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Japanese inspired "Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Soup"

Japanese inspired "Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Soup"

I bought adzuki beans I think years ago but never had a clue what to use them for. I often just used kidney or white beans, so this was my first try to come up with a nice dish with ingredients I already hadat home. So no shopping required.


  • 1 cup of dry adzuki beans
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a thumbsize piece of ginger

to spice it up: cumin, cardamom seeds, tumeric, curry powder (or whole curry leaves) a pinch of cinnamon and ground cloves and all spice, 1 tablespoon of misopaste

The day before:

I rinsed a cup of adzuki beans for 2-3 times and soaked them overnight. A couple of hours will do and with a pressure cooker it only takes 20 Minutes to get them nice and tender. With my normal pot it took maybe 40 Minutes on the stove. As with all beans and lentils, dont add salt while cooking, unless you like it crunchy and super "al dente". If you have a bayleaf at home feel free to add it to the cooking water to enhance the flavor. I used roughly 2 times water to the amount of soaked beans. I also made a slightly bigger batch to try another adzuki bean recipe on the next day.


Chop, chop, chop:

I had a small butternut squash from my mums garden left over. Pumpkins store so well and this one lived with me for the whole winter season. But now it was time to use it up. Alternations would be Hokaido (no peeling needed) or sweet potatoe. I just peeled, deseeded and roughly diced it up.

Also prepare your onion, garlic and ginger through peeling it and chopping it into tiny cubes. Add a little oil to a big pot and sautée the onion till nice and translucent. Add the onion and garlic and toss everything around before adding the spices. I never measure them and you can always add more later up to your taste. It's just nice to heat up the spices to make them more flavourful before adding the pumpkin pieces. Sweat them a little and add the cooked beans. I just used the bean water to fill up the pot - the starchy water also was super nice for the texture. Season it up to taste and be aware that this beans require a hell lot of salt. You could also add a stock cube but to stick to the japanese beans and pumpkin combination I went for a big spoon of miso paste.  It takes maybe 15-20 minutes till everything is soft and the flavours have mingled.

Serve it up:

You can eat it as it is as a soup or let it boil a little longer till its more creamy and stew like and serve it with some nice rice or a slice of bread. If you are into cilantro chop some up and add it as a topping, you can go for fresh parsley instead. Scallions add a nice crunch.


Meal prep:

Meal preparations make your life a lot easier and this soup stays nice for a couple of days in the fridge but also freezes well.

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