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.