The Romanian Ciorba - Made Easy
With the weather getting colder and the Christmas season nearing, I find myself craving Romanian food more and more. Because Romania gets really cold during winter, we tend to have very heavy and often fatty dishes. And while I admit there´s a big part of Romanian cuisine that I don´t particularly like (pretty much everything pork related), there´s also quite a few dishes that will always be in my heart. Ciorba is one of them. A ciorba is basically a delicious sour soup usually found is eastern Europe, as opposed to the regular veggie soups you find in the west.
This #homemadeMonday I wanted to take advantage of some beautiful beans and celeriac (celery root) I found in the supermarket last week and teach you how to make a super simple, light and vegan (don´t tell my grandma that I omitted the meat!) ciorba de fasole - or bean soup. And because in Romania we tend to cook big quantities of it, I´ll give you a recipe to make 8-10 portions of it! Use it for Christmas or your next friends dinner and tell us how it went!
one big onion
100 g celeriac
100 g carrots
300 g potatoes
400 g beans
1 red bell pepper
2 ripe tomatoes
2 liters of water
1 bay leaf
a teaspoon of pickled tarragon (optional)
a teaspoon of fresh parsley
salt and pepper to season
1. Preparation phase: start by peeling and chopping your celeriac, carrots, potatoes, bell pepper and tomatoes into small cubes. Also chop the onion in small pieces and clean the beans. Attention: you´ll either need fresh beans (not out of a can), or dry beans which you´ll leave in water over night.
2. In a deep pan, add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes until it´s translucent. Next, add the potatoes, carrots and celeriac and fry for 10 more minutes.
3. Transfer the content of the pan into a big pot with the 2 liters of water and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf. Boil for about 15 minutes and then add the beans. Continue boiling them for another 15 minutes.
4. Add the red pepper and the chopped tomato along with the parsley and let boil for another 15 minutes or until all veggies are tender and well cooked. For the final 5 minutes, add the pickled tarragon for sourness. Season with salt and pepper for taste. Note: 1. You can use paprika powder (boia in Romanian) instead of the actual bell pepper. 2. Pickled tarragon (tarhon) is not for everyone as it has a rather strong taste. It´s not easy to find either unless you are from Romania and pickle it yourself. So feel free to leave this one out if you prefer.
Enjoy with family or friends, always!