Adzuki beans are not just for sweet Asian-inspired treats! Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup with Miso, Winter Squash, and Kale combines nutrient-rich adzuki beans with a Japanese-style miso broth and hearty fiber-rich vegetables in a soul-warming vegan and gluten free soup…
Focus Ingredient: Adzuki Beans
You may have had Japanese steamed red bean buns, mochi, or ice cream? These sweet treats are delicious! Have you ever had adzuki beans in a savory preparation?
We love beans at Andersen casa, but for whatever reason, adzuki beans were never on the radar. They are definitely more difficult to find than black, pinto, and navy, but they are pretty widely available.
Health Benefits of Adzuki Beans
The adzuki bean is actually an annual (as opposed to perennial) vine, that is widely grown throughout Asia. They are highly nutritious. One cup of cooked adzuki beans contains 294 calories, and provides 17 grams of protein, 57 grams of carbohydrates, .2 grams of fat, and 16.8 grams of fiber.
That’s more protein than the beloved kidney bean, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians! They are high in iron, antioxidants, and many other important nutrients. Wouldn’t you say it’s time to add adzuki beans to your repertoire?
My Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup with Miso, Winter Squash, and Kale is made so quickly with the aid of an electric pressure cooker. I have a confession to make: I don’t own an Instant Pot. 😝
I have cooked with both stovetop and electric pressure cookers for 40 years. I’m not one to “jump on the bandwagon” with the latest trends, and I’m certainly not one to spend more money on the brand that has the best marketing campaign. All that to say, I have a Pressure Cooker XL and a Tramontina stovetop model. They are both 6 quart models, and both get the job done.
So why is “Instant Pot” in the title? It’s complicated. I want people to find my recipes. People are searching for “Instant Pot Recipes.” Rest assured, I will provide instructions that will work in whatever brand cooker you have. You might even do it the old-fashioned way… in a pot on the stove!
Please keep in mind this is not an “authentic” Japanese soup. It’s “Japanese inspired,” meaning I’ve used my knowledge of Japanese flavors to create a unique, eclectic dish.
A Well-Stocked Pantry and Adzuki Bean Soup
I keep tamari, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and miso in my well-stocked pantry. I prefer to use my Roasted Mushroom Stock in Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup, but I try to keep mushroom broth on the shelf as well. Kale and butternut squash are readily available year-round in the Rio Grande Valley.
If you’re short on time, many markets carry cubed butternut squash and chopped kale. I simply put the beans on to cook, then prep the rest of the ingredients. Adzuki beans cook more quickly than many beans I cook regularly – 15 minutes in the pressure cooker!
Lastly, I love garnishes, and you will find them on this soup. 😊 Scallions, white or black sesame seeds, dried seaweed strips, thin-sliced red chiles are all great choices. Make it your own! Leftovers are great warmed up the next day!
Making Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup
The “Instant Pot” portion of this soup recipe is in cooking the beans. Cooking beans is the main use of my pressure cookers. It saves both cooking time and soaking time. In fact, I rarely (if ever) soak beans anymore! Unsoaked adzuki beans require only 15 minutes under pressure.
I’m not going to repeat all the cooking steps listed in the recipe card below… because you can read it there. 😉 While the beans cook, prep the remaining ingredients including garnishes.
When the beans are tender, rinse and drain them, then wipe out the pressure cooker and add the remaining ingredients as per the recipe card. It really is a hearty, healthy, and easy soup, and perfect for fall and winter weeknight dinners!
Remember: Check the “natural foods” section of your market (or try a natural foods market like Sprouts or Whole Foods) when looking for adzuki beans. I know I can count on the quality of their products. You may also find adzuki beans at an Asian market, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen them dried… Ready to give them a whirl?
- 2 cups adzuki beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons ginger
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 8 cups hot mushroom broth, (see notes)
- 1 sheet kombu, optional
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and rough chopped
- 1/4 cup miso, (see notes)
- scallions, for garnish
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- seaweed nori, for garnish
- Fresno or jalapeno chile, sliced very thin
- Add adzuki beans and water to your IP/PC. Cook the beans under pressure 15 minutes. You may have a "manual" button or a "beans" button. Make sure to set it for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, allow the appliance to sit 10 minutes before opening the valve. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, the same applies. Bring the pot to high pressure, reduce the heat, and allow the beans to cook 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let them set 10 minutes prior to opening the valve.
- While the beans cook, gather the other ingredients, and do any prep (don't forget the garnishes!)
- When the cooker is de-pressurized, rinse and drain the beans, and wipe the cooker dry.
- Set the IP/PC to meat/stew or beans to saute/brown. It really doesn't matter which setting as the pot will remain on the setting unless the lid is locked in place.
- Add both oils and the ginger and garlic. Stir fry until very fragrant being careful to not brown it. Add the hot broth and kombu (if using).
- Add the tamari (or soy sauce), squash, and kale. Whisk the miso into about a cup of the broth, then add it in to the soup. Add the cooked adzuki beans back into the pot.
- Simmer the soup until the veggies are tender. If you do a fairly small dice, the squash should be tender in about 10 minutes. (Time varies).
- To serve: Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with your choice of garnishes. Enjoy!
As I mention in the post, I make my own Roasted Mushroom Stock. When I don't have any, I use Pacific Foods Organic Mushroom Broth. It's very flavorful. Starting with the broth hot means the IP/PC doesn't have to get it hot thus saving quite a bit of time! Drop the kombu in with the broth to start the flavor infusion (if using).
Not all miso is gluten free. Check the label. I typically keep shiro (white) miso in my refrigerator, and that is what I have used here. The darker miso is used with meats (IMHO).
I am reluctant to use or suggest specific settings for the IP/pressure cooker mostly due to the fact that there are many brands and many settings. Additionally, different beans need different amounts of time, and the appliance doesn't know what kind of bean you're cooking. Older IPs have a "manual" setting, and newer ones have a "pressure cook" setting. My Pressure Cooker XL has a "beans" setting that can be adjusted. I do adzuki beans for 15 minutes, with a quick natural release (10 minutes and then release pressure). I'm happy with that texture and firmness.
If you're cooking on the stove, after pre-soaking, the beans will require about 45 minutes on simmer. See Cooking with Adzuki Beans for more information.
I do want to mention that altitude probably will affect cooking time. I live at sea level, and with my pot and my altitude 15 minutes is great. Make sure you check that the beans are very close to being done before removing them from the pressure cooker prior to making the soup. If they're more than slightly undercooked, lock the lid, and add a few minutes.
This is a good article on IP buttons from my friend Barbara at Pressure Cooking Today.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 265 calories; 16 g protein; 7 g fat; 36 g carbohydrates. Does not include garnishes.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265