About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Aquacotta-Tuscan Peasant Soup with Cabbage and Beans | Main | Novara's Bean and Vegetable Soup »

La Jota--Beans and Sauerkraut Soup

La Jota soup is a recipe from Trieste and reflects as Marcella says "the earthy accent of its Slavic origins." I really didn't expect to like it but in the end it was a very satisfying, hearty and flavorful supper.

Making it took me 2 days; there are lots of easy steps but long simmering periods between them. What took me the longest, however was finding the fresh pork hock. After calling several butchers in town and only finding smoked jowls or hocks, a friend suggested I try "Harvey's", a grocery store on the south side, in the African American community. Victory! The kind butcher there cut a hock off a larger piece for me.

In additions to the hock, the soup used beans; I used dried, red kidney beans. But, the most interesting addition was sauerkraut which cooked first separately with the bacon.

And then there was the final step called a pesta (with an accent over the "a"). It involves finely chopped onion, garlic and salt pork, sauteed with flour--like a very savory roux. Here it is, turning golden:


This soup would be perfect for a cold winter night but even though we are in the midst of a beautiful spring, we loved it!


Comments (4)

Sounds like a very interesting soup. Glad you liked it.

Marcella Hazan:

Congratulations, Jan, you have done well, and you didn't give up when faced with the difficulty of obtaining the pork. Every ingredient matters, just as it matters not to put more ingredients that a dish needs. I am so grateful to you and the others who are bringing attention to the soups in my book. I adore soup, and Italy has as many terrific soups as it has sauces for pasta, which is to say beyond counting.

This looks great Jan - we are huge sauerkraut fans here so I know that we'd love this soup.

Toby Klebenov:

I have just made it - I started yesterday at 3pm, took a break, and finished the last part this morning. I'm using the Marcella Hazan recipe but I modified it a bit. I decided to use pork belly finely minced instead of the salt pork in the final pesta'. I used chopped pancetta and I used a smoked ham knuckle for the meat. I used the lovely fresh cranberry beans (shelled them all) and added an extra potato. While making it I researched many other versions of the soup and came to realize that it was fine to add substitute pork products, if similar. I was in Trieste in October of this year and watched it being made. Many recipes call for barley.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 7, 2010 6:30 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Aquacotta-Tuscan Peasant Soup with Cabbage and Beans.

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