Romanian Style Vegetable Soup

My mom asked for a lot of soup during her COVID quarantine, so Chef Viviana has been quite busy delivering for that craving.

This is a fairly simple and straightforward soup, full of veggies and the one secret ingredient to pretty much any Romanian soup: lovage, or as we call it in Romanian, leuştean.

We have a big lovage bush in the backyard, but I recognize that most people in America don’t even know this herb exists, so here’s a link to one of my favorite brands so you can incorporate this versatile herb into your cooking. It truly elevates the flavors in any dish.

That said, here’s the recipe breakdown. Enjoy and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @vivianapodinaphotography for more intermittent posts ;)


2 tbsp sunflower or light olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 parsnip root, finely chopped
1 red pepper and 1 small yellow or orange pepper, finely chopped
1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 medium potatoes, chopped
12 oz tomato paste
1 tsp dried lovage
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp peppercorns
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
12 cups of hot water

(You will get anywhere between 8-12 servings with this recipe)


  1. In a large pot, heat up the oil until it shimmers, about 30 seconds. Add onions and garlic and season with salt, allow to cook for about 3 minutes or until they begin to become translucent.
  2. Add the 12 cups of hot water and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add your peppercorns, dried lovage, carrots, parsnips, and celery. Simmer on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Afterwards, add the peppers, potatoes, and cauliflower florets and simmer for 10-12 mins.
  5. Add the tomato paste and simmer for another 10 mins, season as necessary with salt.
  6. Turn off the heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Enjoy!


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