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Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Pumpkin rarebit soup

Jerry Stratton, October 19, 2022

Pumpkin rarebit soup from Mollie Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest is a very nice way to use up those pumpkin parts after carving your pumpkin.

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Mollie Katzen
The Enchanted Broccoli Forest
Review: The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (Jerry@Goodreads)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked pumpkin
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1½ cups Lone Star beer
  • 1 heaping cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 packed up grated cheddar cheese

Steps

  1. Purée the pumpkin and stock in a blender.
  2. Transfer to a saucepan with the Lone Star.
  3. Heat just to boiling.
  4. Simmer, partially covered.
  5. Meanwhile, sauté the onions and garlic with the salt and butter over low heat, until the onions are almost but not quite brown.
  6. Add the onions (scraping the pan) to the simmering purée.
  7. Stir the Worcestershire sauce, peppers, and cheese into the purée.
  8. Continue simmering, partly covered, for another 20-30 minutes, depending on how long it took to sauté the vegetables.
Comedy/tragedy pumpkins

They gave their lives for rarebit stew.

In my continuing quest to find uses for the body parts I collect in the runup to Hallowe’en, last year I made Mollie Katzen’s pumpkin rarebit soup from her Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

Since starting this annual series, I’ve taken to carving two Hallowe’en pumpkins just so I have more body parts left over. The way I cut a pumpkin, two of them provide about four cups of meat. This recipe uses it all.

You can, of course, very easily half this recipe. You’re going to be drinking some of the beer anyway, so why not drink more? And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying pumpkin in a can or jar, or buying fresh pumpkins just to make the soup. It’s less grisly that way.

If I have pumpkin left over, I’ll bake it within a few days of carving, then freeze it in a plastic bag in the until I’m ready to use it.

This is a very comfort-food soup. It has all the flavors of a good old-fashioned soup, simmered together: beer, cheddar cheese, and even a touch of that once-ubiquitous outdoor flavoring, Worcestershire sauce.

Katzen removed from this soup from the “new, improved” version of the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, replacing it with an Arizona Pumpkin Soup that, while superficially similar, gets rid of the beer, the cheese, and the Worcestershire sauce.

Pumpkin Rarebit Soup

In other words, all the good stuff. There are few flavors that better enhance squash than lots of butter or cheese, especially with some pepper added in.

In honor of that bowdlerization, I’m calling for Lone Star beer in the ingredients to make this a Texas Pumpkin Soup. But honestly, you can use any beer. The original recipe calls for light beer, which I can’t recommend, for the simple reason that I never have any on hand and so haven’t tried it. I use Lone Star most of the time, and if I don’t, I use Peroni. I should experiment with some darker beers—I expect a good porter would be great—but Hallowe’en only comes once a year.

We have so little time in our lives to revel in the body parts of the vanquished squash!

Try topping with croutons, corn chips, or toasted nuts if you have them. Something crunchy and salty should be perfect. But I’ve even topped it with an over-easy egg.

It’s open to lots of variation. All sorts of vegetables go well with pumpkin. Some you’d want to sauté with the onions and garlic, such as chopped jalapeño. Others, you might want to roast on a grill and purée with the pumpkin. Roasted red bell ought to be very nice puréed into this soup. Corn, potatoes, herbs of all kinds. This is a great soup for experimentation.

Happy Hallowe’en!

In response to Cream of Jack-o-Lantern soup: Use the body parts of your hallowe’en pumpkin to make a tasty, if disconcerting, pumpkin soup.

  1. <- Pumpkin-coconut soup