Pairing Wine with Your Easter Leftovers


Easter Leftovers Soups and Sandwiches

Always choose your holiday meal with a mind to the leftovers! Long before the Thanksgiving turkey goes into the oven, it has me hankering for the simple turkey sandwich of my childhood. Hearty and delicious, with its slices of white and dark meat slathered in mayo with generous slices of the dill pickles my mom used to make each year. Or the rich turkey broth that came later in the week when all the meat had been stripped off the bones and turned into a garlicky soup with the leftover wild rice, and seasoned just before serving with a large handful of finely chopped parsley.

Easter dinner, ham or lamb, is a great source of hearty soup and sandwich leftovers each year.  These are quick soup recipes, made basically the same way, but with different ingredients!

Ham and Bean Soup
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
1 C each diced onions and carrots
2 C red skinned potatoes, washed and diced, skins left on
1 bay leaf
1 TSP fresh thyme leaves
4 C low-salt broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 ½ C diced leftover ham
2 C shredded kale
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Before serving, garnish with ½ C finely chopped fresh parsley
Pass a bowl with grated cheese and serve with crusty baguette


2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced fresh garlic
1 C each diced onions and carrots
1 bay leaf
2 tsp cumin and 1 tsp cinnamon OR 1 TBS Moroccan Spice Blend
2 TBS Tomato paste
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans each of lentils and chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 C diced left over lamb roast
2 C shredded spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 C low-salt broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
Before serving, garnish with ½ C finely chopped cilantro
Pass a bowl for a dollop of plain Greek yoghurt and serve with lightly roasted pita

How to-- for both soups:

  1.  In a large soup pot, heat oil and sauté garlic and diced vegetables, stirring for about 3-5 minutes
  2. When onion is translucent, add spices/herbs and stir another minute
  3. Add canned vegetables and broth, and simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Add leftover meats and shredded greens and simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Garnish and serve.

Ham Sandwiches
I am partial to the simple French bistro Ham Sandwich. On a section of sliced lengthwise baguette, spread both cut sides liberally with UNSALTED butter. Then add a modest layer of ham and a slice or two of French Emmenthal (Boar’s Head Gold Label Swiss is perfect). Of course, you can do hundreds of variations just by changing out the bread and the spread or the cheese.

Try ham on those thin, dense little squares of dark pumpernickel bread smeared with Brownwood Farms Mustard Kream.

Lamb Sandwiches
Thin slices of rare cold roast lamb on your favorite whole grain bread with garlic/marjoram mayo (½ C mayo seasoned with 1-2 cloves minced garlic and 2 tsp finely chopped fresh marjoram.)

Thins slices of rare cold roast leg of lamb in a pita wrap with thinly sliced purple onion, thinly sliced cucumber, diced onion, a crumbles of feta, and Greek yoghurt seasoned to taste with finely minced fresh garlic and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Comfort Food Wine Pairings
Join the Canned Movement
One of the unwritten rules of wine pairing is to match the wine to the occasion. Informal, homey, everyday occasions call for informal, homey everyday wines.  Comfort food matches all those amazing comfort wines for under $10. You will want to try one of the many delicious canned wines coming out these days, some in 375 ml cans—the equivalent of ½ bottle — and some in 200 ml cans. I am a wine purist in many ways, but I approve of wine in a can! All sorts of convenience! The whites, rosés, sparkling, or sweet wines chill quickly. They don’t take up much room in the fridge or a picnic cooler. They are lightweight. They don’t break. They don’t tip over.  They are environmentally friendly.  You can recycle or return and collect the deposit. Any number of well-known brands will be released in cans this spring, as well as a host of new and exciting brands.

Here are some of my favorites to pair with any of the above recipes:

House Wine Sparkling Rosé, Rosé, and Pinot Noir

Sea and Surf Chardonnay

Bonus: Look forward to: Begonia Sangria (BEST I’ve ever tasted!)

Roz Mayberry
About Roz: During her distinguished career, Roz has served a term as the Retail Representative on the MDA's Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and Continues to serve on their Promotion & Education and Competition Committees. In addition, she has served as a judge in various national and international wine competitions.
Working with D&W's wine stewards and SpartanNash's vendor partners, Roz tirelessly explores the vast world of wine, discovering the finest wines for every budget and every taste. And she loves to discuss food and wine with customers and colleagues. As a lifelong foodie, there is nothing else she'd rather be doing.