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a ladle full of Romanian meatball soup

Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorbă de Perişoare)

A super satisfying hearty soup made with a unique herb called lovage.  You should try it! This soup is typically served with a hot chili on the side as well as some sour cream, I recommend both.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Romanian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 215 kcal
Author Darlene at International Cuisine



  • 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



  1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot
  2. Add the diced onion, parsley root or celery, parsnip and carrots along with the soup bones into the boiling pot of water.
  3. Soak the bread in a bowl of water and then squeeze out the excess water and mash the bread with a fork.
  4. 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.
  5. When the vegetables become fork tender, skim off any fat from the soup bones and add in the meat balls to the boiling water.
  6. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  7. When the soup is almost done and the meat balls have risen to the top, add in the tomato paste and stir.
  8. Finely chop the lovage or parsley and celery leaf and add it to the soup.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  10. Add in the vinegar and stir. Remove the soup bones before serving.
  11. This soup would traditionally be served with sour cream and a hot pepper on the side which I would highly recommend.
Nutrition Facts
Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorbă de Perişoare)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 159mg7%
Potassium 462mg13%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 5215IU104%
Vitamin C 9.1mg11%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.