Let’s begin by solving a mystery: Rarebit. What does this word mean? Beer, cheese, and bread, baby, brought together for your eating pleasure in a pumpkin soup. (Well, to get the bread you have to serve it with toast, but details details.) This begs the question: why have I not heard of this before?! Now the cheddar, beer & mustard pull-apart bread has a partner in crime.
Reasons to love this soup:
- the ingredients. Did you catch them? Beer, cheese, pumpkin, side of toast. Mmm.
- the smell in your kitchen. I didn’t know it before, but one pot of sauteing onions, garlic & butter, and another of simmering pumpkin & beer, is the coziness that cold weather is made for.
- the speed. Canned pumpkin has a pretty similar taste profile to sweet potato and squash, but it needs no roasting and so is a significant saver of both time & dishes.
Notes: Replace olive oil for butter and omit the cheese if you’re going dairy-free, or (if you’re cooking for dairy-free individuals but eat cheese yourself), split the soup into two pots before adding 1/2 cup of cheese to yours. To go gluten-free, opt for a wheat-free beer. Adjust the amount of stock/water according to your own preferred soup consistency – 1 cup is very thick, 4 cups very thin. And while the recipe recommends serving this soup with toasted walnuts and sides of apple slices, dark bread & a spinach salad, for a more significant feast, add some sliced, garlic-stuffed roast beef and pints for the table.
Pumpkin Rarebit Soup
adapted slightly from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and other timeless delicacies
4 cups canned pumpkin
1-4 cups of stock or water
1 1/2 cups light beer or ale (1 small can)
1 heaping cup chopped onion
2 tbsp butter
3/4-1 tsp salt
2-3 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 packed cup grated cheddar cheese
toasted walnuts (optional)
1. In a large saucepan, whisk the pumpkin with the water or stock until the consistency is even. Whisk in beer. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer, letting the soup cook while partially covered.
2. Meanwhile, in a smaller saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat and add onion, garlic & salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
3. Add onion & garlic, and all remaining ingredients but the walnuts. Stir to combine, and cover partially, allowing the soup to simmer for 20-30 minutes before serving. If desired, top individual bowls with toasted walnuts.