Zeama, traditional chicken soup from Moldova

Zeama, traditional chicken soup from Moldova

Where I come from, chicken soup with noodles is also called 'Zeama/Zama' and traditionally the day after the wedding is called 'La Bors' or 'La Zama'. This is because it's tradition to serve a big bowl of sour and savoury chicken soup before all the other courses. 

I'm not trying to show off, but this chicken soup is one of my best recipes, exactly as you see it below or in the video. Egg drops or other vegetables can be added to it, but I like it classic and simple and I can tell you it's very tasty.


1.5 kg
mine was a small, home raised chicken
Bell pepper
1 piece
Celery root
1 piece
a small one or a piece of a bigger one
1 piece
White onion
2 pieces
2 pieces
2 pieces
Laurel leaves
2 pieces
Fresh parsley
1 piece
1 bunch
Borsch/Lemon juice
300 ml
to taste
2 tbsp
to taste
100 g
Homemade noodles
150 g
see the recipe on my website

Step by step


Wash the chicken thoroughly, cut in pieces of medium size.


We prepare the first set of veggies, the ones meant to give the flavour:

-a carrot, half a pepper, onion, celery root, parsley and parsnip 

The more varied the veggies are, the better, so the soup is tastier and more savoury.


Place chicken covered well with water in a 5 litre cooking pot over heat.


When it comes to the boil, skim off any scum using a spoon or a skimmer.


Add the veggies we prepared earlier and a bay leaf.


Turn the heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours until chicken is cooked through. 

If you are using store-bought or even home raised chicken, 1 hour will be enough, but a hen or a rooster will need more time to boil until completely cooked.


After this time, remove the veggies from the soup, they did their job.


Dice the rest of the vegetables - the potatoes, 1 carrot and half a pepper.


Finely chop the parsley leaves.


And the onion. 


Tip the diced carrots, potatoes and pepper into the soup pot. Turn the heat to low and boil for 15-20 minutes.


After this time, add the noodles, mix well and boil for 7-10 minutes, depending on how thick they are.


Add 'bors' (fermented wheat bran) to taste.


Add salt to taste. 

Stir well and boil for 5 minutes more.


At the end, stir in the chopped parsley and onion. Yes, it's not a mistake, I always add the onion at the end, it's raw and it gives a special taste to the soup. 

Boil for no more than 10 seconds. It's a tip I know from my grandma.


Now turn off the heat.


Put the lid on and let stay for 15-30 minutes for the flavours to blend. 

Besides parsley, lovage can also be added, I like it without, but this is simply my personal taste.


Serve hot or warm, optionally with dollops of sour cream and cilli pepper. 


Quantity: 5 l (10 servings)
Prep time: 30 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 120 min
Publish date:
Collections: Soups

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