Romanian cuisine is hearty and delicious and includes many dishes that are reminiscent of its Serbian, Hungarian, Bosnian, and Turkish neighbors. What makes Romanian food unique is the spices and specific ingredients used in their dishes. For example, smoked bacon, salty cheese, spicy peppers, and borsch (souring agent) all make Romanian cuisine special and different. One of Romania’s many specialties is its sour soups, made sour by vinegar, lemon, or borsch. This particular recipe originated in the North-East of Romania and was named after a city in Bukovina. The soup is simple to prepare, and it is perfect for chilly Fall and Winter days.
8 cups chicken stock
8 cups water
1 whole chicken (2.5-3 pounds)
1 large onion, peeled
3 carrots, peeled
1 leek, finely sliced
4 celery stalks
1 red pepper, halved and seeded
6-8 garlic cloves
1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar
500 grams sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Extra minced garlic for serving (optional)
Extra sour cream for serving (optional)
Hot peppers for serving (optional)
Add the chicken stock and water to a large, deep pot. Carefully put the entire chicken in the liquid with 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the whole onion, 3 whole carrots, finely sliced leek, celery stalks, and red pepper halves to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce and allow to simmer for approximately 1 hour.
Skim the foam and fat that forms at the top of the soup.
At this time, the meat should be falling off of the bones and the vegetables will be soft.
Carefully remove the chicken and vegetables from the liquid. You will discard all of the vegetables except the carrots. Chop the carrots and put them back into the soup.
Separate the meat from the bone and discard all of the bones. Put the meat back into the soup.
Mince the garlic cloves well until a paste is formed. Combine the minced garlic with a few tablespoons of soup, then add it to the pot.
Add the lemon juice or vinegar to the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sour cream, and eggs. Blend well. Slowly add some of the hot soup mixture to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. This is an important step. You must temper the eggs, or they will turn into scrambled eggs in the hot soup!
Add the egg mixture to the pot, then place the pot on the stove over very low heat until it’s hot (again, you don’t want scrambled eggs).
Stir in the parsley and dill.
The soup is traditionally served with minced garlic, extra sour cream and hot peppers or hot sauce. Serve with bread, and enjoy!
*Feature photo courtesy of www.romaniaexperience.com