|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 18g||24%|
|Saturated Fat 7g||36%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||9%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 8mg||42%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Ciorbă is a distinctive type of Romanian soup that is soured with vinegar, sauerkraut juice or another sour agent. Sour meatball soup is among the most traditional of the sour soups, but cabbage ciorbă is also popular, and ciorbă de burtă (tripe soup) is considered the ultimate hangover food. Traditional versions use lovage, an herb infrequently found in the stores in North America, but which can be obtained at specialty shops or online. If you can't find it, celery leaves or parsley will do.
For the Meatballs:
1 pound lean ground beef
2 slices bread
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons uncooked rice
2 tablespoons water
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Soup:
1 small onion, finely sliced
1 bunch lovage leaves, finely chopped
1 parsley root, peeled
1 parsnip, peeled
4 carrots, peeled
1 pound beef with bones
4 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt, to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons vinegar, or to taste
Sour cream, for optional garnish
Hot pepper, to taste, optional
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add sliced onion, lovage, parsley root, parsnip and carrots. Add beef with bone. Bring back to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface, reduce heat and simmer partially covered.
Meanwhile, make the meatballs by first soaking the bread in water or milk and then squeezing it dry. Mash the soaked bread in a large bowl. Add the ground meat, finely chopped onion, rice, water and salt and pepper. Wet hands slightly and make small meatballs. Set aside.
When the vegetables in the saucepan become tender, return it to a boil and carefully drop in the meatballs. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. When the soup is almost done and the meatballs come to the surface, add the tomato paste and stir well.
Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the lovage and season with salt and vinegar. If desired, serve with a dollop of sour cream and a hot pepper on the side.
- Use ground pork in the meatballs or a combination of pork and beef.
- Switch from beef to veal in the soup.
- Lovage can be replaced with celery or parsley leaves.