Tripe Soup – a traditional Romanian sour soup made with beef tripe, garlic, sour cream and vinegar.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re wondering what gives the soup this wonderful yellow color it’s from the carrots.
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Tripe Soup (Ciorba de Burta)
- 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
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 3 eggs
- 1 parsnip
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shred the boiled carrots and in a small pan add a tbsp olive and saute the carrots for 2 to 3 minutes.
- 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.
- Garnish with parsley and serve hot. Serve with additional sour cream or vinegar if preferred.