Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup(Ciorba) Recipe

Welcome to my traditional Romanian Sour Soup (Ciorba) recipe! As a chef, I have always been passionate about creating dishes that are not only delicious but also rich in culture and history. And this recipe is no exception.

Sour soups, or “Ciorba” in Romanian, have been enjoyed by people in Romania for generations, especially during the winter season. This soup is a perfect blend of sour and savory flavors that will warm you up from the inside out.

In this recipe, I will show you how to make a classic Romanian Sour Soup with meatballs, known as “Ciorba de Perisoare.” This recipe combines ground beef with a variety of vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, green beans, celery, and onions, all simmered in a flavorful broth made with sauerkraut juice, tomatoes, and chicken bouillon.

But what sets this recipe apart is the addition of sour cream, which gives the soup its signature tangy taste. And let’s not forget the fresh parsley and black pepper, which add a pop of color and flavor to the dish.

I guarantee that once you try this traditional Romanian Sour Soup recipe, you’ll be hooked! So, let’s get started and transport ourselves to the beautiful country of Romania with every delicious spoonful.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Littlemafia's Romanian Sour Soup(Ciorba)
Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup(Ciorba)

If you’re looking for a hearty and tangy soup to warm you up on a cold evening, then look no further than Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup, also known as Ciorba de Perisoare. This traditional Romanian soup is a beloved dish that is enjoyed by people all over Romania, especially during the winter months.

One of the things that makes this soup so special is its unique sour taste, which comes from the sauerkraut juice added to the broth. This tangy flavor is balanced perfectly with the savory meatballs, vegetables, and fragrant herbs like parsley.

Not only is this soup delicious, but it’s also incredibly nutritious. It’s packed with healthy veggies like green beans, green peppers, celery, potatoes, carrots, and onions. Plus, the meatballs are made with ground beef, which is a great source of protein.

This recipe is versatile too. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, you can easily leave out the meatballs and make a delicious vegetable soup. And if you want to mix it up, you can add different types of meat like chicken or beef to the broth.

Overall, Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup is a comforting and flavorful dish that will quickly become a favorite in your household. So, why not give it a try? Your taste buds (and your body) will thank you!

Ingredient List

“Warm up your taste buds with a bowl of Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup!”

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup (Ciorba de Perisoare):

For the Meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the Soup:

  • 10 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

  • Sour cream (optional)

All of these ingredients can be found easily at your local grocery store. Make sure to use fresh vegetables and high-quality meat for the best flavor. Don’t forget to chop all of the vegetables to a similar size to ensure even cooking.

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have gone through the ingredients, let’s dive into the recipe itself! I am excited to share my Ciorba de Perisoare recipe with you.

Step 1: Sauteeing the Veggies

The first step is to sautee the veggies without adding any oil. This is a traditional technique in Romania that adds a depth of flavor to the soup. Heat up a pot over medium heat and add in one diced onion, one diced carrot, one diced celery stalk, and one diced green pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the veggies are softened.

Step 2: Adding the Meatballs

While the veggies are cooking, make the meatballs. In a bowl, mix together 1 pound of ground beef, 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, 1 beaten egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well and form into small meatballs. Add the meatballs to the pot with the sauteed veggies and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the meatballs are browned on all sides.

Step 3: Adding the Liquid

Next, add in 8 cups of water, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, and 1/2 cup of sauerkraut juice. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the veggies are tender.

Step 4: Adding the Greens

Finally, add in 2 cups of chopped green beans and 1 diced potato. Let the soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the greens and potatoes are cooked. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

Step 5: Serving the Soup

Serve the soup hot with a dollop of sour cream on top and some crusty bread on the side. This soup is perfect for a cold winter day and will warm you up from the inside out.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this traditional Romanian soup recipe as much as I do!

Substitutions and Variations

“Savor the tangy flavors of this traditional Romanian dish.”

One of the great things about Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup (Ciorba) recipe is that it’s versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Meat: While Littlemafia’s recipe calls for ground beef to make meatballs, you can use pork, chicken, or turkey instead. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can omit the meatballs altogether and add more vegetables or beans for protein.

– Vegetables: You can use any vegetables you have on hand or prefer in your soup. Instead of green beans, you can use peas, zucchini, or spinach. Instead of green pepper, you can use red or yellow pepper. Instead of celery, you can use fennel or leeks. You can also add cabbage, cauliflower, or broccoli for extra nutrition and flavor.

– Broth: If you don’t have chicken bouillon or prefer a vegetarian option, you can use vegetable broth or mushroom broth instead. You can also use beef or pork broth if you prefer a richer flavor.

– Tomatoes: If you don’t have fresh tomatoes or prefer a smoother texture, you can use tomato sauce or canned tomatoes. You can also add tomato juice or V8 for extra acidity and depth.

– Sourness: If you don’t have sauerkraut juice or prefer a milder sourness, you can use lemon juice or vinegar instead. You can also use sour cream or yogurt for a creamier texture and tanginess.

Remember to adjust the seasoning and acidity to your liking and taste as you go. The beauty of Ciorba is that it’s a forgiving and adaptable soup that can accommodate different ingredients and variations.

Serving and Pairing

“Get ready to slurp up every last drop of this savory soup.”

This Romanian Sour Soup, or Ciorba, is a meal in itself and can be accompanied by some crusty bread or a light salad. The sourness of the soup is a perfect match for the sweetness of freshly baked bread, and together they make a satisfying and nourishing meal.

