Iotta is a hearty sauerkraut soup that is traditionally prepared in Istria and surrounding parts of Croatia like Rijeka, but also in Slovenia and in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region in Italy. In Trieste they traditionally prepare it without meat, and in Goriza (an Italian city near Trieste) they add barley.
It’s a very old traditional dish made of sauerkraut, beans and dried pork meat mentioned in Austro-Hungarian coolinary books in 19th century.
Although this is a typical winter meal I craved for it and prepared it on a hot summer day, as if it wasn’t hot enough 🙂
There are a lot of variations in iotta recipes, that you can also find online. This is how I prepare it!
Ingredients for 8 person:
400 g (14.1 oz) of canned beans
1 kg (35.2 oz) of sauerkraut
600 g (21.2 oz) of potatoes
800 g (28.2 oz) of dried ribs
80 g (2.8 oz) of panceta (bacon)
6 cloves of garlic
4 bay leaves
Wash the sauerkraut and put it in a pot. Add ribs, beans, potatoes cut into small pieces, bacon, cloves of garlic and laurel leaves. Cook until all ingredients are soft. That easy!
Once it’s cooked take a cup or two of the soup and blend it with a stick blender in a separate bowl. Then return it to the pot. I do this to avoid adding flour.
Add salt and pepper.
I used canned beans but of course it would be better to use dried beans and soak them in the water the day before.
Iotta is better if prepared a few hours before and then reheated before serving.
Enjoy this traditional thick soup!