FoodWarming up winter: grandmother's exceptional ciupanka recipe for a comforting feast

Warming up winter: grandmother's exceptional ciupanka recipe for a comforting feast

In winter, grandma cooks more often than she makes chicken soup or barley soup. The unfairly forgotten ciupanka.
In winter, grandma cooks more often than she makes chicken soup or barley soup. The unfairly forgotten ciupanka.
Images source: © Getty Images | dirkr
9:52 AM EST, January 22, 2024

When winter chills seep into our bones, a bowl of hot soup is the perfect remedy. Rather than settling for usual dishes like chicken broth or tomato soup, it’s worth rediscovering the uncommon yet scrumptious, ciupanka soup. This regional gem, also known as potato soup, is characterized by its straightforward ingredients that nonetheless deliver an astounding taste.

Ciupanka: an extraordinary take on potato soup

Originating from Subcarpathia, ciupanka is more than your typical potato soup. Including other vegetables like mixed veggies, beans, garlic, and onions, this soup is straightforward to prepare, yet phenomenal in taste.


  • 5.3 oz smoked bacon,
  • one can of red beans,
  • 4 large potatoes,
  • 3 handfuls of chopped mixed vegetables (leek, carrot, parsley, celery),
  • 4 tablespoons of 18% cream,
  • a clove of garlic,
  • an onion,
  • allspice,
  • a bay leaf,
  • peppercorns,
  • half a cup of pickle juice,
  • salt,
  • water,
  • greens, such as dill or parsley.


  1. In a pot, sauté the diced onion, garlic, allspice, bay leaf, and peppercorns.
  2. Once the onion is glazed, mix in the chopped mixed vegetables and sauté for a few more minutes until they gain some color.
  3. Next, include the drained and rinsed beans, diced potatoes, salt, and pepper.
  4. Sauté again, then pour in enough water to cover the mix.
  5. Cook until the potatoes are soft.
  6. In a separate pan, fry the diced bacon.
  7. As the potatoes soften, add the pickle juice and tempered cream.
  8. Finally, give the soup some texture by lightly mashing it with a pestle or using a blender.
  9. Serve with the bacon bits and garnish it with your choice of greens.

Ciupanka is the ultimate soup for a winter dinner. It's filling, comforting, and packs a fantastic taste. If you haven't given it a go yet, give my grandmother's recipe a spin. I'm positive that you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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