Iotta – Traditional Sauerkraut soup

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


black pepper

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!

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