Denver and Las Vegas (with new ones opening soon in Mexico City and Dubai). "Latin soups\u2014some of our soups\u2014are a little bit heartier. You could go into a nice Pinot Noir and it will stand up to the heartier soup. Asian, Indian and Mexican are similar in that they are very bold cuisines. They have a lot of flavor. These cuisines can even stand up to Zinfandels and Cabs."\r\n\r\nWhen it comes to actual pairings, however, the virtue of summertime soups\u2014all that fabulous summer produce\u2014can, paradoxically, make the pairings a little tricky.\r\n\r\nTake tomatoes, a highlight of summer. Their acidity has earned them a reputation as being tough to match with wine. Gazpacho, the chilled vegetable soup of Spain that traditionally features raw tomatoes, is a summertime staple. What to do? Allemeier suggests Sauvignon Blanc, particularly one made in the New World style. "The little bit of acidity on the palate from the tomato and the little bit of acidity from the wine kind of neutralizes both of them," he says. And the herbaceous notes of the wine work well with any herbal ingredients or garnishes. He serves Mission Hill's Sauvignon Blanc with both a tomato gazpacho and a chilled tomato consomm\u00e9 (the latter includes a goat cheese dumpling, and is garnished with fresh lovage).\r\n\r\nAnd he'd pair the same wine, or perhaps a Pinot Blanc, with another notoriously difficult character from the farm: asparagus. "Any trace of bitterness in vegetables is a real challenge [when it comes to wine pairings]," says Allmeier. "Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc are my favorite picks to deal with troublesome vegetables. You want to avoid oak and creaminess in the wine and turn to that natural fruit and acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc."\r\n\r\nSandoval is also a fan of pairing Sauvignon Blanc with any number of hard-to-match vegetable-based soups. He pairs it with his avocado-cucumber gazpacho. The soup has a little bit of spice from Serrano chilies. Chilies go well with acidity\u2014you get the nice crispness of the wine."\r\n\r\nBut Sauvignon Blanc is not the only wine for summer soups. "I think ros\u00e9 is often forgotten about and that's sad. It goes very well with summer soups," says Wayte. She also likes Sherry, noting, "A lot of people think of it as a blue hair-rinse brigade choice, but it's not. There are so many varieties." For her chilled white gazpacho, made with grapes, almonds, garlic and bread, she might choose a fino Sherry.\r\n\r\nSandoval agrees, saying, "A nice Riesling or Chard would complement the summer vegetables." In fact, he says, his avocado-cucumber soup would also work well with a full-bodied Chardonnay, preferably an oaky one. "It's a more complex wine than Sauvignon Blanc," he says.\r\n\r\nIf the soup has a bit of spice, as many Mexican soups do, he offers two more possibilities. "Pinot Noir has a little bit of spice, so it complements chilies, or Sauvignon Blanc, because it has fruit and acidity to contrast the spice," he says. If the soup has both spice and acidity, from chilies and tomatoes or tomatillos, "you want a wine that has some acidity."\r\nAnd what of cream-based soups\u2014the bane of wine pairings, because they are thought to coat the palate and mask the wine?\r\n\r\n"We do fortify our soups sometimes with a little bit of cream," says Allemeier. "Then we [pair them with wines that have] a little bit of oak. We pair with lightly oaked Chard or lightly oaked Pinot Gris."\r\n\r\nWayte takes a different tack: she likes cream soups with "a crisp, aromatic white, something with a touch more alcohol and a little bit of sweetness." She likes to pair her creamy soup of summer squash, basil and Parmesan cheese with a Puligny-Montrachet or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.\r\n\r\nWhen summer soup contains animal protein, the pairing requires more emphasis on the "weight" of the ingredients in addition to their flavor profiles. If, says Allemeier, the ingredients are lighter and milder\u2014say scallops, sole, halibut or chicken\u2014the wine will be white, but he avoids oak. Soups with heavier poultry or meat can handle heavier wines, he says, but there's a wide range of possibilities: "Is it something rich and fatty like lamb, or is it something leaner, like pheasant?" For leaner meats, he goes with milder red wines\u2014aged wines whose tannins have mellowed some. Heavier wines can handle richer ingredients.\r\n\r\nIf the soup is a main course on a hot, muggy night, Allemeier has been known to drink Pinot Noir served at cellar temperature, which is 55 degrees. It's great with ingredients such as duck, mushrooms and eggplant, he says. But if your soup is light and cold, "you want something bright, fruit-forward and chilled. In summer, I can't get enough Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier," he says.