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They're so good for you! These little beans are such a great source of iron, protein and fibre I have been trying to find ways to incorporate them more into recipes. Not to mention how inexpensive they are (dried whole). I couldn't find a specific adzuki soup recipe that looked like it had much flavour so after reading many and adapting, I have come up with this. It's very hearty, has the consistency of a thick lentil soup and makes a nice dinner for 4 or 5 with bread. You could sub most veggies that you have on hand, although I think the carrot and celery are a must. Much to my surprise, my kids lapped this up! And to please meat-eating diners at our table, I added chorizo to a portion of the pot (see last point). The flavours in this are basically asian, but believe it or not the chorizo fusion worked and got rave reviews. Prep time does not include overnight soaking of the beans. Much of the prep time is for simmering.
- 1 cup adzuki beans, whole dry
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or 2 tablespoons other light oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 cup cabbage, chopped (I like to cut mine quite fine so it is "hidden")
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 teaspoons vegetable stock powder (or bouillon cubes or liquid, however much you need to make 6 cups of broth)
- 3 tablespoons miso
- 1 -2 teaspoon Braggs liquid aminos
- 1 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1 teaspoon thyme, whole (or 1/2 tsp ground)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup pearl barley
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 dash pepper, freshly ground
- 2 cups bok choy, chopped (or substitute spinach or other leafy veg)
- 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh minced (optional, could also sub fresh cilantro)
- 1 -2 chorizo sausage (or other sausage) (optional)
- Soak the adzuki beans in ample water overnight (about 4 cups water).
- Ready to cook -- strain the beans and place them in a soup pot with about 8 cups of water. Do NOT add any salt at this point, it makes the beans tough if you salt them at this stage. Bring to boil, lower heat to med high and let them simmer for about 45 minutes. If you weren't able to soak the beans overnight, it will probably take 2 hours or more to cook them this way.
- While the beans cook, in another soup/stew pot heat the oil and add in the onion when the oil is hot. Saute on medium heat till translucent. Add in the carrot, celery, cabbage and zucchini and let it all 'mingle' in the pot for a few minutes. Add the garlic and leave it for a few minutes more.
- Take a cup of water out of the simmering bean pot, adding some of your broth powder (mine is 1 tsp powder to 1 cup water), and add it to the veg mixture.
- Mix in the miso paste, then the braggs, the allspice and the thyme (optional cayenne -- altho, if adapting with spicy chorizo I would definitely leave it out).
- Stir in the barley followed by another cup of bean water/broth powder and the sesame oil.
- By now the beans should be tender so strain them (reserving liquid) and add them to the pot. You should still have at least 4 more cups of bean water, to which you can add the remaining broth powder and add it to the pot (so this will make 6 cups total).
- Season with pepper, you likely won't want to add any salt all depending on your broth (I didn't need any with the braggs and the broth).
- Let the soup simmer on low for at least 40 minutes, being careful that the barley doesn't stick too much to the bottom and burn. I think you could simmer in a crock point from this point if you wanted to.
- About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the chopped bok choy and parsley.
- Meat option - slice up the chorizo and saute it in another pot. Once it has browed up a bit, add as much fully cooked soup as you think you'll need for the meat eater(s). Fully cooked soup meaning barley and beans are tender. I didn't drain off the oil from the chorizo, but you could. Let that simmer together for a few minutes and then add the bok choy and parsley as mentioned above.