For a more substantial meal, you can serve the soup with some meat, such as grilled chicken or pork. The tangy flavor of the soup pairs perfectly with the smokiness of grilled meat, creating a mouth-watering combination.

Another great pairing for this soup is a simple side dish of boiled potatoes. The potatoes absorb the flavors of the soup and add a creamy texture to each spoonful. You can also try adding some sour cream to the soup for a richer and creamier taste.

When it comes to drinks, a light white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay, pairs well with this soup. The acidity of the wine complements the sourness of the soup, while the lightness of the wine balances out the richness of the flavors.

Overall, this soup is a versatile and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with different foods and drinks.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

One of the best things about Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and reheated for later use. This is especially convenient for those busy weeknights when you want a quick and hearty meal.

To make ahead, simply follow the recipe instructions up until the point where you add the meatballs. Once the soup has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to three days. When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature.

When it comes to storing leftovers, you can keep the soup in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze it for up to three months. To freeze, let the soup cool down to room temperature, then pour it into a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid. When you’re ready to eat, simply thaw the soup overnight in the fridge and reheat it on the stovetop.

To reheat the soup, you can use the stovetop or the microwave. If using the stovetop, simply heat the soup over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through. If using the microwave, transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it’s heated through.

One tip to keep in mind when reheating the soup is to add a little bit of water or chicken broth to thin it out, as the soup tends to thicken as it sits. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of fresh parsley to brighten up the flavors before serving.

Overall, Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup recipe is a great make-ahead option that will save you time and energy in the kitchen, while still delivering a delicious and satisfying meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients and instructions for making Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup, it’s time to focus on some tips to ensure perfect results every time.

1. Use Fresh Ingredients: The key to a delicious soup is using fresh and high-quality ingredients. Make sure to use fresh vegetables, meat, and herbs to enhance the flavor of the soup.

2. Cook Meatballs Separately: If you’re adding meatballs to the soup, cook them separately and add them to the soup when serving. This will prevent them from falling apart and turning the soup cloudy.

3. Don’t Overcook the Vegetables: Overcooked vegetables can turn your soup into mush. Make sure to add the vegetables in the right order, starting with the ones that take longer to cook, such as potatoes and carrots.

4. Adjust the Sourness: The sourness of the soup depends on the amount of sauerkraut juice or vinegar you add. Taste the soup and adjust the sourness according to your preference.

5. Let the Soup Rest: Allow the soup to rest for 15-20 minutes after cooking to allow the flavors to meld together. This will also give the soup a chance to cool down and thicken up.

6. Serve with Sour Cream: Top your soup with a dollop of sour cream to give it a creamy and tangy flavor. This is a common serving suggestion in Romania and adds a delicious twist to the soup.

7. Add Fresh Parsley: Garnish your soup with fresh parsley to add a pop of color and freshness. This will also enhance the flavor of the soup and make it look more appealing.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and authentic Romanian Sour Soup that will impress your family and friends. Enjoy!


Before we wrap up this recipe article, let’s take some time to address the frequently asked questions about Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup (Ciorba) Recipe. These questions will help you better understand the recipe, troubleshoot any issues that may arise, and make sure you get the best results possible. So, let’s dive into the FAQs!

What is Ciorba?

In Romania, the term “ciorba” is commonly used to describe soups that have a sour taste due to the addition of ingredients such as lemon juice, fermented wheat bran, sauerkraut juice, or vinegar. These soups typically contain vegetables and some type of meat. One popular variety is “ciorba de perisoare,” which is a meatball soup.

What country is Ciorba de legume from?

In this recipe article, I will guide you through the steps to make a delicious and traditional vegetable soup from Romania known as Ciorbă de Legume.

What is borscht in Romania?

Borscht, a traditional soup made with fermented bran juice, is a popular dish in Slavic countries such as Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. It is also commonly consumed in Moldova and Romania, particularly in the Moldovan region.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup (Ciorba) recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves hearty and flavorful soups. This recipe is not only easy to follow, but it also uses ingredients that are readily available in most grocery stores. The combination of meatballs, vegetables, and sauerkraut juice creates a unique and delicious taste that is sure to impress your taste buds.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Romanian cuisine or just looking to try something new, this sour soup recipe is perfect for you. It’s a great way to warm up during the winter months and is enjoyed by people all over Romania. Plus, with the added benefit of using sour cream as a garnish, you can add an extra layer of creaminess to this already delicious soup.

So, what are you waiting for? Follow this recipe and experience the joy of making and tasting Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup (Ciorba) recipe. It’s sure to become a staple in your recipe collection that you’ll be making over and over again!

Littlemafia’s Romanian Sour Soup(Ciorba) Recipe

Ciorba is a sour soup from Romania enjoyed by the people especially in winter. It can be done by sauteeing the veggies or without and can add vermicelli noodles in the end. Serve with sour cream.

  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 potato
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • vegetable stock or chicken bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • 4 cups water
  • parsley
  1. Cut all the vegetables in cubes.
  2. Sautee the onion, add the rest of veggies.
  3. Add the water and the stock.When it’s almost done add the tomato paste, chopped parsley. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice according to your taste. Add little by little so it’s not too sour.
< 60 Mins, Easy, European, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein

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