Ciorba de Perisoare | Romanian Porcupine Meatballs Sour Soup
This classic Romanian soup features hearty porcupine meatballs simmered in a flavourful broth with diced veggies and potatoes then finished with sour cream and fresh herbs like lovage, parsley and dill. Serve with hot pickled peppers and crusty bread for a perfect cold weather meal.
Total Time:1 hour 15 minutes
Yield:6-8 servings 1x
Category:Soups and Stews
For the soup
3 small-medium carrots, grated or cut into small pieces
1/2 leek, finely diced
1 medium sized onion, finely diced
1/2 cup parsley, finely diced
2 tablespoons cimbru *
2 tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 chicken or veg bouillon cube
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon citric acid or 2–3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2.5 – 3 liters water
1/2 tablespoon flavourless oil
2-3 medium sized potatoes cut into bite sized pieces (optional)
3 tablespoons each of fresh finely chopped lovage, parsley, dill, and celery leaf.
3–4 tablespoons of sour cream in the broth (or serve on the side)
For the meatballs
500 grams ground meat (pork, beef, chicken or turkey)
1/2 cup short grain rice
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 small onion, very finely diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cimbru
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cut and prepare all the vegetables and herbs.
Mix the meatball ingredients together in a bowl and then form the meatballs.**
Add oil to a large stockpot and saute the onion and leek on medium-high heat until translucent and just beginning to brown.
Add the rest of the vegetables, tomato paste, salt, dried herbs and spices.
Cover with about 2.5 liters of water and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer covered over low heat for about 30 more minutes.
After the soup has simmered covered for about 30 minutes, uncover and gently drop the meatballs into the still simmering broth. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and allow to cool at least 5 minutes.
Add the chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice or citric acid if using.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
* Cimbru is summer savoury. It has a distinctive flavour. If you can’t find any you can substitute 3/4 tablespoon thyme, 1/4 tablespoon oregano, and a pinch of fenugreek (if you have it).
** You can make the meatballs any size you like just remember the rice will inflate and make them inflate to about 1.5 times their original size. The meatballs pictured here are made with approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture each.
Keywords: Romanian soup, Romanian meatball soup, meatballs, Romanian