Welsh Rarebit Soup

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Thick, rich, and smooth, this soup has all the tangy, wonderful flavors of classic Welsh rarebit. Use any mustard you like and your favorite amber-colored beer — dark beer is too bitter and makes the color of the soup a bit murky.Save the leftover potato cooking water to use as stock. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer, it will keep for up to 3 weeks. For a Moosewood Daily Special meal, this full-flavored cheese soup should be coupled with an equally assertive salad. The bread should be dense and dark. We recommend topping this soup with hearty Pumpernickel Croutons.

Yields 11 Cups

Welsh Rarebit Soup
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups chopped potatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 12 ounces beer (use ale or light beer, not a dark beer)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • chopped tomatoes
  • croutons
  • chopped fresh chives (optional)
  1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes and garlic, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes cook, warm the butter and oil in a soup pot.
  4. Add the onions, celery, bay leaves, and cayenne and sauté on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are very tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  6. Stir in the beer, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  7. Drain the potatoes, reserving their cooking liquid.
  8. Add all of the potatoes, 2 cups of the potato-cooking liquid, the milk, and the grated cheese to the soup pot and stir well. In batches in a blender, purée the soup until velvety smooth.
  9. Return to the soup pot and gently reheat, if needed.
  10. If the soup is too thick, add enough potato-cooking liquid to reach the consistency you want.
  11. Serve topped with chopped tomatoes and croutons and, if you wish, sprinkle with chives.
Worcestershire sauce, vegetarian This zesty, savory condiment adds a lively flavor to soups, sauces, dressings, etc. Edward and Sons Trading Company, Inc., in California produces a delicious sauce called The Wizard's Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce that almost duplicates the original classic version, which contains anchovies. Try a natural food store for this or some other vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. PER 12-OUNCE SERVING. 399 CALORIES, 17.2 G PROTEIN, 26 G FAT, 22 8 G CARBOHYDRATES, 15 G SATURATED FATTY ACIDS, 69 MG CHOLESTEROL. 737 MG SODIUM, 2.1 G TOTAL DIETARY FIBER
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