Top 12 Most Popular Romanian Soups
Romanians are in love with soup, so much so that many can’t picture a satisfying lunch or dinner without one. Their love for soup is so pronounced that the country has many types and even subtypes of soup.
The two most common soup types are supa and ciorba. Supele (the plural for supa) are usually clear, light, and sweeter by nature, while ciorbele (the plural for ciorba) are generally more dense and seasoned with either borscht or vinegar.
The ingredients vary. Some are solely based on vegetables, some even vegan (de post in local language), but the majority are meat-based. The most common meats used in soups are chicken, pork and beef. Lamb soups are also very popular and are mostly eaten around Easter.
In some parts of the country, mainly in Dobrogea, or in the towns and villages alongside the Danube, fish soups are very popular.
The proximity to Russia and the Ukraine has also made borscht (bors locally) quite popular, especially in the Eastern part of Romania.
Here is our pick of the top 10 best Romanian soups:
1. Ciorba de Burta (Beef Tripe Soup)
Don’t judge this one too soon. We know that beef tripe might not be on your list of favorite foods but you don’t know until you try!
Hands down to the best Romanian soup, it is also the most popular among locals and travelers alike. The unique taste of this soup lies in one of its essential ingredients – vinegar.
You can find this soup at any type of meal as Romanians need an excuse to eat it, but it’s also a good one for the after-party, similar to Ciorba de Potroace.
2. Ciorba de Perisoare (Romanian Meatballs Soup)
With minced meat in the form of meatballs, diverse vegetables, and some green condiments, varying from region to region, this is one of the most popular soups in Romania, and it is no wonder as its ingredients provide great nutritional value while also offering a very tasty flavor.
The preferred meat is beef but the meatballs can be made of pork, turkey or even a mixture.
3. Ciorba de Fasole cu Afumatura (Bean Soup with Smoked Meat)
This thick and consistent stew-like soup is very popular, especially in the western part of the country where it originates. Beans and smoked meat from the bone give it an unforgettable, classic Romanian taste. It is usually served with onion and/or hot peppers and is best enjoyed during the cold winters.
4. Ciorba Radauteana
After her husband wanted to eat beef soup that tastes like chicken, Cornelia Dumitrescu from Radauti decided to do his bidding and invented the “Ciorba Radauteana”.
Made using the same broth as a beef soup but with thinly sliced chicken breast, it is one of Romania’s most popular and tastiest dishes. It also contains carrot, sour cream, garlic, eggs, onion, and peppers.
5. Supa de Galuste (Romanian Dumplings Soup)
Although a lot of Romanian soups are, as you probably realise by now, indeed thick and heavy on the stomach, not all of them are.
Supa de Galuste is a light and fresh meal that is made with chicken and includes unique and fluffy semolina dumplings.
6. Ciorba de Potroace
This is one of the most common Romanian soups. The ingredients may differ slightly from region to region, as with most dishes. The heavy souring of the meal is provided, again, by pickled-cabbage juice.
It may contain turkey, goose, chicken or duck. As well as soups, Romanians also like to party and are famous for being able to hold their liquor. So it is no wonder this bitter soup is known among the locals for its rejuvenating properties after a long night.
7. Pork Soup – Ciorba de Porc
Also a traditional village favorite, this soup originates from Romania’s countryside. The omnipresent pickled-cabbage juice, of course, can also be tasted in this lightly soured delicatessen. The meat is always cooked on the bone for a more profound taste.
8. Lamb Soup – Ciorba de miel
While also having a long shepherding tradition, Romanian cuisine is filled with recipes containing mutton, lamb, cheese, and milk. Soups are no exception to this as this one proves.
Made using the spine, ribs, adn offal of the animal with added vegetables and favorite Romanian savories such as parsley, parsnip, onion, and garlic, the dish is often served as a celebration for Easter.
9. Bors de Sfecla (Beetroot Borscht)
Popular mostly in the Eastern part of the country, this deep red colored soup has a unique taste and comes with all the health benefits that beetroots provide, especially improved circulation.
Inspired by its Ukrainian origin, this popular dish is highly sought after in Romanian cuisine, as well. The special ingredient of this one, however, is not the beetroot, but the pickled-cabbage juice itself. Try this one and you’re in for a treat you can only taste in Eastern Europe!
10. Ciorba de Bureti (Mushrooms Soup)
As a country pierced by the Carpathian Mountains and in many ways defined by the climate they provide, Romania has dense mountain forests. It is in places like these where some of the tastiest mushrooms in the world grow.
Boletus, the rarest and most sought-after species, also makes the best soup when cooked together with legumes and seasoned with parsley and sour cream. You’ll never find such mushrooms at a farm as they can only grow by themselves in the wild. Knowing this simply adds to the flavor of the dish.
11. Ciorba de Urzici (Nettle Soup)
If you have ever walked through a field of thick grass and stumbled across this plant, you will know how irritating it can be. However, there is no reason to hate this wonderful herb as it also has healing, detoxifying, and regenerative powers when consumed.
The Romanian peasant most likely sensed the benefits of this amazing soup as it has always been a staple of village cuisine. While it is usually made in the spring, there is no reason not to enjoy this one all year round, if you have the chance.
12. Bors de Peste (Fish Soup)
The Black Sea offers sun, sand, and fish! Romania has a superb littoral zone which is also connected to the Danube Delta.
Historically, the people of these places cook and eat soup made from local fish such as perch, pike-perch, and carp. The soup is soured with, you guessed it, cabbage juice, and usually served with hot peppers.
Romania is, as you can tell, a great place to eat soup in, as it has a very diverse and historic tradition of preparing delicious ones. If you’re half interested in any of these recipes, we highly encourage you to try them.
If you would like to learn more about Romanian cuisine, be sure to also check out these articles where you’re sure to find out lots of interesting information:
Featured image credit: Jessica Spengler