Thursday, February 16, 2012

Adzuki Bean Soup with Quinoa and Swiss Chard

I never thought that not eating meat would ever feel so good.  But man, do I feel great.  Plus, I have cut way down on my sugar and white flour consumption as well and man, do I got da beat in my walk.  Now don't get me wrong, I do indulge every once in awhile, that is to say, meat or some other animal protein about once a month.  Processed white flour maybe once a week and sugar maybe just a little bit more.  I'm telling ya, when you get into this way of thinking and eating you will feel stronger and younger than ever.
From here I could see the sea
Just yesterday I rode my bike up into the mountains for an hour with my skis on my back then threw on my skis and climbed up the snow covered mountains for another hour then skied down.  And I had plenty of energy left.  Okay, I am a little sore today but the fact is that I eat very little carbohydrates and very little animal protein and do plenty of sports and feel great with energy left over at the end of the day and I am still able to attack my wife under the covers at night.
For us, meaning my wife and I, one of the most enjoyable ways to eat is through the medium of soups.  With soups you can do so many things.  They can be pureed or chunky.  Cold or hot.  With or without animal protein.  Light or creamy.  So many, many different ways.  When I was head chef at Alison's in The Hampton's we would have daily soup specials and I made sure that everyone of those soups would blow away our customers.  And once you learn some of the tricks to increase flavor, you and your friends won't be able to tell if it's vegan or not.
This Adzuki Bean Soup has intense flavors from several different factors.
- Pan roasting the vegetables
- Adding tomato paste to vegetables when almost done
- Spices and herbs
- Large variety of vegetables
- Seaweed
- Slowly cooking for hours to extract flavors
- Adzuki Beans

You could probably survive on this soup alone because it has just about everything the body needs.
Adzuki Beans are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and B vitamins.  Because they are high in potassium and low in sodium they can help reduce blood pressure.  When they are combined with grains they create a complete protein, a healthy alternative to animal protein.  Like most beans, adzuki beans are rich in soluble fibre which provides bulk to the stool and binds to toxins and cholesterol aiding in their elimination from the body.
Quinoa might be considered a super grain, although it is not really a grain, but a seed.  It is an excellent source of protein.  Quinoa contains high amounts of iron, potassium and riboflavin, as well as B vitamins: B6, niacin and thiamin.  It is also a good source of magnesium, zinc, copper and folic acid
Swiss Chard is high in vitamins A, K and C it is also rich in minerals, dietary fibre and protein.
These are the three main ingredients in this soup but it is loaded with other healthy vegetables.

Flavor saver

Winter lovin

This soup will help you leap buildings in a single bound

Adzuki Bean Soup with Quinoa and Swiss Chard
by Jeff Harter
Prep Time: 1/2 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Keywords: soup/stew low-carb low-sodium nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian adzuki beans Mediterranean winter

Leave it to the japanese to have the healthiest legume in the world. This soup is so delicious you almost can't believe it is this good for you!
Ingredients (serves 4)
    Adzuki Soak
    • 250 grams adzuki
    • 2 quartes cold water
    The Base
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 yellow onion chopped
    • 2 carrots chopped
    • 1 celery stick chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 tbsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp curry
    • 1 tbsp smoked spicy paprika
    • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
    • 2 tbsp tomato paste
    • 4 whole tomatoes chopped in 4
    • 2 quarts cold water
    • 1 tbsp dried oregano
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1/2 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup chopped swiss chard
    • 1 piece kombu
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      Adzuki Beans
      • Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water and let sit over night. Drain and rinse before using.
      The Base
      • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and then add onion, carrots and celery and cook for about 10 mins.
      • Add the chopped garlic and cook for another 5 mins.
      • Then add the spices and cook other 5 mins.
      • Then add the tomato paste and cook another 3 mins.
      • Then add the tomatoes and cook another 5 mins.
      • Then add the water and bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours depending on beans. In the last 15 mins add the remaining ingredients.
      • Serve hot with some nice wholewheat brown bread and a little extra-virgin olive oil.


      1. This looks fantastic Jeff! I will try it today with kale instead of the chard, and white beans instead of the adzuki- I cannot get organic adzuki here in Norway! :)

      2. Jeff is the instruction part complete? When do you add the beans, swiss chard and Quinoa?

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