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Mostly-vegan low-fat whole foods recipes

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Creamy Adzuki Bean Soup

For some reason, we can't seem to find adzuki beans here in Syracuse. I haven't really searched, but no where we normally shop has them. So when we were in Boston a few weeks ago, we hit up Whole Foods and bought a big bag of bulk adzukis, on top of lots of other things (Wildwood unsweetened plain soy yogurt!). They are such a lovely bean, so red and little and cute, and they cook up with such a wonderful nourishing flavor. When I want something Asian-y, I rarely think of beans in a minimally processed form and usually go for tempeh or tofu, but adzukis lend themselves to asian spices quite well. This soup is really easy to make, especially with a pressure cooker or starting with canned beans and is the perfect soup for a cold winter night...very rich without being too heavy and with a slightly spicy (or more so if you prefer) flavor that warms you up nicely. It may not be a pretty soup (hence my hiding the picture of the actual soup down at the bottom of the post) but it makes up for it.

Creamy Adzuki Bean Soup

1 1/4 c dry adzuki beans (pre-soak if not using a pressure cooker) or 2 cans canned (if you can't get adzuki beans, small red beans could probably be used here)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce/tamari (I used Braggs)
2 tsp-1 tbsp white miso paste
3 cups frozen/6 cups fresh mustard greens or other strong-flavored greens
1 cup frozen peas

Pressure cooker directions: In a 4-6 quart pressure cooker, combine the beans, onion, garlic, carrot, ginger, and spices, minus the soy sauce and miso. Add 5-6 cups water, enough to cover the ingredients with about an inch or so of water. Bring to pressure over high heat then reduce heat until the pressure guage is rocking gently. Let cook for about 20 minutes then release the pressure using a quick release method (I run the pot under cold water until the pressure releases).

Non-pressure cooker: Combine the pre-soaked beans, onion, garlic, carrot, ginger and spices minus the soy sauce and miso in a stock pot with 4-6 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the beans are tender then proceed as written below.

Add the soy sauce and the miso and stir until the miso has dissolved, then, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Or blend in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to the stove and turn the burner to low. Add the greens and peas. Continue to cook until the veggies are cooked/thawed, but do not bring back to a boil (boiling kills all the miso goodies). Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serves 4, or, if you live here, two.

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