Supa Topcheta: Bulgarian Meatball Soup
This recipe – supa topcheta – is very popular in Bulgaria. It’s a classic cooked at almost every Bulgarian home and is in fact a school canteen staple.
Supa Topcheta, or Bulgarian Meatball Soup, is a favorite traditional dish and truly represents comfort food at its best. The hearty soup is filled with vegetables and meatballs made with a combination of pork and beef.
Then it’s thickened with egg yolks and yogurt spiked with fresh lemon juice. The resulting soup is creamy without being overly heavy. Served with extra yogurt and lemon on the side, and of course a loaf of crusty bread, it’s a tangy and delicious meal in and of itself!
80 g rice, rinsed until water runs clear
1.6 liters chicken broth
150 g minced beef
150 g minced pork
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
100 g carrots
70 g leeks or onions
50 g onion
50 g celery root
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh spearmint
1 teaspoon of mixture of dried herbs (basil, oregano thyme, marjoram)
1 bay leaf
3 grains allspice
2 small potatoes /optional, I don’t use/
Juice of ¼ lemon
100 ml yogurt
2 egg yolks
sour cream for serving /optional/
15 g butter for frying
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Sprig of dill to garnish
Peel and grate the onion and half a clove of garlic, add them to the minced meat. Then add salt and pepper to taste, plus the dry herbs and mint. Pour in milk and egg, add in bread crumbs and mix together.
Knead the minced meat and then shape it into small balls.
Pour broth into a suitable pot and place on the stove. Add the washed rice and let boil for 10 minutes.
During this time, prepare the vegetables as follows: peel and cut into small cubes the potatoes and celery root, cut the leeks into strips, grate the carrot and grate the ½ clove of garlic as well.
Melt the butter in a suitable vessel and fry the remaining onion and leeks in it for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Take the potatoes, celery root, carrots, onions, garlic and leeks and add them to the semi-finished rice.
When the water boils again, add the balls of minced meat, bay leaf, allspice and let everything be cooked for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the rice is cooked.
To thicken the soup, beat the egg yolks in a bowl until thick, add yogurt and lemon juice and beat again. Pour in a thin stream into the soup and stir constantly.
Close the container with a lid and reduce the heat to a minimum.
Take the second clove of garlic, mash and mix with chopped parsley. Add to the soup combination, turn off the heat and leave the lid closed for about 10 minutes.
Serve with sour cream and a sprig of dill.