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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Romanian Meatball Soup - Ciorba de Perisoare

Romanian Meatball Soup
This is a simple but delicious soup. As some of you know, my daughter, Jamie, married Virgil Vaduva, a Romanian who she met while he was attending college in Ohio. They were married about 16 years ago. Her older brother, Brian, had been writing Virgil's younger sister, Anca, who was still in Romania. Well, they fell in love and Brian took a trip to meet her in person. They eventually got married and of course are living here in Ohio too. A few years later their parents and 2 younger sisters were able to get their visas and so the whole family is here now. This was a real dream come true for the family, as it took many years for this to happen. The 2 couples have 6 kids between them and they are the most wonderful, sweet, grandchildren!

This soup recipe is one of their family favorites. Of course, I know I can't make it as good as Anca or her mom, Maria, does but it's still delicious.


1 lb ground pork (you can mix this with ground beef or ground chicken if you like, but I used all pork - not sausage)
1 egg
1 Tb oil for sautéing vegetables
1/2 cup carrots (chopped in very small pieces)
1/2 cup red sweet peppers (chopped in small pieces about 1/4")
1/2 cup onions (chopped in small pieces)
1/2 cup chopped celery (this was not in Anca's recipe, so I haven't used it, but celery is an ingredient in several Romanian soup recipes I found on Pinterest)
7 - 10 cans (15 oz) chicken broth or 12-15 cups water with chicken bullion added ( or you may not need that much broth - I like a lot)
1 6oz can tomato sauce
1/2 - 2/3 cup dry rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley (fresh or dried)

Chop veggies and place in large pot with hot oil that has been heated. Saute for about 5 minutes in oil. While veggies are cooking, mix ground meat with 1 egg and sat snd pepper to taste. Roll into small meatballs, about 1" in diameter. Set aside.
Note: or if you'd like you can roll the meat into meatballs as you are adding them to the broth. I believe this is what my daughter in law does.

Add chicken broth (or water and bullion) to vegetables and bring to a boil. Add uncooked rice and as soon as it comes to a boil again, add the meatballs.
Note: I let the rice cook for 5 mniutes, then added the meatballs. Do not do this because the rice will end up being too mushy by the time the soup is done. So add the meatballs right after you put the rice in the pot.
Next, after you've put the meatballs in, add the can of tomato sauce. Let this all heat through and it's done! Don't cook it too long like I did or your rice with get mushy. Add fresh or dried parsley at the end if you'd like.
Note: I doubled this recipe and did not have 2 cans of tomato, so I used 1 can tomato sauce and 1 can tomato paste. You have to make sure the tomato paste is desolved before serving though. Keep stirring, because it takes a while. This doesn't happen with the tomato sauce.
I did not have to add any additional salt and pepper because of the chicken broth, but you may need to do that, depending on how salty you like it. My Romanian friend,

Buy Vegeta on AMAZON here
Maria Vaduva, who's daughter and son married my son and daughter, gave me some kind of Romanian seasoning, called Vegeta, and I'm sorry but I don't know what there is her in the states to compare it to. I haven't always used this seasoning in the soup, so you don't have to have it. If I find out there is a substitute for it here in the states I'll post it here.

Enjoy the soup! I'd love to hear what you think of this recipe!

Here's another version of this Romsnian soup I found on Pinterest.


  1. http://www.amazon.com/Vegeta-Tin-17-5-oz/dp/B0002AZWYC

  2. Without MSG http://www.amazon.com/Vegeta-Gourmet-Seasoning-17-5oz-500g/product-reviews/B0012S8VHS