The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Azuki Bean Soup with Sage,Chamomile
 and King Oyster Mushrooms 

These Organic Heirloom Azuki Beans were a new find for me...These legumes
are said to be more easily digestible than others within the legume family. They are
small round red beans with a distinct white stripe along one side, almost appearing as
 if they were sprouted. Although they are highly popular, I have only enjoyed them as
 a paste in pastries prior to my concoction here, that we shall be referring to as a
"soup" during this post :)

These Azuki beans have a wonderful nutty flavor and texture and hold a bit
firmer than other varieties I am familiar with, they also have a bit of a sweet flavor
and aroma naturally. Said to cook more quickly than other varieties as well. I did
notice one distinct fact being that they held a firmer shape once fully cooked. I
 would have mistakenly assumed that they were not fully cooked if multiple taste
tests had not taken place. End result, I found them to be quite enjoyable in this
soup and will not hesitate to make this on many more occasions.

I also had a few Organic King Oyster Mushrooms and thought they would
be delightful here. Trimmed and split lengthwise...

Our fresh vegetable selection, along with garden sage helped out in
the "It's good for you" arena. 

The addition of chamomile, since the majority of my soups have at least
a partial tea base...went along with the easy to digest and overall Zen factor 
of this soup. Along with our spice selection of Piment Doux or Sweet Pimentón
which is a smoked Spanish Paprika and our Ras el Hanout~a combination of
caraway, cumin, coriander, fenugrec, mace, cinnamon and cloves.
Note: Ras el Hanout basically means~The best spices being offered, so this
could be a various blend depending on where you have purchased the spice blend.
You can of course create your own blend either by following this selection or
creating your own set of favorites...

What you will need:
16 ounces azuki beans, pre-soaked*
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 cup white wine, optional
1 medium to large onion, roughly chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons grapeseed or other light oil
6-8 large sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound baby carrots, trimmed and chopped
1 head celery, trimmed and chopped
3-4 tablespoons dried chamomile, ground
(place in a mesh bag or tea bags)
1/2 tablespoon honey
(I used avocado  honey)
2 arbol chili pods
1 teaspoon ginger,ground
1/2 tablespoon Sweet Pimentón
1 tablespoon ras el hanout or desired spice mix
14 ounces tomatoes, cooked and peeled
6 king oyster mushroom, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
2 leeks, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Let's get cooking:
In a sauté heat your oil, add garlic and onions continuing to sauté until
just translucent. In the meantime add all ingredients to your crockpot, except
tomatoes, mushrooms and leeks. Add garlic and onions and set to a low/medium heat
setting. Leave to cook for five to seven hours, depending on heat level, then add tomatoes,
mushrooms and leeks. These should be added 1 1/2 to 2 hours before prior to your
 beans becoming fully cooked. Continue to cook until beans are still slightly firm
but easily pinched between your fingers,  or to desired tenderness.
Garnish with avocado slices and crème fraîche.
Serves 6-8

Alisha~Magic of Spice

This dish is going over to Hearth n Soul

Add To Facebook Share with Twitter Stumble This Digg This Add To Add To Reddit Post to Google Buzz Share on Myspace Share with Windows Live Pin It

blog comments powered by Disqus