Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adzuki Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

I love this soup. This is one of the soups that I made for my late-father. If you’ve read my post Restorative Nutrition for Nasopharyngeal Cancer Patients, you’ll notice that I’ve made a lot of soups, mostly pureed. I initially made this soup with black beans, brown rice, chicken, shiitake mushrooms and mirepoix with some spices and blended into a puree. It turned out really good. Whenever I make my enteral tube feeding for my father, I always taste it even if he’s not going to eat it.

I love adzuki beans because it’s one of the beans that can be cooked in less than an hour. They are also easier to digest compared to other beans. Adzuki bean is a diuretic so if you want to lose weight, you feel bloated or you have a Damp condition, this is the bean for you. They are a classic pair with rice and pumpkin. They are also the usual filling for mochi which are one of my favorite things to eat. Adzuki beans are also easy to sprout which are great with almost anything. These balancing and strengthening food is also wonderful with sweet corn, other sweet vegetables and quinoa.

When cooking beans, I always add a strip of kombu. Kombu improves the flavor and digestibility of the beans. It contains glutamic acid which helps soften it. Use about 1-inch piece dry kombu for every cup of dried beans.

Adzuki is also one of the beans that helps relieve excess uric acid. It’s ironic because beans are always the culprit for those painful gout attacks. Not with adzuki beans. These beans are great in detoxifying the kidneys. Kidneys are the organ responsible for eliminating these uric acid crystals. If your kidneys are not functioning well, it may not eliminate them enough or your body doesn’t contain enough enzymes to break them. Whether adzuki beans eliminate excess purines from your body or not, these beans still benefits the kidney-adrenal function. They are also a good source of soluble fiber that binds toxins and cholesterol aiding in their elimination. These small yet mighty beans have a lot of offer.

The addition of shiitake mushrooms adds silkiness and umami to the soup. I didn’t add mushrooms the first time I made this but I noticed that dad was having problems with the grainy texture of the soup so the mushrooms solved this problem. Shiitake mushrooms are great for the digestive and circulatory system (decreases both fat and bad cholesterol in the blood). They are calming to the nervous system because of its B vitamin content. It boosts immunity and appears to have a strong effect against tumors and cancers.

Spices are an unusual ingredient paired with adzuki and shiitake but the flavors blend beautifully. These spices along with the garlic, ginger and onions reduce inflammation in the body. And they smell really good.

I served this with some yogurt to add more creaminess to the soup. In the recipe, I also garnished it with some diced red radish and cucumber. It seems those red radishes are missing for such a long time so I didn’t add it here. The garnish adds freshness and crunch to the soup but even without it, the soup can stand on its own. Just don’t skimp on the yogurt and the cilantro. And I always serve this soup with extra cilantro.

Here’s the recipe for the Adzuki Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Soup at Rouxbe Online Cooking School. Soups are a great standby immediate nourishment, so check out these collection of Homemade Soup Recipes and Broth Soups. I’m sure you will love it. Enjoy.


  1. Awesome soup. Great explanation on the health side. I love adzuki beans. It's so popular in Chinese and Malaysian desserts. I love all these desserts that uses aduki, mainly as fillings: Shanghai pancakes, mooncakes, glutinous rice dumplings, steamed dumplings (pao), mochi balls.....of course including the adzuki bean soup. I love to boil it with screwpine leaves which gives it an awesome aroma.

  2. I like adzuki but I can't have too much of it. This is such a comforting soup. And i think the touch of Kombu lifts the dish.
    A lovely post :)

  3. Great combination...I will try this out for my coming holidays :)

  4. This is an excellent post - very well written and beautiful photographs. I love mushrooms and will have to try this soup. Thanks :)

  5. It sounds very healthy and delicious, I never used adzuki beans before.
    Will definitely going to try.

  6. sounds delicious and super healthful soup. I must look for these beans because I'm trying to eat more beans for fiber, protein, and the other benefits it has to offer.

    the answer to your question regarding lighting in a photo: make sure your room is well lit. I usually drag my stand up lamp into the kitchen to provide extra lighting.

