Ciorba – A Romanian soup

Before i start to write you some recipes for some romanian “ciorbe” i should explain what they are…. The romanian “ciorbe” are soups with a tangy tart aroma and taste due to the addition of a souring agent. Just a whiff of a ciorba being prepared in the kitchen it is enough to make you feel hungry! It is so delicious and will never miss from the romanian fridge.

The word ciorba actually comes from “Corba”, the turkish word for soup which in turn appears to be based on the persian word “shurba”,composed of shur, meaning “salty,brackish” and -ba a suffix indicating food. However “shurba” disappeared a long time ago from the persian usage.
Traditionally a sour based called “bors” was used. Do not confuse it with the russian “borscht” which is a red beet soup.

“Bors” is made from the fermented wheat bran and can be prepared at home or bought at romanian grocery stores. However in recent years is less used because it requires too much time to prepare. Instead the most common souring agents for ciorbe are lemon juice and sauerkraut juice. Other souring agents are vinegar,sour grape leaves and green sorrel leaves. I use lemon salt. Not sure if you can find it here in UK.

In general when the soup is soured with bors it is called BORS. When other souring agents are used it is called ciorba.

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