We have soups (most of them broths) and sour soups here in Romania. Sour soups are made with borscht or simply lemon juice. One of the common sour soups around here is the one with mountain spinach (Artriplex hortensis, known as lobodă here in Romania; the soup is called ciorbă, the latter being the word of choice for sour soups).
I’m learning from Wikipedia that mountain spinach is also known as garden orache, red orach, or French spinach (some dictionaries also give it the name of pigweed – I’m not sure if that’s accurate). Its leaves come in red (purple), green, and yellow-green.
Note that the present recipe is a very simplified one. When we make soups, we usually start with a base that consists of various vegetables, most often onion, celeriac, parsley or parsnip root, and carrots. I didn’t have that luxury tonight. I made the soup with the only things I had in the fridge: onions and carrots. The carrots were rather old and beginning to sprout, so I peeled them for the Ingredients photo. Some say that you shouldn’t eat garlic and onions and carrots that are beginning to sprout, but I always have some in my fridge that do and I just remove the green parts or, in this case, peel the carrots knowing they’ll still look OK. Of course, it’s always best to eat fresh veggies, but at the same time I don’t want to get stuck with no veggies in the house, hence the old carrots (two weeks) I used for this dish. (My mother, who keeps telling me to buy only the food I plan to cook, wouldn’t be exactly proud.)
This soup is wonderfully refreshing -- and such an easy, quick recipe. It takes less than 30 minutes to make. In terms of spices, I used only salt, white pepper, and garlic.