Aduki Bean and Squash Soup
What a blissful morning. Storm clouds have rolled into Laurel Canyon about an hour ago, and raindrops are now dancing on the palm leaves. In our lush back yard, the plants are reaching for the sky, standing at attention, and drinking in the much needed moisture. The boys left early for an indoor car show, so I get to play at home: Cooking, writing, and reading for the next few hours. The soup is simmering on the stove while I tap away on the computer, taking sips from my unconventional cup of Earl Grey: organic soy milk, sweetened with brown rice syrup and a dash of raw honey. Just call me The Nutty Progressive.
Today’s recipe is soothing and sweet. If you are unfamiliar with the aduki bean, they are small, red, ovals of protein goodness. Aduki Bean and Squash Soup is perfect for cool weather, and hearty enough to eat on it’s own. If you’ve ever had a Chinese Red Bean Cake pastry, they are made with the same delicious beans. I was immediately hooked the first time I tried these pastries in a tiny shop off Tottenham Court Road in London’s Chinatown. There’s something about the smooth sweetness of Aduki beans that gets me every time.
If you’ve never heard of Kombu seaweed, not to worry. You can find it in any health food store or Asian grocer. Kombu comes in strips, which you cut into squares and put in soups or stews. It softens the beans, aids in digestion, and is full of vitamins and trace minerals. There’s no funky after taste either, so go for it! In the cooking process, the kombu breaks down and disappears into the soup. Just know that your body will love you for the kind gesture of including it in your soup.
Acorn Squash and Aduki Bean Soup
tablespoon of red miso paste (optional)