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…
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks – About 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.
I figure it’s about time we find a savory application for these healthy beans. Given that it’s the first of February, a soup seems the perfect place to start experimenting!
My Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup with Miso, Winter Squash, and Kale is made so quickly with the aid of an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. I have a confession to make: I don’t own an Instant Pot. 😝 Update 2019: I now own 2 Instant Pots!
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.
🍲 Are Adzuki Beans Healthy?
The adzuki bean is actually an annual (as opposed to a 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?
🧾 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!
To round out the meal, try these Buttermilk Biscuits. If you prefer to keep it vegan, you might take a look at these Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits. There is nothing quite like a hearty, hot soup with biscuits on a chilly day!
📋 Ingredients Notes
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- dried adzuki beans – Adzuki beans are pretty widely available. You can substitute other dried beans as well, just be sure to adjust cooking time accordingly. Check How to Make Beans in the Instant Pot for more information.
- sesame oil
- vegetable oil
- fresh ginger
- broth – I love this mushroom broth. You can find good quality commercial brands of vegetarian broth. Look for a high quality brand that includes a variety of vegetables. I have had some that were flavorless, and were just carrots, celery, and onion.
- kombu – Kombu is optional, but really boosts the umami flavor of the soup.
- tamari or soy sauce
- butternut squash – Pumpkin, kabocha, and other winter squash varieties are good substitutes.
- Cook the adzuki beans – Add adzuki beans and water to your Instant Pot. Cook the beans under high 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 it to sit 10 minutes before releasing pressure. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, the same applies. Rinse and drain.
- Finish the adzuki beans – When the cooker is de-pressurized, rinse and drain the beans, and wipe the cooker dry.
- Prep the remaining ingredients – While the beans cook, gather the other ingredients, and do all the prep including cubing the squash and deveining and chopping the kale. (Don’t forget the garnishes!)
- Sauté the aromatics – Set the IP/PC to manual sauté setting. 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, onion, and garlic. Stir fry until very fragrant being careful to not brown it.
- Make the broth – Add the hot broth and kombu (if using). Add the tamari (or soy sauce), and whisk the miso into about a cup of the broth, then add it in to the soup.
- Finish 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!
Can I substitute a different type of bean?
How long can I keep leftovers?
Note: 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.
Not all miso is gluten free. Check the label if gluten is a concern. 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).
This is a good article on Instant Pot buttons from my friend Barbara at Pressure Cooking Today.
Altitude will probably 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.
I am reluctant to use or suggest specific settings for Instant Pots and other electric pressure cookers (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. I do adzuki beans for 15 minutes, with 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. I’m happy with that texture and firmness.
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. You may also find adzuki beans at an Asian market, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen them dried… If all else fails, you can buy adzuki beans online. Ready to give them a whirl?
Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup with Miso, Winter Squash, and Kale
- 2 cups adzuki beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion - chopped
- 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
- ¼ 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, onion, 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!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.