Pumpkin Soup + IPA

Trying my hand at a creamy Thai Pumpkin Soup and discovering that the IPA in my fridge goes really, really well with it. Happy Sunday!

Thai Pumpkin Soup with James Squire Stow Away IPA

I’ve had a flu for the better part of the week, leaving me feeling far more ‘girl+snot’ than ‘girl+beer’ so it’s not been a very beery week. No point in drinking it if I can’t taste it.

To kill off the last of this bug, I decided to try my hand at a Thai Pumpkin Soup from Bill Granger’s ‘Bill’s Everyday Asian’ cook book. I’ve used this book many times and it’s suitably covered in dots of sauce and oil. I love when my cook books look like this and it makes it easy to remember what recipes I’ve liked the most! This soup is stupidly good and pretty easy. That’s two boxes ticked! It also makes quite a fine match to a James Squire Stow Away IPA. I have to be honest, this kinda surprised me.

Bill Granger’s Thai Pumpkin Soup
from ‘Bill’s Everyday Asian’

I don’t find the Stow Away IPA particularly bitter; the bitterness is more soft than tongue-rippingly sharp but there’s a little spice and some malt sweetness in there too. I suspect an American style IPA with far bolder bitterness would have pulverised the poor little soup into submission and perhaps this is why this particular IPA made for a good match to the soup which calls for spices such as cumin, coriander and cinnamon. As it is a Thai style soup it also required some heat so in went a couple of chillies and a nice dash of paprika. I say “dash” because the recipe calls for a teaspoon but I didn’t have any clean ones on hand so I guessed. The chilli and paprika created a slight chilli heat to the soup and mirrored the slight bitterness in the beer.

I’d like to be able to say this beer + food match was set up, planned and expertly executed but I’m not that clever. In reality I made the soup and my boyfriend wandered past and dropped a beer beside me thinking it might work – he’s a good man.

Soup + Beer
You’ll note that saucepan is almost filled to the brim …
I’m not sure what ‘serves 4’ means to Bill but I think he’s feeding some very big people!

Quesadillas + IPA

When we decide to cook Mexican at home it usually ends up being tortillas, always delicious and I always have just one too many! This particular night, however, I decided to stretch my Mexican cooking skills a little further to quesadillas; a Mexican dish that Jamie Oliver describes as “basically a Mexican-style stuffed pancake”. Two different IPAs to match and another successful night in!

Drinking Ginger Beer and making Homemade Guacamole

When we decide to cook Mexican at home it usually ends up being tortillas. They are always delicious and I always have one too many because the pain of completely over eating seems totally worth it at the time.

On this particular night, however, I decided to stretch my Mexican cooking skills a little further to quesadillas; a Mexican dish that Jamie Oliver describes as “basically a Mexican-style stuffed pancake”. Its hard to fault that logic.

I am going to be adding quesadillas to my list of fun dishes to cook at home. I did them on the hot plates which ended up looking great on the table and kept them hot, hot, hot!

We always go for Pale Ales or IPA with this style of food and perhaps it is because it’s a great pairing or perhaps because it’s the type of beer we buy the most, hell it’s probably both.

Feral Hop Hog
Swan Valley, WA
American IPA | 5.8% abv

I had found Feral Hog Hog on special at Cape Cellars for just $14.99 leaving me no choice but to snap it up. Meanwhile, unknown to me, my boyfriend was picking up a case of James Squire Stow Away IPA. I guess great minds think alike (or, as my father would say, fools seldom differ).

Feral Hop Hog, always amazing, was first up before the cooking started. There was something very cool about coming home to find your boyfriend and dog playing in the backyard and a case of India Pale Ale by the back door.

James Squire Stow Away IPA
Sydney, NSW
IPA | 5.6% abv

The four pack of Hop Hog disappeared quickly which was sad but, knowing it will soon be flowing from a new brewery capable of 10 million litres of beer a year put the smile back on my face! We moved to James Squire Stow Away IPA for dinner. The change in IPAs proved to be an interesting little taste experiment, the Hop Hog boasting far more hop aromas and flavours with crisp stone fruits whilst the Squire version was more malty sweet and biscuity. Maybe it’s about time we did an IPA tasting, I guess I better get to the International Beer Shop!

Beef Quesadillas with Fresh Lime, Guacamole and Sour Cream + Stow Away IPA


  • Beef Mince
  • Garlic
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Spanish Onion
  • Chilli
  • Mushrooms
Throw it all together and breathe deep cause it all smells great!


  • Avocado
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Spanish Onion
  • Fresh Lime

Fire up a hot pan and don’t be shy with the oil. I did this by cutting my tortilla in half but I guess it would be easier to just fold it over – not sure why I automatically picked the harder way to do it but never mind that! Sprinkle on a little cheese (I use the local Capel Shredded Cheddar) and then spoon the mix on over the top. Fold (or place the other half of your tortilla) and flatten with a spatula. Cook until crisp and repeat with all the ingredients you have left! Serve with sour cream, the guacamole and a wedge or two of fresh lime.

Oh, and don’t forget the beer!