Week-end recipe from Romania: tripe sour soup

The tripe sour soup (in Romanian it’s called ciorba de burta) is one of the popular recipes you can find in Romania. We’re not entirely sure it’s a traditional recipe, but it’s widely used in the country. Most of the restaurants have the tripe sour soup in their menu. You can even find it canned – not that we would necessarily recommend eating the canned version. The best one is home made and it’s very easy to prepare.

The main ingredient is the cow tripe – you can buy it in supermarkets/hypermarkets, usually refrigerated after it has been thoroughly cleaned. It usually costs around RON 10-12 per kilogram. If you have a butcher shop nearby, you might ask for fresh beef tripe, but make sure it was very well cleaned.

All you need to do with the tripe bought from the supermarket is clean it a bit once again and then boil it in salty water – it will take around 2 hours or even more to boil, so start ahead of time if you have guests coming over. Put 3-4 liters of water for every kilogram of tripe you have. When the tripe is almost well boiled, cut a carrot and an onion in very small pieces and let it boil together with the tripe. After it’s boiled, cut the tripe Julienne. Sometimes you can find the tripe already boiled (and even cut Julienne) and then refrigerated. But even so, you still need to boil it again for a while.

When everything is boiled well – the tripe and vegetables – add 2-3 spoons of sour cream and some minced garlic in the pot. You may skip the garlic if you want – it’s a matter of taste, but we recommend using it. It gives a better flavor. Don’t forget to add the salt and pepper.

When serving it,also put some vinegar in the soup bowl. But since it’s, again, a matter of taste, everyone should put as much vinegar they like.

There are several variations to this recipe, depending on the cook’s background. Some add more vegetables, like parsnip and celery, others eat a pickled pepper or picked red peppers together with the soup. There’s even a version without the vegetables. Try out different versions and see which one you like better.

Tripe sour soup ingredients:

1 kg beef tripe

1 carrot

1 peeled onion

200 g (2-3 spoons) of sour cream

vinegar for taste

salt & pepper

If you know a recipe you learned & tried in Romania, share it! Send us an e-mail at editor@romania-insider.com and we will publish it. We’re choosing the recipe of the week and publish it every Friday so you can try it over the week-end.