Taste of Romania -- Ciorba de Pui

Today's lesson will fill your belly with wholesome goodness perfect for a cool day in early Spring. This is one of my favorite soups (ok, most of them are my favorites), so I chose it for my first attempt at soup-making. I must say, it didn't turn out bad at all. I used a recipe from here, with the exception that I changed some of the amounts for a smaller pot and fewer portions. This is a hearty soup and could stand alone or as a side for a sandwich, but here it's usually a first course served before something else. Anyway, without further ado, I give you chicken and vegetable soup!

Ciorba de Pui (say CHOR-buh deh POO-ee)
Serves 3-4

uncooked chopped chicken (I used a thigh and a leg)
1 carrot
1 parsnip
1 small celery root (about fist-sized)
1 red bell pepper
1 small-medium onion
3-4 cauliflower florets
2 tomatoes
1 potato
1 tbsp paprika
fresh parsley

Boil chicken in 2 liters salted water or chicken broth, removing foam as it appears. While meat boils, wash and cube all vegetables except cauliflower, which should be cut into smaller florets. When meat is halfway cooked, add all vegetables except potatoes, cover, and simmer for on low-medium heat. The longer it simmers, the better, but I left mine on low for about an hour while I did a little cleaning around the house to work up an appetite (as if my appetite is ever lacking). Add potatoes for the last 10 minutes and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and add chopped fresh parsley. Serve with salt/pepper to taste and, if you want to be Romanian about it, a little vinegar or lemon juice.

Unfortunately I didn't have any fresh parsley...
Pofta buna!

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