Hearty Vegetable Bean Soup
Adzuki beans are highly nutritious and therefore make this soup a healthy meal. However, you can easily substitute any kind of dried or canned beans that you may prefer in this recipe.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 8
1½ cups dried adzuki beans
7 cups of water
1–2 Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes, cut into small chunks
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons butter
6–7 cups water or stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas or green beans
2 stalks celery
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 cubes vegetable bouillon
3 teaspoons parsley
1½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon each basil and oregano
Several dashes of cayenne pepper
A bit of honey (optional)
In a large soup kettle or Dutch oven, bring the beans and water to a boil, cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and covered for about 1 hour, or until the beans are tender enough to mash with a spoon. Drain and rinse.
Steam the artichokes or potatoes and carrots for 10 minutes before making the soup.
In a large soup kettle or Dutch oven, sauté the onions in the butter until they are slightly browned. Add in the steamed artichokes or potatoes and all the other ingredients to the pot. Cook the soup over low to medium heat for 40–60 minutes.
Take 1–2 cups of water from the soup, making sure to scoop out some of the vegetables, liquefy it in a blender, then return it to the soup. This adds natural thickness to the soup.
Correct the soup's spices according to your personal taste; add a bit of honey to balance the flavors.
Cook and Freeze Beans ahead of Time
To save money and time, cook a large pot of dried beans, portion them into individual bags, and freeze them. When you need beans for a recipe, just pull them out of your freezer and run cold water over them. One pound of dried beans will give you 6–7 cups of cooked beans. When cooking dried beans, soak them for several hours, or even overnight, before using.