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overhead shot of a bowl of romanian meatballs soup topped with a dollop of sour cream
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4.55 from 59 votes

Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorba de Perisoare)

This Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorba de Perisoare) is my mom's recipe for the most delicious meatball soup out there. Just saying. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Romanian
Keyword: ciorba de perisoare, romanian meatball soup
Servings: 8
Calories: 258kcal


For Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground pork or ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon dill chopped
  • 2 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice long grain and uncooked
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

For Soup

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegeta or 1 chicken bouillon
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoon lovage chopped
  • 1 egg beaten
  • parsley for garnish


  • In a bowl add all the meatball ingredients together and mix well. Shape into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. You should get about 30 to 35 meatballs, depending on how big you make them. Place meatballs in fridge until ready to add to soup.
  • Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom 5 qt pot to medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions soften and are translucent.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil then add the meatballs one at a time.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through, they will rise to the top when they are done. Season with vegeta then add the lemon juice and lovage. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as necessary. Very slowly pour in the egg in a steady stream. To make shreds, stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for one minute. Cook for another minute then garnish with parsley.
  • Serve hot with a bit of sour cream.



Vegeta is a condiment of salt with flavor enhancers used a lot in soups. It's a condiment that's quite popular in Eastern Europe.
Lovage is a herb belonging to the parsley family, commonly used in Europe for flavoring foods. The leaves add an intense celery-like flavor to soups, stews or stocks. If you do not have it, simply omit it in the recipe.
In an airtight container this dish will keep for 3 - 4 days in the fridge, just be sure it is cooled before storing. You can also freeze this dish, just store it cooled in a shallow airtight container and it will keep for 4 - 6 months. Just allow it to thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stove when ready to eat.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3355IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1.5mg