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This is my version of the classical vegetarian sour soup recipe that’s very popular in Romanian cuisine. This recipe was inspired by a soup that my mother used to cook me when I was a child.

I simply love this soup, not only because it’s a childhood favorite but also because it’s:

A simple and delicious vegetarian recipe
Loaded with healthy nutrients
And so easy to prepare that anyone can do it
You literally cannot fail at cooking this soup!
Smells so great that you can’t resist it
Has that special sweet and sour taste
Naturally low-carb and loaded with vegetables
It’s even better when served with different “extras”
Last, but not least, will keep your belly happy and nourished

Three bowls of Romanian Vegetarian Sour Soup on a wooden table, served with brie cheese, mozzarella cheese and kalamata olives, top view

How to make the Romanian Vegetarian Sour Soup

Sour soup is a traditional recipe in Romanian cuisine. Although the original recipe asks for different meats, I’ve prepared for you a vegetarian soup that still retains that special local taste without using meat.

Traditionally to Romanian cuisine, the special sour taste of any soup is obtained using a local ingredient called “bors” (prepared from wheat or barley bran fermented in water). For this recipe through, we’ll replace “bors” with freshly squeezed lemon juice and the taste won’t change much. Don’t worry, I will teach you all about it later on!

I love this soup because it comes together quite quickly. Once the vegetables are ready sliced, it takes around 30 minutes to cook the soup! Here’s what you’ll have to do:

  1. First, this soup is made with cooked rice which needs to be prepared in advance (only takes a few minutes though).
  2. We start by cooking all the vegetables in a big pot until they’re almost done.
  3. Once the vegetables are cooked, it’s time to add in cooked rice. Bring to a boil to incorporate the rice.
  4. Towards the end of the cooking process, you’ll have to add in beaten eggs (see recipe notes for the technique I use).
  5. Finish the soup by adding lemon juice salt and spices. If you live in Romania, you may use the traditional “bors”.
  6. That’s about it! Please see the recipe section for all the details.
Three bowls of Romanian Vegetarian Sour Soup on a wooden table, top view close-up

How to serve the Romanian Sour Soup

This soup can be served by itself or you can combine it with a few special extras that will enhance its flavor and nutritional value. When it comes to extras, these are my top choices for this soup:

  • Full-Fat Sour Cream – Traditionally, this soup is served with 1-2 tsp of full-fat sour cream (think crème fraîche or other variations). Simply mix the sour cream into a hot bowl of soup and serve. Try it and you’ll see what I mean!
  • Cheese – Whatever it’s Comté, Cheddar, Brie, Mozzarella or the local Cașcaval (Romanian cheese), you have to pair this soup with a few slices of your favorite hard cheese to really appreciate it. As a rule of thumb, I always choose a matured cheese made from healthy milk (raw milk that comes from grass-fed pastured cows, if possible).
  • Nuts – From time to time I like serving this delicious sour soup with a handful of walnuts, pecans or even pistachio on the side. They’ll add a crunchy texture to the soup, plus nuts are high in healthy fats so they will enhance the overall taste of this sweet and sour soup.
  • Avocado – Great with any kind of sour soup, avocado has a creamy texture that resembles a vegan full-fat cream (if that makes any sense). It adds beneficial fats to your soup, enhancing the soup’s texture in the same time. Try adding a few slices of avocado to your soup bowl and you’ll feel the difference immediately.
  • Scallions or Hot Peppers – This soup is traditionally served with spring onions (scallions) or even fresh garlic, but you can also pair it with chili pepper or any other kind of hot pepper.

I hope you’ll enjoy cooking and serving this traditional Romanian vegetable sour soup as much as we did. If you try it, let me know your experience and if you enjoyed the specific sweet and sour taste.

Leave a comment, don’t forget to take a picture and tag it @refreshmyhealth on Instagram or share it on Pinterest! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Did you enjoyed my vegetarian sour soup? What’s your favorite soup recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments and leave a review.

5 from 6 votes

Romanian Vegetarian Sour Soup

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 5 servings
Print Recipe
My version of the classical sour soup recipe that’s very popular in Romanian cuisine. This recipe was inspired by a soup that my mother used to cook me when I was a child.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots (sliced)
  • 1/3 small celery root (including leaves, peeled, cubed)
  • 1 big cup frozen green peas (or 1 handful)
  • 1 big cup frozen green beans (or 1 handful)
  • 1 big cup frozen broccoli (or 1 handful)
  • 1/2 garlic head (peeled)
  • 7-8 cm leeks
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped big)
  • 1 chili pepper (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp Jasmine or Basmati rice (pre-boiled)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon (juice only)
  • dried parsley (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp Himalayan salt

Instructions

  • Prior to making this soup, you’ll first have to boil the rice (only takes a few minutes). Once cooked, remove excess water and transfer in a bowl to cool down.
  • For the soup .... In a large pot, add the following veggies: carrots, celery, green peas, green beans, broccoli, garlic, leeks, bell pepper and chili pepper.
  • Add enough water to cover the ingredients and a bit more.
  • Bring to a boil and keep it there until the veggies become tender.
  • Lower the cooking temperature and add pre-cooked rice.
  • In the meantime, in a medium bowl, beat eggs using a fork. This won’t take you more than 30 seconds.
  • Now we need to combine a bit of hot soup with those beaten eggs. Use a ladle to add a bit of hot soup on top of the beaten eggs. Gently mix to dissolve the eggs in the bowl of soup.
  • Pour the creamed eggs over the simmering soup. Use a fork to mix fast at the surface of the soup until the eggs will dissolve into the soup, forming a specific eggy texture.
  • Finish by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, dried parsley and black pepper.
  • Simmer the soup for another minute or two, until it develops that perfect sour taste.
  • Remove from heat and set aside to rest for a few minutes (and to cool down a bit).
  • Your soup is now ready! Use a ladle to portion into a bowl and serve by its own or with your favorite extras.

Notes

This sour soup can be safely stored in the fridge for at least 3 days. The lemon juice will easily keep it fresh in all this time.
This recipe allows a lot of creativity when it comes to swapping ingredients. For instance, I used frozen veggies like broccoli, green peas and green beans. You can safe.y use cauliflower instead of broccoli, and even skip green peas or green beans all-together. You can even exchange the carrot for a sweet potato, and the soup will still turn out great.
When it comes to rice, you can either use Jasmine or Basmati. I like using Basmati rice most often, but the recipe is great either way.
In the Romanian tradition, the sour taste is traditionally obtained by using a special ingredient called “bors”. “Bors” is a liquid ingredient used in the Romanian and Moldovan cuisines to make traditional sour soups. It consists of wheat or barley bran, sometimes sugar beet, fermented in water - a slightly yellowish, sour liquid, which can also be drunk as such.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Vegetarian
Keywords: romanian soup, sour soup, vegetable soup, vegetarian soup
Author: Marcel Corbeanu

More soup recipes inspiration

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Marcel Corbeanu

Marcel Corbeanu

Hi, I'm Marcel! I'm a health coach, I write about health and wellness and I love cooking healthy food with fresh and simple ingredients.

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