Saturday, May 18, 2019

Øllebrød (Danish Rye Porridge) for Soup Saturday Swappers

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.
All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2020, with all rights reserved thereof.

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.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.


  1. Love the photo of the empty bowl. Congrats on your success in recreating the porridge!

    1. I had to show that I did actually eat this soup, and delighted in it as well.

  2. That is an unusual soup! Being a lover of rye bread I know what you mean about it disappearing... This looks as though it was good to the last spoonful! Thank you for participating!

    1. It is. It can be made more soup-like, I misjudged just how thick it would become but it was totally delicious, albeit a little different. I'm glad to see there is another rye bread lover out there. I've actually eaten it several days now, and plan on making it again.

  3. I love when you share recipes from your homeland. Thanks so much for doing so again...don't stop anytime soon.

    1. Thanks, I love exploring the cuisine from my homeland as well. I won't stop, there are so many recipes, and having an excuse to make and share them is a real delight for me.

  4. I'll bet rye bread adds a unique flavor. Sounds delicious!

  5. The rye does add a unique flavor and the lemon elevates this soup tremendously. One wouldn't think they would go together but they do, fabulously.

  6. Thanks for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  7. A Dane here with a comment for making it more accessible and fit for every day eating :) I can add that the easy way of doing it (I am eating mine right now) is:
    In the evening, crumble 2-3 slices of rye bread into a bowl and add water so it just about covers the bread crumbs. You can also add a couple of tee spoons of cane sugar. Let it sit on your kitchen counter until the next morning where you prepare it: Put it in either the bowl you want to eat it from and cook it in the micro wave for 4-5 minutes (stirring now and then), or cook it on your stove in a casserole until it is like a porridge. Add whipped cream and enjoy. :)

    1. Great, thanks for the tip. I will be making this again for myself, but will try your hint.

  8. Hi
    How much is "1/2 loaf Dark Danish style rye bread" in g?
    Here in Germany we have "loaves" from 250g to 4 kg.

    Would love to try this recipe! :-)

    1. I would say it depends on how big your loaf is. I did not weigh mine, but think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 554 grams. I think though, you can use whatever size loaf, and just add the enough of the other ingredients, to make a lovely thick soup.


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