Tripe Soup (Ciorba de Burta)

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I know over the years I’ve brought you some pretty strange recipes, but none as strange as this tripe soup. I hope you stick around and at least read this post about this recipe and hopefully I can convince you to maybe some day give it a try.

But I know how you feel. I felt the same way about tripe soup, if anyone ever mentioned it to me, I’d get all grossed out. I don’t think I’m helping here, am I?

OK, wow 20 years ago, my first trip back to Romania, after the communism had ended, is when I had the pleasure of trying this soup. My sister and I were young and crazy and we wanted a trip to Europe. We had the time of our lives. We spent 3 wonderful weeks with family, old friends, we partied and we ate tripe soup. Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

So what is tripe? Tripe, my dear friends, is the stomach of a cow and the picture below shows you what it looks like. I wash it really well when I get it from the store until it’s nice and white and clean.

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Tripe soup is a very popular soup in Romania and they serve it at restaurants everywhere. My cousin had convinced us that we simply just had to try this delicacy and he promised us we’d love it. Even back then when I was young and naive I was still willing to try all kinds of foods at least once and if I didn’t like it I’d never eat it again. I don’t know what I expected this soup to taste like, I really don’t. I just remember tasting it and loving it from the start. I kept waiting for some weird flavor but it just wasn’t there. It’s a delicious creamy soup from the sour cream, very garlicky because lots of garlic goes in it, and sour from the vinegar. The tripe is cooked for a long time, so it’s not rubbery, but it can be a bit chewy. Obviously it has a beef flavor, but it doesn’t really smell strong. The flavor of the soup is amazing and truly delicious.

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It’s something I believe one must try, especially one that calls himself or herself a foodie. Needless to say after we’d had this soup the first time we were at that restaurant, we kept going back every night for more. Since then I married a Romanian, go figure, and of course as any other Romanian, loves this tripe soup.

Although I’d like to take credit for making this, my husband is the one that usually makes it, he’s the pro, so I must give credit where credit is due.

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If you’re wondering what gives the soup this wonderful yellow color it’s from the carrots.

Tripe Soup (Ciorba de Burta)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs beef tripe
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 piece beef bone
  • 2 carrots
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 100 ml vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 parsnip
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. You can find tripe and beef bone pretty much in any grocery store. First thing you have to do is wash the tripe really well, when it's clean it should be white.The purpose of the beef bone and all the vegetables, excluding the garlic, is to flavor the soup, so we will take them all out later.
  2. In a big pot add the tripe, bone, carrots, celery root, onion, parsnip and boil for 2 to 3 hours. One thing worth mentioning is do not chop the vegetables, leave them whole, so we can easily strain them.
  3. Take out the tripe and the bone and strain the rest of the vegetables, leaving the broth nice and clear. Cut the tripe into really small pieces, about 1 cm wide by 2 cm long. Add it back to the broth.
  4. Shred the boiled carrots and in a small pan add a tbsp olive and saute the carrots for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl mix the sour cream and the eggs together really well and add to the soup. Add sauteed carrots, the minced garlic and the vinegar to the soup as well. Add salt and pepper to taste and let it come to a boil again. Make sure you taste it and if you require more vinegar feel free to add more.
  6. Garnish with parsley and serve hot. Serve with additional sour cream or vinegar if preferred.

Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. gabi says

    Jo, you may consider reducing cooking time to something over 1 hour. The tripe sold here has already been ‘pre cooked’. I mentioned all this to a Hungarian friend who mentions this being the case.

    Also she boils tripe for 30 minutes. Drains and dries it with paper towels, then breads it like weiner schitzel and serves with tartar sauce. Says it’s awesome. Have you ever tried it like this? I’ll give it a shot soon.

  2. gabi says

    The soup looks beautiful. (I have a bad habit of buying something new and different but only checking for recipes AFTER I get home…… tiresome for you to read no doubt and I wouldn’t blame you. I hate it when people chop and change an excellent recipe because they think they are making it better than the ‘chef’. In this case I’m not doing that. I’m just working with what I have at hand. So I apologize if this sounds stupid. This is the only good reason I can think of to own an iPhone with google access so when I’m in the supermarket I buy everything I need…. oh well.)

    I bought some honeycomb tripe yesterday and am making the csorba but don’t have parsley root or celery root. Or a bone. I’m using chicken broth. I hope that’s okay. And a finely chopped red pepper. The rest of the ingredients will stay with your recipe.

    What I want to know is can I use an immersion blender on the onion and carrot? Or is the sauteeing carrot important for some flavour reason?

    (I guess I”ll find out, eh…)

    I’m Hungarian and my grandmother did the cooking but we never had tripe soup. She was from Baia Mare so some of your recipes are totally familiar.

    Your cabbage rolls are totally like what we had as well. My father would add smoked ribs to the cooking sauce and when he would go totally ‘all out’ he would add ground ham to the pork for the stuffing. We’d mix fresh and fermented cabbage leaves for the rolls but then it was for huge family parties. Your cabbage rolls look so dainty. Some of the ones we’d have were enormous (depending of leaf size). LOL!

    Your recipes and pictures are beautiful.

    • says

      Thank you so much Gabi, I love reading comments like this especially about my Romanian recipes which are dear to me. I would strongly recommend sauteeing the carrot because as you said I believe it’s important for the flavor. Same kind of goes with the parsley root or celery root, I think it develops some deep flavors. But you know what, that’s what cooking is all about and I’m glad you’re experimenting in your own kitchen with ingredients you have on hand.

      • gabi says

        Okay, so next time when I’m more organized I’ll sautee the celery root, parsley root and carrot as well. And I’ll remember to get bones. But no body sells 1 bone! LOL!

        I live in Toronto so you know what I mean about supermarkets selling lots of bones or no bones.

        I bought tripe before and killed it in the pressure cooker because I didn’t realize it is already somehow prepped before selling. Does this really need such a long cooking time? It’s pretty soft already after only 1 hour. Sorry for going on here but I’m a ‘tripe virgin’.

        • says

          LOL, yes I know what you mean. We find tripe in Superstore here in Calgary, but they don’t always have it. As far as bones, I’ve seen them at markets, and very rarely do they have them at Superstore, so when they do make sure you grab some. I’ve always cooked the tripe that long, so I guess if it tastes alright to you, 1 hour should be fine. Let me know how it turns out. :)

          • gabi says

            This has turned out very well despite missing the celery root and parsley root. I simmered it for two hours and the liquid reduced by more than half. The tripe is very soft. The 30% fat sour cream and eggs have thickened the soup nicely and the garlic is just right.

            Of course, the colour is different: more orange than yellow. A nice combination of sweet and sour.

            I have eaten tripe Chinese style and they don’t bother to make it soft.

            I’ve bookmarked your blog and next time will make this soup exactly with the original ingredients.

            Thanks for the responses to my questions. I’ll be making tripe in the future. There is also the other type of tripe, the fuzzy looking one. I don’t know if that would be a good ingredient for this soup as well.

          • says

            Gabi, so glad it turned out great. The yellow color I believe comes from sauteing the carrots. Try that next time and see if it works. :)

  3. Maria M says

    I live in Bulgaria and this kind of soup is traditional here too but we’re making it with milk and it is slightly different.

  4. says

    Hi Jo, I found your website looking for a veal soup, or ciorba de vacuta :) I’m so glad I found you, I like your recipes and your pictures. I’ll come back to visit you! I’m Romanian living in The United States and I have a culinary blog too :)

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