Bulgaria Unit

After years of randomly skipping around Europe, I finally said, let’s just get through this in a somewhat organized fashion. We finished off the countries that were partially done, and then I sat down starting from the beginning of the alphabet and worked our way through the beginning of Europe, so we could finally be finished and move on to another continent. Our Bulgaria unit was part of our final Europe geography lessons.

Bulgaria Unit

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Bulgaria resources

Bulgaria unit europe geography

After watching the Geography Now video I had to make sure the kids did not write Victor Krum as one of their favorite facts for Bulgaria. They were rather upset I didn’t let them do that. 

Shocking I know.

Bulgaria recipe: Meatball soup

Bulgaria meatball soup

I found this Bulgaria recipe and told my kids, “We’re making meatball soup,” and they all groaned in pain. I glared at them and said, “Look it has only ingredients you like, and you can’t complain until you’ve tried it.”

That only made their complaints slightly quieter

I had a lot of complaints as I attempted to make this recipe. The directions were not completely clear, so I’m changing the directions to how I interpreted the meatball soup recipe.

Meatball ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 tablespoons uncooked rice (the recipe didn’t specify, so I decided for it)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory (or marjoram if you don’t have savory)
  • sal tnad pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups water and 2 beef bouillon cubes (since I bought that giant thing of beef bouillon pre-pandemic I just used a couple of big spoonfuls)
  • 1/2 bunch scallions chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes peeled and chopped 1 can diced tomatoes (I’ve taken to keeping a case of these diced tomatoes on hand because I keep cooking recipes and forgetting to buy the diced tomatoes I need)
  • parsley
  • 1 egg (total honesty I did not do this part, I got way confused)
  • lemon juice
Bulgarian meatball soup recipe europe

How to cook Bulgarian Meatball Soup

  1. Prep all the ingredients and then spend 10 minutes parsing the directions and trying to decide if the rice is supposed to be cooked or uncooked and finally decide it must really be uncooked rice.
  2. In a large pot put the water, bullion, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, scallions, bell pepper, carrot, and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Combine the ground beef, uncooked rice, paprika and marjoram (since I didn’t have savory in my spice cabinet), and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 1 inch balls, more or less.
  4. Add the meatballs and bring to boil again and cook for another 30 minutes. The rice will oddly emerge from the meatballs to create a sort of stew with less broth.
  5. Add the parsley for the last few minutes of cooking, and if you want more salt and pepper do so.  I’ve already cut down the salt and pepper from the original recipe because WOW was that a salty recipe in the original version.
Yield: 6 servings

Bulgarian Meatball Soup

Bulgarian meatball soup recipe europe

This Bulgarian meatball soup is a warm and flavorful soup for a cold winter night.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 tablespoons uncooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon savory or marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups water or beef broth
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • parsley


  1. Put the water, bouillon cubes, scallions, bell pepper, carrots, and diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. While that is cooking, combine beef, uncooked rice, paprika, and savory (marjoram). Mix well together and form into 1 inch balls. Then roll in flour.
  3. Add the meatballs into the soup and bring the broth to a boil again, then reduce to a simmer and cook for another 30 minutes.
  4. Add parsley at the end, and then cook for a few more minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.


The original version added a beaten egg and lemon juice to cook for the last five minutes.

Bulgaria notebooking pages

Bulgaria unit notebooking pages

Sometimes you write down the fun facts and they make complete sense at the time, but looking back it doesn’t make as much sense. Like the naturally occurring… desert. At first, when I reread it, I didn’t follow my notes. Also, I don’t tend to think of Bulgaria and the desert, which is why I wrote it down as a fun fact.

All in all a fun quick geography lesson for our Bulgaria Unit.

Bulgaria Unit #geographylesson #Europeunit

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picture of Bulgaria used with permission under Creative Commons

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