Ciri's Beer Potage (vegan)

 reading time: 3 min

They had eaten beer potage, thick with croutons and cheese, and Ciri had been surprised they had not served mushrooms as well. They had drunk cider, but the girl had been given water and was clearly both astonished and revolted by it.
»Where's the salad?« she had yelled, and Lambert had rebuked her sharply and ordered her to take her
elbows off the table.
Mushrooms and salad. In December? 

Blood of Elves, Andrzej Sapkowski

In chapter 2 of the first book of the Witcher saga written by Andrzej Sapkowski, Blood of Elves,
the princess of Cintra, Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, better known as Ciri, is trained at an old witcher's keep called Kaer Morhen by Geralt and other witchers. During her time there, the sorceress Triss Merigold comes to Kaer Morhen, and together they enjoy a meal – beer potage, a soup "thick with croutons and cheese".

Today, we are making a vegan version of said soup!

Ciri is outraged at the lack of mushrooms and salad in this meal. (source)

Beer potage – or beer soup – refers to a roux-based soup made with beer. In medieval Europe, it was served poured over bread as a breakfast soup, served with cider – and no mushrooms.

Personally I'm not a big fan of alcohol – indeed, I try to take in as little as possible, because I don't like the taste and I definitely don't like the intoxicating effect on health –, but every now and then I will use a bit of wine or even liquor in meals such as my scrumptious vegan Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cake
or my vegan Bilbo's Seed Cakes. So today we have my first ever recipe on my blog that features beer.
This beer soup is rich, thick, creamy, and cheesy, and incredibly easy to prepare. I recommend pairing it with crunchy croutons and freshly squeezed lemon juice which balances out the heaviness of the cheese.


adapted from Geeky Chef and Nerd Mit Nadel

Preparation time: 35 mins
Main ingredients: beer, cheese, cream, pearl barley
difficulty level: easy
serves: 4
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, soy-free, low-sodium


50 g vegan butter (I use the German brand Alsan bio)
2 tbsp flour
1 large white onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups light beer
500 ml water + 1 tbsp vegetable broth concentrate (or 500 ml vegetable stock)
100 g pearl barley
375 ml non-dairy milk
125 ml vegan creamer
125 g grated vegan cheese (I use the German brand Simply V)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

chives, to serve
rye croutons, to serve
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to serve


Make a roux by heating up vegan butter in a medium-sized pot. Stir in the flour, using a wooden spoon or a whisk. Continuously stir over medium-low heat until the flour is golden in colour, about 4 minutes. Do not burn the flour.

Add chopped onion and minced garlic, and sautée for another minute, constantly stirring. Deglaze with the beer.

Next add in the pearl barley along with your water and vegetable broth concentrate. Place a lid on your pot, and simmer the soup for about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.

Once the pearl barley is cooked through, and the soup is nice and thick, add grated vegan cheese and vegan creamer. Turn off the burner, and allow the heat of the soup to melt the cheese.

Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Serve soup in bowls topped with croutons and chives and a generous squeeze of lemon juice, if you'd like. Apple cider or dark beer is great to accompany this meal.

- To make this soup more nutritious, feel free to add in some vegetables such as leek and/or potatoes.
- Use Polish beer such as Tyskie Polish Lager or Żywiec Biale, for a more authentic taste.
- Make your own rye croutons by toasting 3 thick slices of rye bread in a pan, with a bit of oil, until browned and crisp. Flip in-between. Cut toasted bread slices into cubes.


Looking for more nerdy recipes? Check out some of my other fiction inspired creations:

Queenie's Apple Strudel (vegan)