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!