Friday, March 07, 2008

Leivasupp - Estonian Bread Soup

I'm cooking more and more traditional Estonian fare these days, and really enjoy (re)discovering our humble but delicious cuisine. Here's another pretty unusual recipe for you - a bread soup. And before you start thinking something along the lines of bread-thickened gazpacho and garlic and olive oil, note that this is a SWEET bread soup. It contains rye bread, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and fruit juice. Although it may sound weird to you, it's actually very delicious :) It's an excellent idea for using leftover dark rye bread that's so popular here in Estonia and other Nordic countries, and more easily available across various ponds and oceans as well. We eat it as a dessert after a meal, although it would also make a lovely dessert or mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

The bread should be naturally leavened sour dough rye, and may contain caraway seeds, but not various other seeds (so the German style square rye bread slices with lots of seeds are no good).

Estonian Sweet Rye Bread Soup
Serves 4

400 grams stale rye bread, cut into chunks
1,5 litres of water
a scant cup of raisins, rinsed
100-150 ml (about half a cup) sugar
a cinnamon stick
200 ml cranberry/redcurrant/apple juice

Soak the bread in water until soft. When bread is all mushy, bring the mixture into a boil and simmer, until soft and liquid. Press through a fine sieve and put the bread pureé back into the saucepan.
Add the raisins, cinnamon stick and sugar, sharpen with juice. Bring slowly into a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, fork out the cinnamon stick and cool the dessert soup.
Ladle into small bowls, serve with a dollop of sour cream, whipped cream or milk.

PS The photo above was made when the soup was still slightly warm, and it's pretty smooth and liquid. Leave it overnight, and the soup is much thicker, and you can see the raisins more clearly. Plus you'll be able to eat it with milk.


Karolina Beaudet said...

I've heard of bread soup before, but never about the sweet one. I love desserts with raisins and cinammon so I'm sure I'd love it:)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Pile! Wonderful! In Spain we do have our "national bread soup", one of the oldest recipes around but, as you've's about garlic and paprika. So much so, that we call it "Sopa de ajo" (Garlic soup), it's extremely easy, fast and humble.
Just a couple of questions regarding this one:
1- Do you eat it cold after it has thickened? (Say the next morning, out of the fridge)
2- Do you serve it at any particular time breakfast/dessert/dinner or for any special ocassion? Christmas/Lent/Spring.

Again, your blog(s) is wonderful, and some of us love your estonian food recipes...keep them coming!! The humblier and older, the better!

Evelin said...

sajuudas. eks nii palju kui on leivasupi tegijaid, on ka vist erinevaid variante.

mina näiteks hakkan koolisööklas või kohvikus alati sisemiselt kriiskama, kui leivasupp on hapu. ja kuidagi ei suuda mõista, kuidas inimesed võivad panna mahla leivasupi sisse! täiesti absurdne! kuidaskuidaskuidas?

samuti meeldivad mulle leivasupi sees just igasugused seemned ning seega on mõnus näiteks variant, kus vähemalt pool leivast on Jassi seemneleib. ülimaitsev.

tubli, pille, aga nüüd tee seda õiget leivsuppi ka!;) (eestlaslik õelus ja kadedus ei anna olla:D)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Lovely! Is this typically served as a dessert?

Meeta K. Wolff said...

I first discovered bread soup here in Germany. It was great with a lot of garlic. I do like the sound this - having soup for dessert is so neat!

Maria Verivaki said...

i've never heard of sweet soup before, nor have I heard of soup as a dessert - such an foreign concept.

lobstersquad said...

that´s really something new! I´ll have to try it, but first I´ll have to go to the German deli to get rye bread. this might take a while.

Anonymous said...

This sounds so interesting Pille! I enjoy reading about your local cuisine :)

I just discovered a Scandinavian cooking show on our Asian food channel...I'm so thrilled! :)

Jeanne said...

Intriguing - I'm sure every culture has its equivalent of a bread soup but this is the first sweet one I've seen! Thanks for enlightening us.

Anonymous said...

When I was little we had something called "pudi" in Estonian, which I guess was our version of bread soup. You take some cubed dark rye bread, and mix with either regular or buttermilk, stir in some sugar, wait til it gets a bit mushy, and....voila! Pudi!

Pille said...

Karolcia – well, it would be easy for you to find good rye bread in Poland, so do try this!

Iban – you’re very welcome! I didn’t actually intend to post a recipe for this, as it’s a very humble dish, so it’s thanks to you that the recipe is on my blog now :) You could it this when still warm, although it’s much more common to eat it cold. And yes, it thickens quite a lot when cooling. There’s no seasonal aspect to this soup – we eat bread throughout the year – but it’s a typical pudding to enjoy after a meal or as a light mid-afternoon meal on its own.

Evelin, oh Evelin. Võib vist tõesti öelda, et igal kokal oma leivasupp :) Minule meeldib läbi sõela surutud leivasupp, selline ühtlane. Sees võivad olla vaid rosinad või õunatükid – ja seega seemneleib ei sobi kohe teps mitte!

Lydia – yes, as a dessert.

Meeta – this is a far cry from a savoury bread and garlic soup – though both are lovely.

Mverivaki – we have fruit soup as a dessert quite often, so it’s not so unusual at all :)

Lobstersquad – mmm. I think we could bring some rye bread along at the end of the month. Interested?

Joey – lucky you! So now you can learn even more about what they eat in Moominland :)

Jeanne – you’re welcome! And it’s my pleasure to ‘enlighten’ :)

Anon. – noooo – ‘leivapudi’ is a totally different pudding altogether! Pudi is cold, this is cooked – but yes, both are part of the local cuisine!

Anonymous said...

Could one possibly try Scandinavian rye crisps, those very thin and yummily sour crispbreads, for bread soup as regular rye bread is SOOO hard to find in most parts of the world? I'm trying to imagine this must be somewhat sweet and sour?

Christian said...

I am doing a school project on Estonia because I'm Estonian and nobody in my class know what or where Estonia is. It's really quite sad. So I decided to make an Estonian dish for the class and this is what my mother and I are going to make. :)