Csorba soup with meatballs

If you want to cook a csorba and look for a recipe, Google lists a bunch of different recipes with various ingredients. There isn’t any uniform prescription how to make csorba soup because csorba can be any soup that contains onion, root vegetables and meat.

The word csorba comes from the new Persian language: it means soup on the Baltic peninsula and in the Middle East, in Transylvania it refers only to a special sour soup which is flavoured with korpacibere (juice of fermented wheat bran).

Csorba soup can be thickened with roux, yogurt or cream. Recipes usually call for korpacibere, vinegar, lemon, tomato juice or the juice of sauerkraut to make the soup sour. Onion, root veggies and meat are the basic elements, any other part of the soup is up to you.

This version of csorba is one of the best I have ever eaten. The flavours of thyme, basil and lovage merge into the aroma of fresh garlic, and this kind of combination makes the soup very tasteful and memorable. Give it a try, you won’t regret it.

Csorba soup with meatballs | photo: zserbo.com


  • 1 tbsp lard
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 medium wax or green pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 parsley roots, diced
  • a slice of celeriac, diced
  • approx. 1,8 l (~7 cups) water
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • thyme, basil and lovage to taste

For the meatballs:

  • 250 g (~1/2 lb) ground pork
  • 75 g (~1/3 cup) rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

Heat lard in a pot. Add finely chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle paprika over the onions. Give it a stir, then add the diced vegetables (except potatoes). Transfer pot back onto the heat and pour in water, just enough to cover the vegetables. Salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cover the pot and over low heat slowly cook while stirring from time to time.

Meanwhile prepare the meatballs. Rinse the rise and chop the onion. Place ground pork in a bowl. Add rice, onions, crushed garlic, egg and spices to the meat. Mix them up and form small balls.

Once the root vegetables are half-cooked, pour in 1,5 liters (~6 cups) of water and bring it to a boil. Season the soup with thyme, basil and lovage and add the crushed garlic. Once the water is boiling, carefully slide the potato cubes and meatballs in the pot. Give it a gentle stir and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the meat and vegetables are tender.

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1 Response

  1. Rola says:

    I like it highly recommend

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