Ciorbă de păsulă * / Bean soup

 (for English version, scroll down the page)

N-am putut sa fac ciorba asta altfel decit Maestrul a lasat-o mostenire in cartea domniei sale. N-am putut sa scriu despre reteta in sine, altceva decit ceea ce deja s-a scris. E perfecta asa cum e in perfectiunea in care a zamislit-o, cel care-a zamislit-o pentru prima data. N-am putut sa fac altceva decit sa aduc aici, cuvint din cuvintul Maestrului, asa cum el a stiut s-o spuna si s-o deie mai departe, luind-o si el la rindul lui, de la altii.
Respect memoriei domniei tale, Maestre !

In Transylvania of the large herds, the best tomato is the lard and, the only vegetable in which the Romanian boy believes is the pork. How can he knows what chervil, asparagus or chicory is ? How can he values the greens when winter begins in September and ends in May ?
But all the Romanians agree on one thing: there is an exception. A 'meat and vegetable' pearl. A sole and absolute performance that transcends the differences and cultures: Ciorba de păsulă. The truth one, a Transylvanian one.

Ciorba is for Romanians what cheese is for French, sheep for Mongolian, Colt for Americans and inflatable woman for Italian navy .
You can give anything to the Mioritic boy: till he does not soften up his tablespoon in his hot, thick and sour soup, he does not feel like living.
The saps of the Romanian life go through the ciorba? Why not ?

750 gr beans (usually white)
1.5 kg smoked knuckle of pork
20 black peppercorns
2 chopped red onions
100 gr grated carrot
50 g parsnips, diced
50 g celery, diced
500 g over ripe tomatoes; chopped
200 ml thick tomatoes broth
100 ml apple vinegar or vinegar wine
1 tbs of sugar
salt (to the end, depending on how salty is the knuckle)
1 tsp of paprika 
3 small branches of thyme
1 handful of tarragon

1. In the evening:
Place beans in plenty of water to soften and swell.
2. Next day:
In 4 liters of cold water boil beans, knuckle and pepper.
3. Gather, from time to time, the foam that rises to the surface of the liquid.
4. After 1 hour by soft boil, add onions, vegetables, tomatoes, thyme, sugar and vinegar.
5. Again 1 hour to boil.
6. All liquid should drop by half. No more.
7. Remove the knuckle and thyme.
8. Add broth in ciorba and let it simmer for another 12 minutes.
9. Remove the bones and cut the meat into reasonable pieces.
10. Put the meat back in ciorba and add the chopped tarragon.

Seve it with hot chili and homemade bread.

Legend *:
Păsulă=bean (Romanian regionalism)
Ciorbă (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈt͡ʃorbə]), from Arabic, via the Turkish word çorba is a general Romanian word describing  sour soups consisting of various vegetables and meat. Most Romanians differentiate between "supă" (soup) and "ciorbă" by the fact that soup has no added acid and is most of the times clear (there's only one exception), while ciorbă may contain a wide variety of sour ingredients, usually lemonsborş  or "zeamă de varză acră" (Sauerkraut juice). In Moldova, the word borş means soup. Lovage is a frequent addition.
Borș is a fermented wheat bran used in Romanian cuisine to make traditional sour soup called ciorbă.

Enjoy !

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