Romanian meatball soup called Ciorbă de Perişoare will quickly become a family favorite, I mean really who doesn't love a meatball right? This recipe calls for a herb you have probably never heard of called lovage. I have no idea how this herb is not really popular here in the states. I would describe it as bitter, like a celery leaf, but when it is cooked in the broth, something magical happens. It truly adds a unique flavor that I have simply fallen in love with. It is really not like something else, so I highly recommend you get some here and try it.
I fell so much in love with the flavor of lovage that we now grow it in our garden. If you would like to try fresh lovage you can buy seeds here. I have never seen it sold fresh in a market here in the USA. If you have, please let me know where, in the comments below.
This Romanian meatball soup has a sourness to it from vinegar and the meatballs are made with a combination of pork and beef. It is a hearty soup with many root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, and celery that your family will love, especially in the cooler months. It can get quite cold in Romania and soups and stews are staples there. Be sure to also make the baked Mămăliga with it. It is made from cornmeal and makes a lovely accompaniment to the Romanian meatball soup. Also it would be appropriate to serve this soup with a side of sour cream and a hot chili. That would be customary there and is a great addition!
Did you know that Romania is home to the most beautiful waterfall in the world. It is called Bigar Cascade Falls in Caras-Severin. It was voted number one in the world by World Geography. It is unique because of its stunning beauty and the way the water falls. If you would like to learn more about this most interesting country of Romania, be sure to check out "Our Journey to Romania" to learn more. You will also find more delicious and authentic Romanian recipes you are sure to love.
Have you ever tried lovage? If you have I would love to hear your description of it in the comments below. Also if you choose to make this delicious Romanian meatball soup send me a picture of it and let me know how you liked it.
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Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorbă de Perişoare)
- ½ lb. ground beef
- ½ lb. lean ground pork
- 1 lb. beef or veal soup bones
- 1 small onion minced
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 slices of day old bread
- 2 tablespoons long grain white rice
- 1 parsley root or 2 celery stalks sliced
- 4 carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 parsnip peeled and sliced
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bunch fresh lovage leaves parsley and celery leaves can be substituted
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot
- Add the diced onion, parsley root or celery, parsnip and carrots along with the soup bones into the boiling pot of water.
- Soak the bread in a bowl of water and then squeeze out the excess water and mash the bread with a fork.
- Mix the ground beef and pork with the minced onion, the mashed bread, rice and season with salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly and make small meat balls with wet hands.
- When the vegetables become fork tender, skim off any fat from the soup bones and add in the meat balls to the boiling water.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes.
- When the soup is almost done and the meat balls have risen to the top, add in the tomato paste and stir.
- Finely chop the lovage or parsley and celery leaf and add it to the soup.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Add in the vinegar and stir. Remove the soup bones before serving.
- This soup would traditionally be served with sour cream and a hot pepper on the side which I would highly recommend.