Ciorba de Perisoare - Romanina Meatball Sour Soup


For the soup:
a dash of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 parsnip, diced (the traditional root vegetables used in this soup are parsley root and celery root, which I don't get around here, so I replace with parsnip)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 liter beef stock
Lemon juice to taste (I like my soup quite sour, I use the juice of 1 lemon)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten (optional)
Fresh parsley and celery leaves to taste, chopped (traditionally, lovage leaves are used for this recipe, but again, they are not easy to find where I live so I used parsley and celery leaves instead)
Sour cream to serve (optional)
For the meatballs:
1/4 kg minced beef
1/2 onion, finally chopped
1 egg
2 tablespoon breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons of uncooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley, finally chopped
Note: I used 16 meatballs around 2.5 cm diameter, but the above measures actually yielded the double, I kept the rest for another meal.


Heat the oil in a cooking pot, add all the vegetables and sauté over medium-low heat until they have softened. Put in the tomato paste and stir to combine.
Pour the stock and bring to a boil. Get into a simmer to start cooking the vegetables while preparing the meatballs.
Meanwhile, combine all the meatball ingredients in a bowl, mix them well and make small meatballs. For a quicker version you can prepare them in advance and even keep them frozen.
Drop in the meatballs and simmer around 20 minutes, make sure the rice is cooked. Season with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. At this stage, if desired, slowly incorporate the beaten egg stirring continuously. I have my ration of protein with the meatballs, so I left the egg out.
Include the leaves and serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired. Enjoy!


Soup is an everyday Romanian dish and there are two kinds: Ciorba that is soured by lemon juice, sauerkraut juice or vinegar and Supa with no souring agent. In both cases there are several recipes to explore, but let's begin with this delicious meatball sour soup from Romania, a very traditional one, shall we?


4 servings


Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 2:19am


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