Ciorba de Legume – How to Make Romanian Vegetable Soup Recipe

A white bowl with a golden rim sat on a yellow tea towel, on a wood chopping board. The bowl is filled with a clear but red vegetable soup. Next to it there is an orange ceramic spoon with sour cream and a wooden spoon.

In Romania we say that we can’t let our stomachs go dry, so we have to eat soup. I grew up eating soup almost every day of the week. This Romanian vegetable soup recipe is a simple recipe that you can put together in about half an hour, which makes a great option for lunch. This is a very popular soup eaten during the Easter or Christmas fasting period as well, when many religious people won’t eat meat.

This is a light soup that doesn’t have many calories. Is a great choice for a summer lunch, or as a light appetiser before a hearty dinner.

Ingredients for this Romanian Vegetable Soup Recipe

onions and carrots at the bottom of a stainless steel pot

I love this Romanian soup because it is so easy to make. You can use any vegetables that you like. It’s a soup that can be made with whatever leftover vegetables you have in the fridge.

For this vegetable soup I used the classic onion, carrot and celery, as well as bell peppers, green beans and potatoes. When the soup was ready, I sprinkled dried lovage on top. You can serve this soup on its own, with crusty bread, or with sour cream.

How to Make the Romanian Vegetable Soup

A wooden spoon lifting some vegetables from the pot with a red soup in it

To make this soup I used ingredients that I already had in the fridge. For the base, I used a mix of onions, carrots and celery, which I sauteed in a little bit of oil until soft. This combination of vegetables releases flavour and gives a nice texture to the soup.

As I was making this soup for myself only, I used a small pot. Once the vegetables became soft, I topped with water, before adding the rest of the vegetables in the order of cooking. For example, the potato has a longer cooking time than the pepper. I also like the pepper to keep its crunchy texture, and because of this I don’t boil them for too long.  

The last step in making this soup is adding the bors – the delicious liquid that brings this soup alive. It’s important to add the bors little by little, and always taste to make sure you don’t make the soup too sour. I used half a bottle of bors for this vegetable soup recipe, but I like it on the more sour side. Add the liquid slowly, and stop when you find your perfect balance of flavours.

All in all, it took about half an hour to prepare this soup, which provided me with lunch for the next four days.

Recipe Notes and Tips

A photo taken from above of a white bowl with a golden rim filled with the vegetable soup
  • Here are some helpful notes and tips that will help you achieve the perfect Romanian Vegetable Soup:
  • Don’t be afraid to make this vegetable soup your own. This is such a versatile recipe that you can add whichever vegetables you like, and leave out the ones you don’t. For example, I am not a fan of root vegetables – so I don’t add any in my soup. Many people add celery root, parsnips or turnips, but because I don’t like them, I don’t.
  • Make sure to add the bors gradually, and taste in between, until the soup reaches your preferred sourness.
  • You can also add dried thyme instead of lovage. I know that lovage is not a common herb easily to find.
A white bowl with a golden rim sat on a yellow tea towel, on a wood chopping board. The bowl is filled with a clear but red vegetable soup. Next to it there is an orange ceramic spoon with sour cream and a wooden spoon.

Romanian Vegetable Soup Recipe

This Romanian vegetable soup makes for a delicious light lunch or appetiser. It is packed with fresh vegetables and can be served with sour cream. This Romanian soup recipe is very easy to make as well.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Romanian
Servings 5 people


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 celery stick
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 pack green beans
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 0.5 litre bors fermented bran liquid
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • handful dried lovage or thyme
  • salt and pepper


  • Cut all the vegetables in small cubes and set aside.
  • Heat up the oil in a pot and sauté the onion, carrots and celery on a medium heat.
  • Once the vegetables are soft, add 1.5L of water on top, and add salt to taste. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Add the potatoes, wait for 10 minutes, and add the bell pepper and the green beans as well. Wait for another 5 minutes and add the tin of chopped tomatoes. 
  • Meanwhile, bring the bors to the boil.
  • Add the bors over the soup, let it come to boil again, then turn off the heat.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Sprinkle some dried lovage or thyme on the top. 
  • Enjoy hot, with crusty bread and/or sour cream.


Can you make the Vegetable Soup ahead of time?

Yes. In my family, my mom would usually make the soup on the Sunday, and it would last until Thursday or even Friday. You can reheat this soup on the stove or in the microwave.

How do you store the Romanian Vegetable Soup?

You can store this Romanian vegetable soup in the fridge, either in the pot you’ve cooked it, covered with a lid as I do or in a tupperware container. Simply take portions out as and when you want and reheat. 

For more traditional Romanian soups check out the below:

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