Prep 6 hrs
Cook 30 mins
Description: Bulgarian Tripe Soup (Shkembe Chorba) was first sampled a while ago in Yambol at 2:00 in the morning after a very busy evening with Bulgarian friends eating, drinking, dancing followed by more drinking dancing and talking in a local nightclub. Just as I thought the nightclub scene was over it was time to go home we zig-zagged out way to a non stop bar and presented with another round of beer and in addition the order went out for a round of tripe soup! It was a real mystery as to why soup was ordered at the time until it was explained that this soup was a perfect remedy for heavy heads after drinking sessions usually drunk in the morning for the morning after the night before! Here is the original recipe given by my Bulgarian partner Galia.
- 1⁄2 kg tripe (calf belly)
- 120 ml sunflower oil
- 250 ml fresh milk
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- black pepper (freshly ground)
- garlic (peeled and roughly sliced)
- red wine vinegar
- dried hot chili peppers, plus
- roughly ground dried hot chili peppers (with seeds)
- Boil the tripe for for a couple of minutes then clean both sides of the tripe with a knife until it is completely clean of marks and film.
- Rinse and place it in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
- Leave to simmer for around 5 hours topping up the water every once in a while so the tripe is submersed at all times.
- The cooked tripe should be removed (keep the stock to one side) and cut up into small chunks, some prefer it minced.
- Add some salt to the stock along with the paprika, milk and oil and boil for a further 15 minutes. Finally add the tripe to the soup mixture and it's ready to serve.
- Serve in soup bowls or deep dishes along with salt, vinegar, chopped garlic and more roughly ground hot chili in separate serving utensils alongside. A basket of fresh bread is also customary.
- A rarity but this dish is not meant to be served with any alcoholic beverage. Its design presents itself be the Bulgarian cure for hangovers. However you might want to go on another binge just to get to try this again afterwards.
- Originally published in http://www.ourbulgarianworld.com.