Prep Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 13 hours, 30 minutes
- A tablespoon of rendered lard
- A large clove of garlic, crushed and peeled
- A chunk of smoked pork (rib, ear or tail)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 pound dried borlotti (cranberry beans), soaked for at least 6 hours in cold water and drained
- A scant cup pearled barley, soaked in cold water for a couple of hours and drained
- Another tablespoon rendered lard
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups sauerkraut
One can obtain a richer soup by cooking pork with the beans rather than the smoked pork listed above. For example a ham bone, some pork shoulder but, or a thick slice of pancetta. Another way to enrich it is to cook either luganeghe or home-made sausages with the sauerkraut, and add them with the cabbage. In any case, this is a soup that's better warm than steaming, and improves with age, being better a day or two after it's made.
If you instead would like to make it with potatoes, keep in mind that it should be served straight off, rather than be made a day ahead. To make white jota, replace the beans with diced potatoes, and the bay leaves with a few celery leaves; add the cabbage immediately and simmer everything together 20-25 minutes, then check seasoning and give it a healthy grating of black pepper.
To make jota with potatoes, reduce the cabbage and barley by half (full ration beans) and stir in two diced potatoes when you add the sautéed flour mixture.
A wine? Ribolla Gialla, a Friulian white, goes quite well.
Yield: 4-6 servings rich Jota soup.