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Romanian Beef Soup or Ciorbă de văcuță

Romanian Beef Soup (Ciorbă de văcuță)

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  • Author: Ruxandra Banu
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 4+ 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Fresh yet comforting, tangy, rich, and aromatic – a dish that perfectly represents cuisine from Eastern Europe.


Units Scale

  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound beef eye of round steak, cut into bitesize pieces (substitute any stew meat if you can’t find eye of round, but keep in mind that cooking times will vary)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Half a stick of celery, diced
  • 4 cups water, or use veggie or beef broth for more flavor
  • 1 bunch or more of fresh dill, roughly chopped, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into bitesize pieces
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bitesize pieces
  • Sour cream to garnish


  1. Heat a glug of olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, season the beef with salt and black pepper to taste. Once the oil is hot, add the beef to the pot, and brown on all sides.
  3. Once the beef is browned, reduce the heat to medium, add the diced onion and celery, and cook until they begin to soften.
  4. Add the water or broth to the pot, along with half the fresh dill. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen all the delicious browned bits. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the meat is almost tender – about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. When the meat is almost tender, add in the bell pepper, parsnip, and potatoes. Continue cooking until the meat is luxuriously tender, and the potatoes and parsnips are cooked through – about another 30 minutes. 
  6. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning just as desired.
  7. Stir in most of the remaining fresh dill, saving a bit for garnish.
  8. Dish up the soup, garnish with a dollop of sour cream and dill, and enjoy! Yumm!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Romanian
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