Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bulgarian Tripe Soup - Shkembe Chorba

Shkembe Chorba
People on the Balkans like this spicy soup, which is served broadly over the Peninsula. 
As the name suggests, it has Turkish origin, but over the years it was adapted in the cuisines of the different coutries. Even though the names of the soup are local and there are some variations concerning the included ingredients (with or without milk, onion, veal knuckles etc.), the recipe is nearly the same. It is not a sophisticated dish, but it is very tasty and it has the reputation of one of the best hangover cures. 
A man healing tool probably. I can't imagine a woman, feeling giddy and suffering from head-aches, who sips tripe soup in the morning, but who knows?

But bear in mind: tripe makes the soup gelatinous and its surface tends to become solid very fast. So the soup should be eaten really hot, which makes some slurping inevitable. This fact and also the strong taste and the garlic garnish make the soup not very proper part of the menu if you inted to invite the President for dinner. Otherwise it is a very tasty soup for an evening with the beloved ones matching perfectly with a glass of ice-cold beer. 
Bulgarian Tripe Soup

Ingredients for the tripe soup:
  • 1 kg beef tripe
  • 6 cups of water
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp ground red paprika
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Ingredients for the garlic sauce:
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Wash tripe thoroughly and place in a pot. Cover with cold water and let boil. 5 minutes after the beginning of the boiling remove the water, drain the tripe, rinse well again under running cold water and put in a pressure cooker. Cover with the 6 cups of water and simmer on medium heat for 3 hours until it gets fork-tender. Take out the tripe and cut it in thin stripes. Return to the broth.
Heat the butter in a skillet on medium heat until it gets light brown, add the flour and stir well. The flour should get brownish. Stir in the red paprika, mix well and add to the tripe. Pour some of the broth into the skillet to take all the butter, remained on the bottom and add to the soup. Add the milk and let simmer for additional 15 minutes. 
Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste and serve hot. 
It's good to have some dried hot peppers around.
Bulgarian Tripe Soup
Prepare the garlic sauce:
Mash garlic in a mortar, add the vinegar and some salt and garnish the soup with one tablespoon of the mixture. 


  1. Anonymous23/3/14 21:24

    I love tripe and as a matte of fact I use everything from an animal what is edible.I think that everyone should as a respect to them.Shared on my Facebook Page

    1. Yes, Dzoli, offal shouldn't be underestimated!

  2. I remember eating beef tripe back home, it was a long tome ago. Never had it since then. I am not sure if my family will approve, but me personally - love it! Your slop looks very appetizing! Thank you for an idea-)

    1. Thank you, Yelena! Hope you have good memories from the time you mention! If the soup can bring back some of these memories, it is worth trying.

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  5. Anonymous15/3/16 23:03

    The best receipt in internet! Thanks! Most of the Bulgarian women like it too, including my wife and daughter! Of course, one should care about his social contacts in the next several hours or not add garlic. But that changes all the taste :) And if consumed as a hangover remedy, the good glass of ice-cold beer and the roughly grind, dried, red chilies are must!

  6. Hello - hope you don't mind us linking to your post here:

  7. I miss having Schkembe on the beaches in Burgas, BG, with a tall COLD Burgaska beer, preferably after a good night of everything you consider fun... This recipe is the most AUTHENTIC you will find online, and will restore your body and mind in no time. Use the extra garlic, and your woman will adore you for it ;p.