Pumpkin Rarebit Soup

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.

One Comment

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  1. I made some this weekend, it was so good!! Definitely more batches to come. Thanks for sharing Carissama xo

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