Romanian Soup Ciorba de Perisoare Recipe

Ciorba de Perisoare is one of our favourite Romanian Soup recipes to cook at home in the Fall and Winter.

Our authentic Romanian Soup recipe is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under an hour.

You’ll love spooning through a bowl of homemade beef and pork meatball Ciorba de Perisoar featuring flavourful onions, garlic, bell peppers, parsley, dill, lemon and sour cream.

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What Is Soup?

Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.

Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.

Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.

In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).

Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.

Ingredients you'll need to make our homemade Ciorba de Perisoare Romanian Soup recipe.
Ingredients you’ll need to make our homemade Ciorba de Perisoare Romanian Soup recipe.

History of Soup

Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.

The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.

The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.

In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.

English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.

Prepare Ciorba de Perisoare meatballs with rice, fresh herbs, minced meat and egg.
Prepare Ciorba de Perisoare meatballs with rice, fresh herbs, minced meat and egg.

Travel to Romania by Cooking Ciorba de Perisoare at Home

I love traveling to Europe.

As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Europe, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.

For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Romanian Soup recipe. I’ve embarked on culinary adventures at Eastern European restaurants in Croatia, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary and Bosnia.

Ciorbă de perișoare is a Romanian soup featuring plump meatballs. Perișoare are meatballs usually made with minced pork or beef, mixed with rice and herbs and boiled in a ciorbă, a soup prepared with fresh vegetables like onions, parsnips and celery. The soup is typically garnished with parsley, sour cream and hot pepper.

After you’ve enjoyed your first few sips, you’ll realize why a steaming bowl of authentic Ciorba de Perisoare is a must-try when visiting Romania!

Wet your hands to form Ciorba de Perisoare Romanian Soup meatballs.
Wet your hands to form Romanian Soup meatballs.

Where To Eat Authentic Romanian Soup

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Eastern European restaurant that serves traditional Romanian Soup.

Haven’t traveled to Romania before? It may be helpful to first sample traditional Ciorba de Perisoare at a local restaurant to better understand how the soup is served. You’ll get an idea of how many meatballs to add to each bowl and the desired spice aroma and flavour. You’ll also find inspiration on what to pair with Romanian Soup including sarmale, mamalinga, salată de vinete, mizeria and papanași.

In Toronto, popular Eastern European restaurants that may serve a Romanian Soup include Country Style Hungarian, Wvrst, Cafe Polonez, Amber European Restaurant and Chopin.

Tradițional Ciorba de Perisoare ingredients include chopped onions, peppers, celery and carrots.
Tradițional Ciorba de Perisoare ingredients include chopped onions, peppers, celery and carrots.

My Family Loves Romanian Soup

My family has a tradition of eating soup and salad for lunch on Sunday’s after getting home from church. Soup is such an simple and brainless meal to serve a busy family with kids.

My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup, French Onion Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood spent in Toronto, Markham, Oakville and Muskoka are cozying up to a bowl of homemade soup with gourmet crackers, artisanal cheese and sourdough bread.

During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.

Carrot, onions, garlic, bell peppers and celery are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this savoury soup during Thanksgiving and the chilly winter season.

Easy Romanian Soup is full of fragrant herbs and protein-rich meatballs, offering a great way to incorporate nutritious ingredients into your diet during the colder months of the year.

Cook Ciorba de Perisoare rice meatballs in Romanian Soup broth.
Cook Ciorba de Perisoare rice meatballs in Romanian Soup broth.

Ciorba de Perisoare Health Benefits

Our Romanian Soup recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of leeks can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

An excellent source of vitamin A and the phytochemical beta-carotene, carrots help keep your eyes and bones healthy, and may help protect against several types of cancer.

Bell Peppers are an incredible source of vitamins C and A, which support your skin and immune system. They also provide beneficial carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Celery is a great source of antioxidants, reduces inflammation and supports digestions.

Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, yogurt or sour cream help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer. 

Eggs contain two vital nutrients that are not present in many foods: iodine and vitamin D. Eggs are also rich in tissue-building protein and vitamin B12, which helps your body manufacture blood cells.

Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.   

A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.

Dill is packed with micronutrients such as Vitamin A and C, responsible for healthy vision, skin and immune function.

An excellent source of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, folate, and iron, parsley helps keep your bones and blood healthy, and protects your skin from damage by free radicals.

Use a large spoon to transfer Ciorba de Perisoare to soup bowls.
Use a large spoon to transfer Ciorba de Perisoare to soup bowls.

Romanian Soup Tips

This healthy Eastern European meatball soup is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!

  • Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking and pureeing the vegetables.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
  • We’ve used a mixture of pork and beef in our meatball recipe but you can use 100% pork or 100% beef.
  • Regional variations of Romanian soup might also include ingredients such as parsnip, parsley root, zucchini, cabbage or lovage.
  • If you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake, feel free to substitue Greek yogurt for sour cream.
Serve Romanian Soup with sour cream, dill and parsley.
Serve Romanian Soup with sour cream, dill and parsley.

What To Serve with Romanian Soup

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day then cozying up to a bowl of soup with a fresh salad, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheeses, sourdough bread, savoury muffins and homemade pickles.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our easy Romanian Soup as an appetizer before serving heartier mains. We love serving this soup with Osaka Okonomayaki, Calgary Ginger Beef, Keto Jalapeno Poppers, Instant Pot Short Rib Ragu, Cheesy Polenta, Vegetarian Roti Canai Curry, Gruyere Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Old School Cheese and Onion Pie, Green Onion Cake, Baked Mediterranean Chicken Thighs, Baked Chicken Cracklings, Homemade Savoury Pickle Pie, Indian Crepes, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Tartiflette Reblochon or Ricotta Gnocchi.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.

Serve homemade Ciorba de Perisoare at a Romanian-themed dinner party for a crowd.
Serve homemade Ciorba de Perisoare at a Romanian-themed dinner party for a crowd.

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We love doubling this authentic Ciorba de Perisoare recipe so we can enjoy leftovers throughout the week.
We love doubling this authentic Ciorba de Perisoare recipe so we can enjoy leftovers throughout the week.

Storing Romanian Soup

If you have leftover Ciorba de Perisoare you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.

We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling. My mother often uses old glass pasta sauce jars to store soup in the freezer.

Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.

We love serving a hot bowl of Ciorba de Perisoare during the colder Fall and Winter months.
We love serving a hot bowl of Ciorba de Perisoare during the colder Fall and Winter months.

How To Make Ciorba de Perisoare

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Romanian Soup Ciorba de Perisoare

Learn how to make the best homemade Romanian Soup. Our easy Ciorba de Perisoare recipe features meatballs, fresh herbs, sour cream and lemon.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: Ciorba de Perisoare, Romanian Soup
Servings: 8
Calories: 236kcal

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Dutch Oven or Large Pot
  • Slotted spoon

Ingredients

Ciorba de Perisoare Meatballs

  • 0.5 lb Ground Beef
  • 0.5 lb Ground Pork
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbsp Fresh dill chopped
  • 2 tbsp Fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup Uncooked rice
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper

Romanian Soup

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Spanish onion chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
  • 2 Carrots chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 8 cups Chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • Parsley garnish
  • Sour cream garnish

Instructions

Ciorba de Perisoare Meatballs

  • In a mixing bowl add all the meatball ingredients together and mix well with your hands.
  • Shape minced meat mixture into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. You should produce approximately 30 to 35 meatballs. Place meatballs in fridge until ready to add to soup.

Romanian Soup

  • Pour olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and red bell pepper to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions soften and are translucent.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then gently add the meatballs using a slotted spoon.
  • Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked and have risen to the top of the broth.
  • Season with salt and pepper then add lemon juice and zest.
  • Slowly pour in the beaten egg in a steady stream. Stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for one minute. Cook for another minute then garnish with parsley and sour cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 9.1g | Saturated Fat: 2.3g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1007mg | Potassium: 654mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 3.7g | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 8mg

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