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Bean Soup

Jota is an ancient dish from Trieste which over the centuries has undergone very few changes; the most significant dates back some four centuries ago, when potatoes were introduced. It was considered a peasant dish made with leftovers and two common ingredients, beans and sauerkraut. Serves 6 to 8


2 cups dried borlotti or cranberry beans, covered with cold water and soaked overnight

8 cups vegetable broth

Small bouquet fresh herbs such as thyme, bay leaf, rosemary and sage

2 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, peeled and diced

1/2 cup finely diced speck (or other smoked ham)

1 14.4-ounce can sauerkraut, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup flour

Salt and pepper to taste


Drain beans and place in pot; cover with vegetable broth; add the herbs and salt and pepper and bring to a boil; cook over medium boil until beans are almost tender; then add potatoes and continue cooking, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet; add onions and speck and cook until onions wilt. Stir in sauerkraut and cook for about 5 minutes.

Heat a small skillet and melt the butter; add the flour and whisk the mixture to form a brown paste.

Add the onion mixture to the beans and combine well. Over low heat, whisk in the brown paste and heat soup until hot. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

This recipe is featured on Show 2706 – Dumplings to Die For.


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