  7. As always, such wonderful photos of the process - really brings cooking to life!

  8. @ Mary - I think you've just mentioned all the things that I love to eat.

    @ Penny - Thanks Penny. A little bit is okay, like a bowl? :)

    @ Master Thin - thanks. I love the combination too.

    @ Brie: Le Grand Fromage - Thanks. Try making this soup sometime.

    @ Anna - Thanks Anna. This soup has been a favorite at home.

    @ Jessie - Thanks Jessie and for your advice about the lamp. Now, I'm looking for some lamp in this house. There's none. :)

    @ Tastry Trix - Thank you.

  9. This looks wonderful. I love adzuki beans. I had never had them until last year, when I made a soup with butternut, adzuki, cinnamon, chipotle, and cilantro. They have such a wonderfully earthy flavor, and you're right, they're more easily digestible. I love beans, but I have a touchy system. You mention kombu - I've never heard of this before. I'll need to research and see if I can find it!

  10. You even make a tube feeding soup delicious. Very impressive. I really like that you add the nutritional benefits of adzuki bean in the post. Great to know. After reading this post, I'll eat more of the for sure.

  11. another great recipe! i really admire your writing/cooking. also, your pictures are fantastic as usual ^ _ ^

  12. I am your student! This was such an interesting read and as usual, I learned a lot about another ingredient that I would have never known about, otherwise. I love the kombu tip, too.

    It's good to see you write about your father.

  13. I have adzuki beans at home and I did not know what to do with it. You seem to have an interesting recipe!

  14. What Camera are you using??

  15. This looks amazing, what an informative post, I lean so much here! Thanks for another great recipe!

  16. i'm saving this soup to try for the fall days ahead. looks so healthy and delish!

  17. I know, it's time-for-soup season! Even in Florida. I do love shiitake mushrooms- but have to admit I'v never made a soup with adzuki beans.
    Your recipe looks great!

  18. @ tastyeatsathome - You just said it. I love it too. It can be made sweet or savory. Thanks.

    @ CheapAppetite - Thank you. I think I got used to take food whenever I'm cooking and forgot that I don't have to taste it. :)

    @ Short and Bald - Thank you for your encouragement and comment. It means a lot.

    @ Kim @ Paper Apron - Thanks a lot Kim. It felt good to share something familiar to other people.

    @ Karine - Please give the soup a try. Thanks for dropping by.

    @ Anonymous - I'm using a Nikon D40. I have a new blog post about the lens I'm using. You can reveal yourself. Please don't be shy. :)

    @ Southern Grace Gourmet - Thank you so much. :)

    @ Kiss my spatula - Thanks a lot. The soup is also warming to the body.

    @ Barbara - Probably something new for other people but once you've tried this soup, you're going to love you. Thank you. :)

  19. What a divine & tasty looking soup!! I love their recipes too!
    They always work!!


  20. This looks great! I love soup. When the weather starts to cool down, there are few things I crave more than a warm, comforting bowl of soup. And it is so easy to make! I love this recipe and will definitely try it soon! Thanks!

  21. This looks delicious! I love soup, especially when the weather gets cooler. Making soup can be very relaxing for me- the smells and the flavors are so comforting. I will definitely be trying this recipe!

  22. Azuki bean and shiitake mushroom soup sounds really good!

  23. This sounds like a great soup. I've never tried adzuki beans before but I love shitake mushrooms!

  24. Beautiful photos Divina! And I had no idea Adzuki beans were a diuretic-must remember that ;) I am a bit fa or pureed soups as I love soups with body to them. Thankyou for sharing!

  25. I never thought about using adzuki beans for savory recipes! I've always had them in sweet soups or as pureed fillings for desserts. Thanks for sharing! I love chinese savoury bean soups too


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