\r\n\r\nMore soup for summer\r\nMuch talked about when the subject of summer soup comes up\u2014but still something of a novelty for American diners\u2014is chilled fruit soup. Add wine, and it's even more of a novelty, but not an impossible pairing.\r\n\r\n"Summer fruit soup can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. Fruit soup is sweet. The sugar on the palate can make the wine a bit droopy," says Allemeier. He pairs Riesling or Gew\u00fcrztraminer: "The effervescence breaks up the sugar on the palate. The Riesling has great acidity. That also breaks up the sugar a bit." He also notes that a sparkling would be a great match.\r\n\r\nWayte agrees that bubbly wines are a good bet for fruit soups, as well as for Asian-style soups. Wines such as Moscato d'Asti or Asti Spumante are good pairings for her sweet-tart strawberry rhubarb soup. Still wines such as chilled Beaujolais work as well. For her chilled ginger-melon soup, which contains jalape\u00f1o chilies and is actually savory rather than sweet, she'd go with a Pinot Gris.\r\n\r\nThat begs the question: if the chilled soup is a savory one, based on vegetables and perhaps an animal protein or hearty spices, what then? Is there a key to pairing? Allemeier says yes: "You need to be more aware of the seasoning of the soup. Cold soups require more seasoning because the flavors are more suppressed. An acid-based soup will taste not as acidic, as if it had been heated. You can always turn a hot soup into a cold soup [by seasoning it more heavily] but you can't turn a cold soup into a hot soup. It will be too seasoned, too salty." A good wine match should take that into consideration.\r\n\r\nIn the end, the key is not to get too serious\u2014or you'll wind up like the folks who wouldn't pair soup and wine in the first place. "I tell my customers to taste and experiment," says Sandoval. "The main thing is to relax and go with the flow," says Wayte.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nChilled Cucumber Water with Minted Crab Salad\r\nChef Michael Allemeier of Mission Hill Family Estate says this soup is best when made with fresh, peak-season cucumbers from the farmers' market or the garden. Start it the night before to allow enough time for the cucumbers to render their liquid.\r\n\r\n4 large cucumbers\r\n1 leek\r\n1 head fennel, trimmed and chopped\r\n2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped\r\n1 tablespoon sea salt\r\n4 ounces cooked fresh Dungeness crabmeat\r\n1 tablespoon mayonnaise\r\n1 tablespoon fresh mint, chiffonade*\r\n1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated\r\n\r\n*To chiffonade, roll the mint and slice into thin ribbons\r\n\r\nThe day before you plan to make this soup, wash cucumbers well and cut in half lengthwise. (Don't peel them.) Using a spoon, scrape out all the seeds. Dice the cucumber and scoop into a food processor.\r\n\r\nCut the green leaves off the leek and, holding the root end, slice it lengthwise almost to the root. Wash well to remove all sand. Cut off the root, remove any remaining green leaves and dice the white part. Add the diced leek, fennel, dill and salt to the food processor. Pur\u00e9e until smooth.\r\n\r\nPlace a large piece of cheesecloth in a bowl so that the corners hang over the side. Pour the cucumber mixture onto the cheesecloth. Collect all the ends of the cloth and tie them together to form a bag. Tie the ends to a shelf in the refrigerator and place a bowl under the bag so that the liquids from the vegetable can drain through the cheesecloth. Refrigerate overnight.\r\n\r\nThe next day, gently squeeze the bag to release any remaining liquid; then, discard the bag and its contents. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl. Taste and season the liquid with salt if necessary. Chill until ready to use.\r\n\r\nWhen you are ready to serve, combine the crab, mayonnaise, mint and ginger in a bowl, mix well, taste and season with salt if necessary.\r\n\r\nPour the chilled cucumber water into four chilled soup bowls. Using two tablespoons, form the crab salad into four quenelles: With one spoon in each hand, scoop about 1 tablespoon crab salad onto one spoon, cover with the other spoon and shape into an oval quenelle. Gently place a quenelle into the center of each bowl of cucumber water. Serve immediately. Serves 4.\r\n\r\nWine recommendation: Mission Hill 2003 Five Vineyards Dry Riesling from British Columbia. "It has great acidity and is quite dry, with refreshing notes of citrus fruits, apples and melons," says Allemeier. A Riesling from New York's Finger Lakes would also fit the bill.