Friday, December 26, 2014

Nourishing Adzuki Bean Soup

This was the perfect feel better soon soup for me this past week.

Nourishing Adzuki Bean Soup

I have had a bad cold for the last several days, and as a result, I made a few extra trips to my acupuncturist. It really has helped as I was able to keep my cold at bay, had the energy to get through my days, and avoided the bronchitis that some of my coworkers ended up with. My acupuncturist is the best, she spends a lot of time talking with me before the treatments, gives an awesome discount for multiple visits, and gives me practical tools to help me stay well.

At my last visit, we talked about a clean eating "detox" that is two weeks long. It is designed to help people get off sugar and decrease inflammation in the body. She has recommended this to me in the past (to relieve my always-stuffy nose), but I have never been able to resist the sugar. This time, I was feeling so crappy, both from my cold and from my general lack of self care, that I found the resolve to try it.

I decided to go for it, even through the Christmas holiday, as I have two weeks off and would rather do it while at home. My Christmas dinner was pretty crunchy-hippie-granola and I was very happy with it. I made quinoa stuffed baby squash, roasted veggies, chick pea gravy and a meatless loaf. For dessert I had baked apples...yummy!

It didn't hurt that I watched Fed Up last week, either. I do believe that diet can have a big impact on our health and how we feel in general.

The anti-inflammation detox diet plan is to avoid the following ingredients for two weeks:
Dairy – eggs are OK (I've got this one in the bag!)
Sugar: including syrup, jam, honey, stevia
Fermented foods, such as soy sauce (and all soy products)
Dried fruit

The sugar is by far the hardest for me, but I am six days in and have found that if I truly avoid it in all forms, and diligently read labels so it doesn't sneak in is much easier.

To make the whole process easier, I am sticking to a cook ahead, plan ahead method and have made a big batch of this adzuki bean soup, basmati rice with lentils, kale salad, quinoa and black bean salad and stocked up on fresh fruit, fresh veggies, popcorn and raw nuts.

Anyhow, you do not have to be on a cleanse to enjoy this soup. I love it for its hearty nourishing ingredients anytime I want to treat my body especially well.

Plan ahead to start soaking the beans the night before you plan to make this.


1 cup dried adzuki beans
4" strip of dried kombu

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 2" piece fresh turmeric, peeled and minced (you can also use 1/2 tsp dried turmeric)
1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced

1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp coriander
salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp and go from there)

Optional toppings:

chopped fresh cilantro
chopped fresh thai basil


Cover the beans and the kombu with water, and soak overnight in the fridge.

Drain the soaked beans and set the kombu aside. Thinly slice the kombu into little pieces, and reserve it.

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the onion, and let it cook for about 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic, turmeric, and ginger and let that cook for 1 minute more. Next in goes the diced carrot and celery to cook down for another five minutes. Finally, add the cumin, cayenne pepper and ground coriander and stir for about 30 seconds to let the spices coat the vegetables.

To this base, add the beans and the chopped kombu. Cover with 6 cups of cold water and let it simmer on the stove for a couple hours, stirring occasionally. If needed, add more water during the cooking time. When the beans are tender add the salt, and enjoy topped with the fresh herbs.

Alternately, you can heat the veggies in your pressure cooker, add all the ingredients as listed above (except for the salt and herbs). Then cover and cook on high until the pressure valve begins to release stem, and then lower the heat and let cook for 20 minutes more. Let the pan come to room temperature before removing the lid. Serve with the fresh herbs.

For 8 servings. Nutritional information from

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 127 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 52%Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 3%Iron 9%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet


  1. Nice soup! I used cranberry beans and omitted the kombu - maybe miso could be a substitute in the broth? I did the pressure-cooker method and it worked great. I think it would taste good with some chopped seaweed and tofu chunks for added texture/flavors. The fresh ginger made it spicy, but the kind of spice that dissipates quickly. Loved it! Mine made closer to 6 servings as a stand-alone meal.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Your suggestions sound great - I will definitely give it a try with miso and tofu. Yum.