Cabbage soup with smoked pork ribs, a traditional Romanian recipe.
This cabbage soup comes from the middle of Transylvania, in the heart of Romania, that is Ardeal county. Made either with fresh (sweet) or pickled (sour) cabbage, it has no season. It’s in season all the time, it’s loved that much.
Smoked ribs, or even smoked pig’s knuckle, any smoked pig’s meat will do. This version uses smoked ribs, they cook faster, although 90 minutes to prepare this cabbage soup is not that “fast”.
- 6-8 smoked pork ribs
- 400g cubed pork meat (leg, shoulder)
- 1 cabbage (1kg)
- 1 large onion
- 1-2 carrots
- 1 parsnip
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 spoon sweet paprika
- 50ml oil
- fresh or dried thyme (1/2 teaspoon)
Cover the ribs and the pork meat in a pot with cold water, add the bay leaves and bring to a very low simmer and boil for about 60 minutes, until the meat from the ribs is just about to come off the bone. Skim off the impurities off the top if any.
In another pot, or large frying pan, heat up the oil, and soften the finely chopped vegetables, the onion, carrot and parsnip for about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, stir well and cook for just 30 seconds.
Now drop all the vegetables into the pot with the meats. Bring to a slow simmer, season with salt and pepper. Finely shred the cabbage and add to the pot. Add the thyme and simmer until everything is cooked through. As like, the cabbage is done.
Finally there is a choice of finishing up the dish.
Firstly, you can heat up 50ml of oil in a larger frying pan. Add a spoon of white flour and cook until the flour starts to get brownish in colour. Ladle some of the liquid from the soup pot into it, mix well, add another ladle, until you get a thick soupy consistency. Pour it back into the cabbage soup pot.
Secondly, you can mix in the cabbage soup some tomato passata, or diced canned tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Thirdly, beat 2 egg yolks with 100g of double cream, sour cream or creme fraiche. Let the soup cool down for 20 minutes. Ladle soup over the egg mixture, mix and pour into the pot.
And should you wish, sprinkle some fresh parsley over the top, before serving with bread, and some fresh or pickled chilies.
Other popular recipes in this category:
- Best Romanian chicken paprikash with flour dumplings.
- Traditional cabbage rolls (sarmale) stuffed with minced pork and smoked meats.
- Chicken and noodles soup.