Kamis, 06 Maret 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.