Romanian bean soup #recipe

Romanian bean soup

The bean soup – “Ciorba de fasole” – is probably one of the most traditional dishes in Romania. It’s easy to make and everybody knows how to do it. Women anyway.

Ingredients for about 4 portions:
-250 g white beans;
-a big onion;
-one big carrot;
-one small parsnip;
-one small celery root;
-one red pepper;
-one tsp of sweet paprika;
-one tbsp of tomato paste(optional)
– a pinch of dried thyme;
-3 tbsp of oil;

Wash the beans and put them to boil. The water just needs to cover slightly the beans and no more. Boil until the skin starts to become wrinkled.
At that point change the water with some fresh one in which you add a bit of salt and bring it to boil again.
If the beans are very old you can leave them to soak in water starting the night before. Like that you can shorten the time you need to boil them.
If it happens for the water to go down during the boiling then add some more hot water. You can have some water boiled in the kettle for example.
After about an hour the beans should start to get soft. Try them and if you like the consistence then add the chopped onions, the parsnip cut in slices and the grated celery root.
It’s good for the beans to be boiled on a low heat, a long time with the lead on. After we put the onions and the roots, bring all to boil and let it boil for about 30-40 minutes
on a low heat. If the beans are well boiled after this time then add the chopped red pepper and the sweet paprika.
After about 15 minutes add the sliced carrot and boil for another 5-10 minutes.
If you wish and everything is boiled you can add a spoon of tomato paste – but that is optional.
The red pepper, paprika and the carrot give the soup a red colour anyway. The tomato paste intensifies it.
Close to the end of the boil add the dry thyme and as much salt as you like. Add 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil and leave it boil for 2-3 more minutes, after the soup should be done.
To serve it you can add some chopped parsley on top as it just gives it a special nice taste.
As you can see from the picture, traditionally the soup can be eaten with pickled cucumber and/raw onion sprinkled with salt.

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  • Megan

    Thank you for this recipe. I have moved to Bihor County and am trying to learn as much locl cooking as possible. I am going to make this chorba today… Was really kind of you to share your recipe and to take the time to do so.

  • Anita

    I have made it (had no parsnip and celery at home so without it) and it’s great. I was a bit sceptical about the pickled cucumber but they are delicious together.

  • Christina Austin

    This was delicious!I will definitely add this to my favorite soups. We visited Romania last year.My husband also was there on business We loved it.Beautiful country. I hope we go back. Thank you!

      • Christina Austin

        I think almost hard to decide what I liked best. Loved everything. We started out in Bucharest. My husband had business there.He works for Microchip Technology. We stayed 5 days there in Bucharest before he had to report for work. Bucharest I loved the architecture.We rented a really nice loft for the week. We rented a car which was nice because we were able to drive and see the country not be in one place.I loved driving. That is when you see the countryside. We went to Constanta for 4 days before my husband had to go back to Bucharest. My son and I continued our stay at a beautiful hotel on the Black Sea. Constanta is such a lovely area. My son and I stayed while he worked and took a train back to meet my husband in Bucharest.I loved taking the trains. We met many interesting people along the way that were very happy to talk with us. I love meeting people.We also drove to Brasov and Sibiu and stayed 5 days in Transylvania region. We of course toured several of the castles. I loved the mountains and it was just breath taking how beautiful it was. I often tell my husband I wish his company would move us there. I would love to experience more.Maybe learn some of the language and experience the culture. Visit more of Europe. Beautiful country, people and culture. Of course the food too! I tell people they must visit Romania.

  • Becky

    I spent 6 weeks in Romania in 2012 and absolutely loved the food and all of the women who welcomed me into their homes with their delicious meals! I have made this recipe a couple of times now and it is always so good! Thank you for posting it. It’s the perfect winter soup.

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