Begova corba translates to beys soup, so named after the first three rulers of the Ottoman empire; those Ottomans sure did get around and influence a lot of European cuisines. I conduct extensive research before developing my own recipes for each country and all recipes I found in English for Begova Ciorba included chicken, but those translated directly from Bosnian were 50% beef or veal based. We've had heaps of chicken soup on our journey so far so we chose moo cow soup.
All recipes were unanimous on the okra though, it's essential. Don't be scared if you've had a bad experience with okra, I had and I had also uttered the words 'never again' after tasting a clumsily cooked okra curry with the texture of snot. Cosmin was extremely suspicious when I showed him my big bag of okra (easy to find, mine was from Asda), he claimed that it was not Bosnian because he had never heard of it before, he stated that if it grows in a country so close to his homeland and that he hadn't tasted it before it must be because it is a horrible thing that nobody wants to eat. You would have thought I was making him taste cod liver oil when I dished it up to him, the look on his face, but then he tasted it and was all 'oh. ...oh, yeah this is good, really good, you make great soup Dulcie'.
Make sure your okra is cut into rounds no smaller than 1cm, boil with water and vinegar, drain then rinse with fresh water. Do this and you are guaranteed a snot free delicous soup.
- 175g okra (about 16) cut into 1cm thick rounds
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 450g beef stewing steak cut into large chunks
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 parsnip peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 litre milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to season
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER PORTION
- Calories | 217
- Fat |7.7g
Serves | 8
Prep Time | 10 minutes
Cooking Time | 1 hour 30 minutes
- Put the okra in a pan together with 500ml water and the vinegar, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well in fresh water
- Melt the butter in a large pan and add the beef, season well with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides and all the juices have evaporated.
- Add the carrots, celery and parsnip to the meat, stir and cover. Sweat on medium for about 45 minutes until the beef is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
- Stir in the flour, pour in 1 litre of water, stir, cover and simmer for a further 25 minutes until the meat is tender.
- Stir in the milk heat gently for 2-3 minutes then remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley.