The worst part of vacationing is returning back to the real world. Especially when you go from 30°C in Texas to -10°C in Toronto: it hurts that much more; that slap in the face that I am still living in winter. No, I can’t take out my bike just yet… maybe in another couple of months, once the salt has been washed away.
When I came back, I had a fridge nearly devoid of produce and was looking for an all-pantry meal. I picked up Urban Vegan while down south, so I perused it looking for something hearty and filling. Just as advertised (recipe also posted here), this was a hearty adzuki bean soup. It was also quick to make since adzuki beans do not need any pre-soaking.
This hit the spot! This is a thick, filling soup with sea-like flavours from the kombu. I usually remove kombu after cooking beans, but this time I actually pureed it right into the soup. It was really thick as written with 6 cups of broth (it could be a nice bean dip at that stage), so thin it out afterward to your desired consistency. Do not skip the toasted almonds, as I really think it made the dish.
Hearty Adzuki Bean Soup
6 cups vegetable broth (depending on how thick you want the soup)
1 1/2 cups dried adzuki beans, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 2-inch piece kombu
1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds, for garnish
2 tsp toasted sesame oil, or to taste, for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring broth to a boil. Add all remaining ingredients, except almonds and sesame oil, and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, or until beans are very soft. Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. If needed, add in more water to create your desired consistency. Drizzle with sesame oil, garnish with some toasted, slivered almonds, and serve.