Friday, November 4, 2016

Istrian Maneštra- Croatian Minestrone Soup

Over Columbus Day, we went to the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia.  It was a nice drive and the Istrian Peninsula is beautiful.  We stayed in Pula right by the old Roman amphitheater which is still in great shape.  I forgot my big camera, so I only have phone pics (that aren't downloaded onto the laptop yet) so maybe I'll share some of those later.
Our Airbnb host made reservations for us at his favorite restaurant, which was very good.  The favorite thing I had there was the Istrian Maneštra- this part of Croatia's version of Minestrone.  It was SO good and flavorful, with a perfect texture.  It had a nice sweet, crunchy bite from the corn, too.  Pic below is my phone pic of the soup in the restaurant.
When we were in Croatia, we learned that region of the country was famous for olive oil, and had won awards.  We tasted some wonderful local olive oil at the restaurant.  On our way home, we stopped at a random oil factory, had a quick on-the-spot tour, sampled their oil (they only made one kind; was a very small factory) and bought two bottles.  The owner filled the bottles for us, right there on the spot!!  I used it in this recipe, and to drizzle over the top of the soup.
I didn't think to buy a pršut bone in Croatia- it's a kind of ham bone common there, used in this soup. So I just used a smoked ham hock instead, and it provided great flavor.  Also, our soup had corn in it, so I added it at home.  I guess this turns it into another soup- called Manestra di Bobici- but I'm leaving the title as is because I'm just not sure about the whole name thing.  Lol.

Istrian Maneštra- Croatian Minestrone Soup
adapted from Live Istria 

300 g white or yellow beans (I used Great Northen)
2 large onions (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 pršut bone * (can use ham bone, smoked ham hock, or chunk of smoked bacon)
1 large potato (cut into small squares)
2 carrots (cut into small chunks)
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup frozen corn, or more to taste
Salt & pepper

1.  Soak the beans overnight and then bring to the boil in the same water.  Boil the beans for a couple of minutes and then drain

2.  Place the beans in a fresh pan with all the other ingredients and pour the olive oil on top.  Add water until everything is well covered and bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for 1 ½ – 2 hours
3.  Remove the pršut bone (or whatever meat you're using). Trim off any available meat and add back to the soup.  Serve with crusty home-made bread. Drizzle a good olive oil over the top, if you want.
**This post and photos are property of**

1 comment:

Debbie Carter said...

Pinned! This looks delicious.