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nPozole de Pato (Corn and Chile Stew with Duck and Shredded Cabbage)\r\nThis recipe is adapted from Chef Richard Sandoval's book, Modern Mexican Flavors (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2002). The original calls for the traditional hominy, but for summer, he says, fresh corn, grilled right on the cob, makes a delightful substitution.\r\n\r\n\r\nFor the pozole:\r\n8 ears fresh corn, shucked\r\n3 tablespoons canola oil\r\n\u00c2\u00bd cup white onion, chopped\r\n2 cloves garlic, chopped\r\n2 dried guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded\r\n4 cups duck or chicken stock\r\n1 bay leaf\r\n\r\nFor the duck and cabbage salad:\r\n1 cup green cabbage, shredded\r\n\u00bc cup red radish, shredded (about 4 radishes)\r\n1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped\r\n2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice\r\n\u00bc teaspoon salt\r\n1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper\r\n4 boneless duck breast halves, with skin\r\n1 tablespoon honey\r\nSliced radish for garnish, optional\r\nChile powder for garnish, optional\r\n\r\nGrill the shucked corn, turning it a few times, until the kernels start to color. Remove the ears from the grill and allow them to cool. When cool enough to handle scrape the kernels off the cobs with a knife and set aside. Discard the cobs.\r\n\r\nIn a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saut\u00e9 over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or until softened. Add the chilies and saut\u00e9 for 30 to 45 seconds or until slightly darkened. Add 2 cups of the stock and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the chilies are softened.\r\n\r\nPour the chile mixture into a blender and pur\u00e9e. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve back into the saucepan, pressing on the solids with the back of a ladle or rubber spatula.\r\n\r\nDiscard the solids in the sieve. Add the corn to the saucepan along with the bay leaf and remaining stock and keep warm.\r\n\r\nMix the cabbage, radish, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.\r\n\r\nHeat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the duck breasts, skin-side down, and sear for about 5 minutes, until crisp. Turn and saut\u00e9 for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until cooked through. Transfer the duck to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then slice each breast diagonally across the grain into 3 thin slices.\r\n\r\nAdd the honey to the pozole and season to taste with salt and pepper.\r\n\r\nTo serve: Divide the pozole between 4 shallow soup bowls. Spoon \u00c2\u00bc cup of the cabbage salad into the center of each. Then, in each bowl, arrange 3 pieces of duck breast angled upright around the cabbage. If desired, garnish with radish slices and sprinkle the rims of the bowls with chile powder. Serves 4.\r\n\r\nWine recommendation: Robert Mondavi Carneros Pinot Noir. "The Pinot Noir will stand up to the hearty pozole. It would be earthy, a little more complex, but it still has a nice acidity, and it would pair well with the duck," says Sandoval.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSummer Squash Soup with Basil and Parmesan\r\nThis recipe is adapted from Chef Annie Wayte's Keep It Seasonal: Soups, Salads and Sandwiches (William Morrow, 2006).\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling\r\n3 pounds zucchini, trimmed and cut into \u00c2\u00bd-inch dice\r\n3 shallots, finely diced\r\n1 clove garlic, minced\r\n3 cups vegetable stock\r\n1 cup heavy cream\r\n1 bunch fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped\r\n1 bunch fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped\r\n8 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese\r\nSea salt to taste\r\nFreshly ground black pepper to taste\r\n\r\nHeat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and saut\u00e9 for about 12 minutes, until the squash is lightly colored. Then add the shallots and garlic and saut\u00e9 for 5 more minutes.\r\n\r\nAdd the stock to the zucchini and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.\r\n\r\nTransfer about two-thirds of the soup to a blender or food processor and pur\u00e9e. Return it to the remaining soup in the pan and set it over low heat. Add the cream and reheat the soup, stirring continually to prevent the soup from burning. Stir in the basil, mint and Parmesan until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.\r\n\r\nPour the soup into 4 individual bowls and finish with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately. Serves 4.\r\n\r\nWine recommendation: A Chardonnay, particularly a Puligny-Montrachet. "The steeliness and creaminess will go well with the creaminess of the soup," says Wayte.