Øllebrød (Danish Rye Porridge) for Soup Saturday Swappers

Daftar Isi: (toc)

I bet you didn't think I'd make another soup from my Danish background?
Well, tough, I did.  Technically, this is a soup.

Well, maybe a cross between a soup and a porridge.

Literally translated, it means beer bread.  

And I can't honestly say I grew up with it, cause when we had good ryebread in our house, we ate every crumb, stale or not.

Trust me, we did.

BTW, it's time for our Soup Saturday event.  This month we were tasked to make a soup using a craft beer.  And while I had fond memories of the Beer Cheese soup we used to get at a now defunct restaurant in Dallas, I really didn't want to try my hand at recreating it.
Kathy of  A Spoonful of Thyme is our hostess this month, and it was her idea for us to share Soups made with Craft Beer.

So I went to my Danish roots.  And decided to make some Øllebrød.  As I said in the beginning, this is kinda a cross between a soup and a porridge.  

However, in days past, or times of yore, this was a way of using up the end pieces or the last of the loaf of rye-bread.  Back then it was a waste not, want not, way of life and this was often served as a breakfast.  Although it could accompany all three meals of the day, or just replace an evening meal. 
I think it was also an inexpensive way to fill up a little before the main meal.  

In Denmark this is usually made with a beer called a Hvidtøl (White Beer) , which is a seasonal beer, showing up in December. Usually it's very light in alcohol, only about 2 % or so.  It's also a dark malty beer with a hint of sweetness.

Obviously I don't have access to it here, and while I was going to use a local dark beer I absolutely love, I didn't really want to purchase a half gallon.
I love my beer, but that was a bit much when I only needed about a regular size bottle of it.
Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed the rest of the beer, but I had plans for the next couple of days. And Hooter Brown is pretty strong.

And now that I know that they sell it, I'll plan to get some, when I have time to drink it.

In the meantime, I drew upon my scant knowledge, OK, so I have a decent knowledge of some of the dark beers available to me here, and decided to use a bottle of Negro Modelo beer.  Not quite a craft beer, but close enough.

You serve this topped with some whipped cream, or a drizzle of heavy cream or whipped yoghurt or Aeggesnaps.

Rye bread slices soaking. 
Slices broken up a little and simmering in the beer and water.  I make my bread with a lot of seeds.
My first bowl, which had the seeds strained out.  I just topped mine with some lightly sweetened whipped cream and a touch of grated lemon zest. 
After eating half the bowl, I decided to top it off with some of the soup that hadn't been strained, plus of course more whipped cream
after which I ate the whole thing. 

 What can I say, it was totally delicious and filling. 


Yield: 4 servings
prep time: 45 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 75 M
This soup/porridge is traditionally served for breakfast, but it can also be served for dinner or even a late night hangover.


  • 1/2 loaf Dark Danish style rye bread, cut in slices or chunked
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bottle Negra Modelo Beer (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (less if you don't want it as sweet)
  • Juice and zest from one lemon


How to cook Øllebrød

  1. Soak bread overnight in the water, or for several hours. You can also do a shortcut here, place the bread in warm water, on low, very low heat on the stove for about 30 minutes.
  2. Break up the bread in the water and add the beer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and stir, then add the lemon juice and 3/4 of the lemon zest. Let come to a boil, then turn off the heat and let sit for a couple of minutes. (If using a seeded rye bread, you can put it through a sieve and strain out the seeds if desired.) Use an immersion blender and blend the soup together. Top with a little lightly whipped cream and sprinkle with some lemon zest to serve.
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This recipe and many more Danish Recipes are in my cookbook Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Dansk Mad og Opskrifter til et Hyggeligt Hjemme, available on Amazon. Also available as an ebook.
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