Jota is a traditional Slovenian soup from the region of Primorska (west part of Slovenia) and Trst/Trieste (in Italy). It is a typical dish for wintertime, great to warm up when the strong wind burja is blowing outside. Jota is a thick soup made from three main ingredients – sauerkraut, beans and potato – and takes quite some time to be prepared.
Ingredients (for 4 people):
500 g Sauerkraut
250 g Brown beans (dried, the kind that you soak overnight – not canned beans)
600 g Potatoes
1 Clove of garlic
1 Bay leaf
Extra-virgin olive oil (if possible, better if from the local typical variety »belica«)
Salt & Pepper
Optionally: bacon or sausage
Pick through the beans and let them soak overnight.
The next day cook separately, in three different pots, the three main ingredients. Remember to add enough water to both the beans and the potatoes, as it will be the basis for the soup.
Rinse the sauerkraut and boil it in salted water for around 1 hour and a half. Add the bay leaf.
Rinse the soaked beans and boil them until they get tender for around 1 hour and a half.
Peel the potatoes, slice them and boil in salted water for around 30 minutes or until they get so tender you can pierce them with a fork.
When the sauerkraut is ready, drain it and remove the bay leaf. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and the chopped garlic clove and fry it lightly for a few minutes (be careful not to burn the garlic!). Add the sauerkraut and fry on medium heat for around 10 minutes. Spice up with cumin.
When the beans are ready, salt them and save the water in which they have been boiled. Mash ¾ of the beans. The same goes with the potatoes: mash ¾ of the potatoes and crush the remaining in bigger pieces with a fork. Add the potatoes to the beans. Finally add the sauerkraut and garlic mixture and stir everything well. Cook on low heat for around five minutes. If the soup is too dense, you can add some water. If it is too runny, you can cook it for a few more minutes. At the end add two tablespoons of olive oil.
If you wish, you can add some bacon or sausages to the soup. In that case, first cook the meat separately until it is half ready and the add it to the sauerkraut or the beans for the last minutes of cooking. If you add pork meat to the soup, you don’t need to add olive oil at the end.
Some people prepare the jota with sour turnip rather than with sauerkraut.
DOBER TEK! (Bon appetit)