Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorba de Perisoare)

Pin on Pinterest640Share on Facebook128Share on Google+1Share on StumbleUpon1Tweet about this on Twitter2Email this to someoneShare on Yummly

This is such a delicious soup I just have to share it with you.  It’s a very traditional soup, and it’s one of my favorite soups. This soup is a staple at our house and we make it often. “Ciorba” in romanian usually refers to sour soups with vegetables and some form of meat.  They are made sour by adding either lemon juice, “bors” which is fermented wheat bran, sauerkraut juice, or sometimes even vinegar.  Most of the time I just use lemon juice and this gives the soup a very nice sour taste. Also Romanians differentiate between “ciorba” and soup, soup is usually clear and has no added acid. I grew up with this soup, my mother used to make it quite often, and as I said it’s one of my favorite soups.

Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorba de Perisoare)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb of ground meat (you can use chicken, pork, turkey, beef, whatever you prefer, you may even combine meat, such as beef and pork)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup of long grain rice
  • ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots grated, or cut in very small pieces
  • 2 stalks of celery cut in very small pieces
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste or 1 cup of tomato juice
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • parsley for garnish
  1. To start this off it's very simple. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and start forming small meatballs about 1 inch in diameter, or even smaller, depends on how much patience you have. The smaller they are the cuter they look.
  2. In a big pot, heat the oil and then add the vegetables and fry until the onion is clear.
  3. Add about 8 to 10 cups of water, you may even add beef or chicken broth to this, depending on the meat you're using. Wait for the soup to start boiling, then add the meatballs one at a time.
  4. Keep boiling, when the meatballs are done, they will rise to the top, add the the tomato juice or paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper and let the soup simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Very slowly pour in the eggs in a steady stream. To make shreds, stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for one minute.
  5. When the soup is done, add the parsley. Serve this hot with a bit of sour cream.

I guarantee your family will love and enjoy this.


Pin on Pinterest640Share on Facebook128Share on Google+1Share on StumbleUpon1Tweet about this on Twitter2Email this to someoneShare on Yummly


  1. Alis says

    Hi, my niece has an allergy to egg, just wandering if there was a substitute I could use for the meatballs? & do I have to replace it in the soup too or is it fine without?

    • says

      Hi Alis,
      The purpose of the egg is to bind the meatballs so that they don’t fall apart in the soup. You can skip the egg and maybe use fattier meat or add a little bit of olive oil to the mixture. You can skip the egg in the soup too, it’s mostly there to give the soup some texture, you could if you want add some noodles or rice to replace the egg in the soup.

      • Alis says

        Thank You! A friend of mine has also suggested to replace the egg in the meatballs with grated zucchini. The rice in the soup is good idea too, I think my mum used to put rice. Can’t wait too try make it! I always struggle making romanian food & my mums recipes miss so much information they are all ‘după gust’ !

  2. Carolyn says

    I’m so glad I found your blog. My boyfriend is living in Romania right now, and I wanted to learn how to cook Romanian food for him when he gets back. I made this soup today, and it was delicious. Thanks so much!

  3. says

    I am making this dish right this moment. I am trying it with ground Italian sausage. I just can’t get enough of this ciorba. By the way, I really like the changes you made to your blog and your logo! God bless.

  4. Nadia says

    Hi Jo! I made your “Ciorba de Perisoare” a few days ago and LOVE IT!!! I grew up with “Supa de Perisoare” in Romania but never had it as “Ciorba” with lemon. I couldn’t stop eating it! and my husband and my 2 kids loved it, as well. I am very happy that I found your website, it is very well organized. Very useful especially for me leaving in states and trying to find romanian recipes compatible with the ingredients/measures around here. Thank you, again. Keep up the good work!

    • says

      Hi Nadia,
      So glad you and your family liked my ciorba! I have never heard of “Supa de Perisoare” but I guess it depends what part of the country you’re from, my guess is they probably make it differently. I’m curious as to what you put in it. :)

  5. says

    I’m making this soup today for my family and I know they will love it. My husband is born and raised in Romania and I learned how to make this soup from him. I have many different recipes for this soup but I prefer to follow your first steps. I love to start with cooking the vegetables in a little oil first like you did. ALso, I also add lots more veggies like a chopped red bell and/or yellow pepper, parsley root, and parsnips. I peel and wash the parsnips and parsley root and dice it like the carrots. I’ve never added lemon juice to my soup but I know that’s what lots of recipes say. I add a cup or two of tomato juice or V8 instead of the lemon at the very end of the soup to give it that sour taste. That’s my own finishing touch but I’ll give the lemon juice a try today. Thank you and “Pofta Buna!”

    • says

      Hi Marineta,
      Your version sounds delicious! I’ve never tried V8 but I’m sure it’s great with it. Instead of lemon juice many times vinegar is added as well, my mom always used to use vinegar and my mother in law lemon juice, so I think it just depends on what part of the country you’re from. Whichever way you do it, it’s still my favorite soups! Pofta Buna!!!

  6. Tabby says

    So great to see someone posting Romanian foods! This ciorba was one of my favorites that my mom made, but ever since moving away I have been missing out on her foods. My mom (She’s Romanian) always did things her own way so I couldn’t get the recipe Just like hers, so I’m glad I found this website. Thanks so much

  7. Aura says

    I made the soup today and it was AMAZING! My husband and three kids absolutely loved it! I love making soups and this one is definitely at the top of my favorites! Thank you for a delicious recipe!

  8. Diana says

    I made the ciorba today, and it was a big hit with my non-Romanian family. I did not change a thing. Growing up Romanian, I do not recall my mother or grandmother using lemons ever. I think the lemon gives it a nice flavor. Thanks so much for posting this and other Romanian recipes. God bless.

    • says

      Thanks Diana. I’m so glad you liked it. My mom never used lemons either, but my husband convinced me once to use lemons and I never used vinegar since. Hope you try some other Romanian recipes as well. :)

      • Diana says

        Absolutely! I plan on making all the Romanian recipes you have posted. I am still hunting down an English recipe for cremesh pastry. I’m sure you get this all the time, but thanks so much for what you do. God bless.

        • says

          Oh I would love a cremesh right now. Ok, I must find a recipe and try and make it. Maybe for Christmas. Thank you for your kind words. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: