Spicy Lentil and Adzuki Bean Soup
Nutritious and delicious, this soup will certainly warm your soul on a cold autumn day. It's comforting, full of flavour and jam-packed with protein to keep you fuller for longer. Adzuki beans aren't a legume I've used before, but on my quest for healthy eating, I'm always on the look-out for variation - so I decided to try cooking with this bean, and find out a little bit more about it's health benefits.
Adzuki, means 'little bean' in Japenese and in Japan are prized for their health giving properties. These small, dried beans are bright red in colour with a sweet, nutty flavour. They provide an excellent source of protein, are full of fibre which helps to regulate blood sugars and contain a relatively low fat content. Additionally, they also make a great alternative to meat and other animal based proteins. The bean can be cooked and used in many forms: ground in flour for cakes; in casseroles; with rice or sprouted for use in salads and stir fries.
This spicy lentil and adzuki bean soup is a great introduction to using this 'super little bean'. My next cooking creation, will be an adzuki bean cottage pie!
- 60g/2oz/ 1/4 cup adzuki beans
- 1.5 litres/50floz/ 6 1/4 cups of water or vegetable stock
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 60g/2oz/ 1/3 cup sweetcorn
- 60g/2oz/ 1/4 cup of red split lentils
- 400g/14oz/ can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 garlic glove
- 1 cm/1/2in piece of fresh ginger
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded
- juice of one orange
- 2tsp lemon juice
- salt and ground black pepper
Cook the beans in 600ml/20fl oz/2 1/2 cups of water or stock until soft. This will take approximately 40-60 minutes. Soak the beans first to shorten the cooking time. After cooking there should be approximately 300ml/10floz/1 1/4 cups of cooking liquid remaining. Add more water if needed.
Finely dice the onion and carrot and add to the beans along with the sweetcorn, lentils, chopped tomatoes and the remaining water or stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Place the basil, coriander, mint, parsley, garlic, ginger, chilli, orange juice and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. If you do not have a food processor, chop everything as finely as possible and then mix with the orange and lemon juice.
Add the mixture to the soup. Bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes, then season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Taken and adapted from Vegetarian Cooking Without by Barbara Cousins
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