Chilled Buttermilk Soup

I grew up in the rural parts of northern Germany. On a little island in the Baltic Sea, surrounded by, well, the sea, but also in midst fields and meadows.
For my family, cooking, baking and food are important in our everyday lives. Take, for example, my grandmother.
My grandmother worked for a farmer and his family when she was young. So she became familiar with the traditional dishes of the region and the way they are prepared. While working on a farm she also learned everything about where food comes from.
She cooked for her husband and her four children over many years and enjoyed it to cook for herself and the family after my grandfather died. When I was born, my grandmother came day after day to take care of me and make me dinner. When I grew older, I still visit her for lunch after school on a regular base. Now it is on me to cook her something she likes.

Today I choose one of these traditional meals that are typical for our region. It is easy to prepare and comes together in literally no time. It is ideal for lunch on a summer day or for breakfast.
It is delicious with fresh berries like strawberry or gooseberry or maybe with a fruit compote. Today, I choose a fruit compote after a recipe from the talented Heidi Swanson of 101 cookbooks. If you want to make it more filling, you can serve this buttermilk soup with a bit of granola and dried fruits. Then you have the thick soup with a citrus note together with crispy nutty granola and the sweetness of the fruits.
Another recommendation is a version with biscuits, adapted from The Kinfolk Table cookbook.
I was really surprised when I stumbled upon the recipe in the book. It says: « This is a traditional Danish summer dish, which, as far as we know, is not found anywhere else in the world. »
That is clearly not the whole truth, but I have to admit, that Denmark is only a stone’s throw away.
I found it really exciting that the Danish enjoy it as well, but with a slight different but also delicious adjustment.

Note: The soup needs to chill at least 60 minutes. If you want to enjoy the soup for a summery breakfast, you can refrigerate it overnight. 
(serves 2)
3 egg yolks
1 cups / 250 millilitres buttermilk
1 cup/ 250 g plain yoghurt ( this time I used Greek yoghurt)
50 gram sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
a pinch of salt
grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 pinch of grated nutmeg
3 slices of brown bread, toasted and grated (optional)
  • Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla bean and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
  • In a larger bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the yoghurt. Then add the egg mixture and the nutmeg as well as the lemon zest and juice. Stir well.
  • If you have bread on hand (which I haven’t)  toast a few slices and add the grated bread to the mixture. Stir again. This is the traditional way and it makes the dish more substantial.
  • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or until completely chilled.
  • Serve with toppings of choice.
The Kinfolk Table – Recipes for Small Gathering, Nathan Williams (2013)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *