Romanian Meatball Soup (Ciorba de Perisoare) is a delicious traditional meatball soup of the Romanian cuisine, perfect to keep you warm on cold days. Ciorba in Romanian usually refers to sour soups and it is a popular across the Balkans, North Africa, Central Europe, Eastern Europe.

Romanian Meatball Soup

This traditional Romanian soup is made with meat and root vegetables like carrots, celery, parsnips.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Romania
Keyword: Beef, Pork
Servings: 8
Calories: 215kcal


  • ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 lb beef or veal soup bones
  • 1 small onion minced
  • ½ lb lean ground pork
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 slices of day old bread
  • 2 tbsp long grain white rice
  • 1 parsley root or 2 celery stalks sliced
  • 1 parsnip peeled and sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh lovage leaves parsley and celery leaves can be substituted
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  • Prepare all vegetables by washing them and cut all unused parts.
  • Turn the heat to medium and put a a large pot with water.
  • Chop the onion and peppers and add them to the pot when it starts boiling. Add the celery root, carrots along with the soup bones to the pot.
  • In a small bowl add water and soak slice of bread and then squeeze out the excess water.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs including the meat with the minced onion, the mashed bread, rice and season with salt and pepper and roll in balls of desired size. Set aside.
  • You can check if the vegetables become tender with a fork and remove any extra fat from the soup bones and add in the meatballs.
  • Reduce heat to a medium-low heat, cover the pot and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  • A few minutes before the soup is ready add in the tomato paste and stir.
  • Use fresh parsley or lovage and finely chop them, then add them to the soup. Celery leaf works too.
  • Season with pepper and salt, add vinegar and stir. If you used soup bones now you can take them out.
  • Served warm with sour cream on the side.

Inspiration and adaptation:,,

Explore other recipes from the traditional Romanian cuisine.

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