This may be my signature recipe and after making it for years I’ve evolved it to a point I think is worth sharing again. The original Yotta is a traditional family favourite based on what my grandparents grew and stored over winter in Slovenia — beans, sauerkraut and pork. When I shared some photos of a vegan version on Instagram earlier this year, a helpful cousin over there suggested adding something smoky to round out the flavour. He was so right of course. If you want to jazz up the look a bit you can cook some carefully cubed potato with more sauerkraut and use it as a garnish just before serving — the acidity keeps even floury potatoes like agria totally intact when cooked and they look pretty in the bowl.
For the soup
|3 Tbsp||Coconut oil|
|2||Onions, finely chopped|
|1 stick||Celery, with leaves, finely diced|
|10||Garlic cloves, minced|
|1 tsp||Freshly ground black pepper|
|2 cans||Kidney beans, 400g, with their juice|
|2 small||Potatoes, chopped (Main)|
|8 cups||Stock, 8 cups water + 6 tsp Massel "beef style" vegan stock powder|
|¼ tsp||Smoke essence, available at fancy food shops|
|2 cups||Sauerkraut, packed, 300g|
For the roux
|4 Tbsp||Olive oil, 60g|
|3 Tbsp||Plain flour, 30g|
For the gremolata
|½ cup||Curly parsley, finely chopped|
|1 tsp||Lemon zest, finely grated|
|1||Garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)|
|1 Tbsp||Lemon juice|
|1 Tbsp||Extra virgin olive oil|
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, celery, garlic and pepper. Saute about 5 minutes until softened. Add the beans with all their juices, potato, stock and smoke essence. Simmer for 15 minutes then gently mash to meld ingredients. Add the sauerkraut and simmer a further 45 minutes.
- For the roux, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir frequently until it is well browned and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Add carefully to the soup, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer another 5 minutes to cook. Ideally the soup will be rich, but not as thick as a stew. If it's too thick, you can add more vegetable stock to adjust the consistency. Taste and add extra salt and pepper to suit — some sauerkraut is saltier than others so it's good to adjust at the end. You can also add a little extra stock powder if you want to really crank it up.
- To make gremolata, combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve soup with a spoonful of gremolata on top and crusty sourdough alongside.