Good and Ugly

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Not surprising to anyone who has seen my posts, I’m learning how to take pictures that properly highlight the foods I’m presenting. As you can see from this post, I still have a good deal of work ahead of me 😊 but the dish itself is so tasty, I wanted to share the recipe now.

Recently, I wrote about ways to make creamy sauces without necessarily using milk or cream, and cannellini beans are a preferred method of mine:

https://thefoodpuzzler.com/2016/02/22/the-swaptastics-part-three-creamy-bean-sauces/

because they’re one of the quickest ways to introduce a creamy element to a dish, especially if you don’t know whether you’re serving to people with nut allergies. However, I also love cheese, and occasionally mix the two together, either as a bean and cheese wrap, tossed into pasta, even … oatmeal. Really, it’s very good!

I started wondering if I could bring out the flavors found in a Welsh rarebit dip — which is a cheese dip layered with aromatic and savory mustard, ale, Worcestershire sauce and a kick of heat — but using beans for a significant part of the dairy. It turns out that I can’t make it look good (I can’t believe I ‘had’ to have flowers made from carrot, celery and pepper…) but I can make it taste incredibly yummy.

This starts as a creamy soup which acts nicely as an appetizer, or paired with a salad as a light lunch. However, with the addition of a little shredded cheese while the soup simmers, this soup transforms into the cheese dip which had me and my faithful testers scraping the bowl clean.

Creamy Welsh Rarebit Soup/Dip from a Blender!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
4 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained if from a can
1 bottle (about 1 cup) non-alcohol beer
1 teaspoon Mustard
3 teaspoons Worcestershire or soy sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons onion powder
8 shakes of Tabasco sauce or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
FOR DIP ONLY: 1/2 cup shredded cheese like pepper jack or cheddar, divided

Procedure:

1. Place all but the optional ingredients in a blender and purée the mixture.

2. Pour contents into a large sauce pan (the beer will cause some lift during the initial cooking, so this can help avoid spillage) and bring contents to a boil.

3. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Here, you have a lovely soup that provides 4 one-cup servings. Serve accompanied with crackers or crudités of choice.

However, if you prefer the thicker texture for dipping, and to add a boost of flavor, now add in 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese and stir to incorporate. This mixture thickens quickly (as you can see in the picture, I could place the bowl on its side and it didn’t shift much at all) so only add the extra 1/4 cup of cheese if necessary.

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