Romanian Pork and White Bean Soup with Vinegar and Caraway (Ciorba de Porc) | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

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Milk Street Recipe

Romanian Pork and White Bean Soup with Vinegar and Caraway (Ciorba de Porc)

2¾ hours Plus soaking time for the beans

Romanian Pork and White Bean Soup with Vinegar and Caraway (Ciorba de Porc)

This soup, called ciorbă de porc, was inspired by a recipe from “Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania” by Friend of Milk Street, Irina Georgescu. It’s a hearty, subtly smoky potful of pork and beans in a tomatoey broth scented with caraway and finished with fresh dill. A staple on Romanian table, ciorbă might feature beef, pork, sausage, meatballs or even just vegetables. Beans and smoked meat are a common pairing, and we’ve included that in our version. No matter the headlining ingredient, the defining characteristic of ciorbă is a distinct tanginess that comes from the addition of a souring agent. We use white wine vinegar, but according to Georgescu, other options include pickle brine, sauerkraut liquid, even the juice of sour plums. Quick-pickled red onion garnishes individual bowlfuls of this ciorbă, adding a sharp, punchy flourish. Make the pickles while the soup simmers so the onion has time to steep in the vinegar mixture.

4 to 6

Servings

Tip

Don’t forget to soak the beans, as directed in the first step of the recipe, for at least 12 hours before you plan to begin cooking. Soaking the beans in water that is salted tenderizes them as wells as seasons them throughout.

2¾ hours

Plus soaking time for the beans

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