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Sour meatball soup - A Traditional Romanian Food

If you do visit Romania, you have to try this traditional sour soup! It is served in any Romanian restaurant. If Romania is not in your immediate travel plans, then you should just try to cook this at home. I guarantee you will like it!

The original recipe calls for the lovage herb, which is fairly difficult to find in regular grocery stores in America. The soup is still very good even if you miss this herb. (you can replace it with parsley leaves - but the flavor will be different)  You can buy lovage herb at Amazon here.  This herb is very aromatic and it is used in many Romanian sour soup recipes.

Sour Meatball Soup - Traditional Romanian Recipe


Sour Meatball Soup Recipe (ciorba de perisoare)

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes (preparation: 50 minutes; cooking: 30-40 minutes)

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound grounded meat (mixed beef and pork)
  • 1 pound beef (or veal) with bones
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons rice
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1 parsley root
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 parsnip root
  • 3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bunch of lovage leaves (or parsley leaves)
  • 2-3 tablespoons vinegar

Preparation: 

  1. Bring to boil  6 cups of water in a pot.
  2. Finely slice: 1 onion, the parsley, the parsnip and the carrots and put them in the water.  Add the beef (or veal) meat.
  3. In the mean time soak the bread in water then squeeze it. Mash the bread with a fork.
  4. Mix the ground meat with the other finely chopped onion, the mashed bread and the rice, and season with salt and ground black pepper. For a more tender meat composition add 2-3 tablespoons of water.
  5. Make small meat balls rolling them with wet hands.
  6. When the vegetables become tender put the meat balls in the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  7. When the soup is almost done the meatballs are coming to the surface as the soup simmers.
  8. Add the tomato paste and stir.
  9. Finely chop the lovage and add it to the soup, and then season with salt and vinegar. If you do not have lovage, you can use fresh parsley leaves instead.
  10. The soup is delicious served with a bit of sour cream, and a hot pepper on the side.


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