Ciorba de perisoare – soup with meatballs

My absolute favourite ciorba since my childhood. Now I always buy “bors” in powder when I visit Romania, so I can prepare this specific Romanian recipe. I love soups too, but there is something special about the real taste of “bors”. Look around and maybe you find some Romanian shops in your neighbourhood.


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • ¼ celery root, finely chopped
  • 1 parsley root, finely chopped
  • 200 ml bors or lemon juice to taste
  • 2 l of water
  • 2 cubes of beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste


  • 300 g minced meat (you can use any minced meat)
  • 75 g rice
  • 1 egg,
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 spoon finely chopped parsley

To make the meatballs, mix together all the ingredients. Then take a little of this mixture at a time in slightly damp hands (so as not to be sticky) and make walnut-sized little balls.

For the broth, sauté the onion slightly, then add the chopped vegetables, and leave for 5 minutes. Add the water and leave to boil for 20 minutes. Bring the ciorbă to a simmer and add the meatballs and the beef stock. Let it simmer for about 40 minutes while turning around the meatballs. Towards the end add about 0,5 l of water, the tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste and the “borș” or lemon juice. After you added the bors, it should not cook more than a few minutes. You can also opt out the “borș” or lemon juice. It will be good too.

Borș can be bought in powder in some Romanian shops. Or you can make it yourself. There are several sites where you can find the recipe for borș. Using lemon has almost the same taste. Taste while you add the sour ingredient so it will not be overpowering.

Add finely chopped parsley and levisticum. Serve hot with good bread. I also like a spoon of sour cream in my ciorbă.

Borș is fermented wheat bran used in Romanian cuisine to make traditional sour soup called ciorbă.


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