Romanian Meatball Soup / Ciorba de Perisoare

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Romanian Meatball Soup / Ciorba de Perisoare

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For the meatballs:
250 gr veal or pork or a mixture of the two according to preference
30 gr rice
1 or 2 egg whites save the yolks for the soup below
1 tablespoon dill finely chopped dill and/or parsley
ground black pepper for seasoning
For the soup:
Veal Stock (made from veal bone, carrot, parsnip, and celeriac) or a vegetable stock
1 Onion
2 tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 bell peppers
1 or 2 Egg Yolks
Lemon Juice
100 ml sour cream
A bunch of lovage
  • Medium


  • For the meatballs:

  • For the soup:



“Ciorba” in Romanian usually refers to sour soups with vegetables and some form of meat.  They are made sour by adding either lemon juice, “bors”, which is fermented wheat bran, sauerkraut juice, or sometimes even vinegar. “Ciorba de perisoare” basically means meatball soup. This popular soup can be found all over Romania.

Here’s my favorite version. It is usually served hot with freshly chopped lovage on top and some crusty bread. Also, if you like, you can add a spoonful of sour cream in the Transylvanian style and a hot pepper.

Time: About an hour and a half

Servings: Enough for 3 or 4 bowls, depending on size

How to Make Ciorba de Perisoare:

Form the Meatballs:

  1. Put all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. With your hands moistened with cold water, shape the mix into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter: you should get about 30 to 35 meatballs depending on how big you make them.
  3. Place the meatballs in the fridge until ready to add to the soup.

Create the Soup Base:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed 5 qt pot to medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions soften and are translucent.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Form the Soup Broth:

  1. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs one at a time.
  2. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through, they will rise to the top when they are done.
  3. Add the lemon juice and lovage.

Finish the Soup:

  1. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as necessary. Very slowly steadily pour in the egg.
  2. To make shreds, stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for one minute.
  3. Cook for another minute then garnish with parsley.


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