What Is Blood Soup?

Valerie Goldberg
Valerie Goldberg
Czernina is a traditional Polish blood soup made with duck blood.
Czernina is a traditional Polish blood soup made with duck blood.

Blood soup is any type of soup that uses animal blood as a main ingredient. Restaurants in many parts of Europe and Asia have several types of blood soup on their menus. Some popular varieties of the dish include duck blood soup and Dinuguan, a pig's blood recipe that hails from the Philippines. This kind of soup is not commonly served in America.

Czernina, also known as duck blood soup, is a traditional Polish dish. The two main ingredients of the soup are poultry broth and duck blood. Vinegar is often added to the broth to enhance its taste. There are many variations of the soup, and extras that can be added to the broth to make a hardy dish include potato dumplings, noodles and raisins.

Black pudding, which is sometimes used to make blood soup.
Black pudding, which is sometimes used to make blood soup.

Dinuguan is a staple food of the Philippines. This blood soup has a thicker consistency and can be considered more stew-like than Czernina. Blood sausage and pig's blood are the two main components of this soup. Garlic, onions and black pepper are often used to season the soup. Steamed rice cakes called puto are served as an accompaniment for dipping.

Pig's blood soup is popular in China.
Pig's blood soup is popular in China.

England is home to black pudding. Black pudding is not a dessert but a mixture of onions, pig's blood and animal fat squeezed into a sausage casing. The food can be eaten on its own for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pieces of black pudding also can be added to blood soup. Americans who enjoy this food may have trouble finding it in local grocery stores but should have better luck ordering it on the Internet.

Tofu is a popular side dish for blood soup.
Tofu is a popular side dish for blood soup.

Pig's organ soup is a popular dish eaten in China, Singapore and Malaysia. Animal blood is one major component of the dish. The soup is enhanced by also including the pig's tongue, intestines and liver in the broth. Tofu, vegetables and eggs can be served as side dishes to this type of blood soup.

Ducks and pigs are not the only animals that have blood that is considered useful when making soup. The Mexican culture is known for Fritada, a goat blood soup. An alternate version of the soup can be made using lamb's blood. The heart, liver and pancreas of the animal are used to make the soup. The practice of making and eating blood soups dates back to the 18th century, when food was scarce and no part of an animal was to be wasted.

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Discussion Comments

Pippinwhite

Oh, trying to be open-minded here, but blood soup? Really? I can’t even imagine this. That's the only thing I fear about travel: being offered something really hideous, and knowing I needed to eat it in order not to offend my hosts. That would be truly awful.

I'm sure Andrew Zimmern from "Bizarre Foods" could eat this stuff without blinking. He's probably eaten it by the gallon. The very idea makes me cringe and I'll eat my steak cooked rare. This, though? It's simply not on my radar. Just couldn't do it. Makes me vaguely nauseated to even consider it.

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    • Czernina is a traditional Polish blood soup made with duck blood.
      By: Darius Dzinnik
      Czernina is a traditional Polish blood soup made with duck blood.
    • Black pudding, which is sometimes used to make blood soup.
      By: Henryk Falkiewicz
      Black pudding, which is sometimes used to make blood soup.
    • Pig's blood soup is popular in China.
      By: il-fede
      Pig's blood soup is popular in China.
    • Tofu is a popular side dish for blood soup.
      By: Jiri Hera
      Tofu is a popular side dish for blood soup.
    • Black pepper can be an ingredient in blood soup.
      By: kellyschulz
      Black pepper can be an ingredient in blood soup.
    • Restaurants in many parts of Europe and Asia have blood soup on their menus.
      By: ndoeljindoel
      Restaurants in many parts of Europe and Asia have blood soup on their menus.