Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup

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… 

Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup in terra cotta bowls with print napkin and ice water.

👩🏻‍🍳 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

  • 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
  • garlic
  • onion
  • 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.
  • kale
  • miso

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Cook the adzuki beans in the Instant Pot.
  • 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!)
Step 2: Sauté the aromatics.
  • 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.
Step 3: Add the mushroom broth, squash, adzuki beans, etc.
  • 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.
Step 4: Add the squash and kale; simmer until tender.
  • 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!
A terra cotta bowl of Instant Pot adzuki bean soup with butternut squash and kale, and a copper spoon.

❓ FAQ

Can I substitute a different type of bean?

Absolutely! Any bean or pulse should work, just be sure to adjust Instant Pot cooking time.

How long can I keep leftovers?

We LOVE this adzuki bean soup leftover! It will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days, and reheats beautifully. It also freezes quite well.

💭 Tips

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?

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

Adzuki bean soup with kale and squash in a terra cotta bowl with copper spoon.

Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup with Miso, Winter Squash, and Kale

Savory umami flavor in a hearty, healthy, comforting vegan and gluten free Japanese-inspired soup… It’s ready in 45 minutes or less with the help of a pressure cooker!
4.85 from 40 votes

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Pressure Release 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Vegetarian Main Dish
Cuisine Japanese/Eclectic
Servings 8 servings
Calories 265 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

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).
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.
Macronutrients do not include garnishes.

Nutrition

Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 7g

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.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com
Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup with butternut squash and kale sprinkled with sesame seeds in a spoonful shot close up with my husband's hand...

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72 Comments

  1. Hi! Thanks for this recipe. I’m going to try it as soon as I get some miso. Do you use red, yellow or white miso to make this?

    1. Hi Rita! I apologize for my slow response. We have been out of town with a death in the family. I keep yellow miso on hand, so that is what I usually use. I think you’ll be fine if you use one of the others too.

    1. I’m sorry Laurie. I’ve made it many times with a stove top pressure cooker, then a Pressure Cooker XL, and then an Instant Pot. The 15 minutes under pressure and 10 minute release time has always resulted in tender but firm beans for me. All I can suggest is that you re-pressurize for another 5 minutes or so. (Without knowing how under-cooked they were it’s hard to say). They do get some extra time cooking with the broth and vegetables, but I’m not sure it would be enough. Again, I’m sorry you were not successful.

  2. This soup is superb! I have never tried adzuki beans until making this. I randomly picked up a small bag in the bulk section of my local specialty grocers and found your recipe on google when I went searching for what to do with them. I happened to have a big butternut squash my coworker had given me from her garden so it was fate! I used better than bouillon mushroom base for the stock along with a small bag of dried mixed mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, lobster) I reconstituted. I was out of kombu and nori but it was still delicious without. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Thanks for taking time to provide feedback Danielle! It’s so appreciated. We love the soup, and I’m all about encouraging people to use what they have in their pantry, so yay for you!

    1. Good morning Lisa. The list of ingredients include optional garnishes including nori, jalapeno or Fresno chile, sesame seeds, and scallion (green onion). I included all of these garnishes on photo day.

      1. Excited to make this. In the ingredient list in your blog it lists onion AND scallion and the photo/directions show you sautéing the onion, garlic, and ginger together. How much onion is needed for the sautée portion before the broth and beans go in?
        Thanks

        1. Hi Ashley! I apologize for missing this in the recipe card (bottom of the post). I recently changed recipe cards, and maybe it got lost in the import. I use 1 medium onion, and chop it prior to adding. I hope this helps! Let me know how you like it. It’s a favorite at our house!

      1. I just made this with the liquid that the beans were cooked in. I have this healthy mushroom granule seasoning that I buy at the local Chinese grocery store, and I don’t have mushroom broth, so I just added about 1/4 cup of the granules in the cooking liquid. It is delicious.
        I also added wild rice to mine for some texture, since I didn’t have the squash or collards on hand, and am cooking from the pantry stuff today.

    1. Hi Jasper! I apologize! I have been dealing with some technical issues today, and I turned off the recipe card plugin while trying to figure it out. I’m still having some problems but working to have it up ASAP. I hope you’ll come back!

    2. I have at least the Instant Pot Adzuki Bean Soup recipe back up. I apologize for the inconvenience… In an ideal world, technology would work all the time. 🙁

      1. Thank you for this recipe, Tamara.
        It was delicious. I will definitely try it again.
        We are miso lovers, so I added a bit more (2 to 3x more) to suit our palate. I also chopped up the porcini and shiitake mushrooms I used for my broth and added them to the soup.
        The recommended cooking time for the beans (15 min + 10) in instant pot was not enough to cook them fully. We live at 7000 feet so it might be an altitude issue.
        I’m new to cooking with Kombu and loved the flavor.
        Thanks again!

        1. Thanks for taking time to write Stephanie! I’m so glad you liked the adzuki bean soup! I’m guessing the altitude does affect cooking time in an Instant Pot, but I really don’t know. I live at sea level (unfortunately). I think I’ll add a note. Fortunately, it’s easy to lock the lid and give it a few more minutes… Thanks again for stopping by!

  3. We have friends who travel out west to get those beans. They swear by them and they convinced us to buy some. And we agree they are good. I’m going to save your recipe to try with them.

  4. Wanted an InstaPot for Christmas, but didn’t get one. Maybe for my birthday but this recipe looks so delish. I have never even heard of these types of beans before. Can’t wait to try it.

  5. This looks like the PERFECT winter recipe!! And I’ve never heard of adzuki beans…I’m going to have to experiment because my house LOVES beans! What a great new recipe find! Thanks for posting this!

  6. I’m one of those weird people where beans are my favorite food. If I see a bean highlighted as a feature ingredient, it will almost ALWAYS make it into my menu plan. I love Bob’s Red Mill products and will be looking for their adzuki beans next time I’m at the store!

  7. I really need to get an Instant Pot! This looks perfect for the snowy day we are having today!

  8. I don’t have an Instant Pot….but I do have a pressure cooker and slow cooker. Homemade soup is the best. Perfect for this cold weather we are having. Great to make a huge pot for leftovers too.

  9. Hi. Your recipe doesn’t tell when to add the cooked beans. Do you add them and simmer them with the veggies? Thanks.

    1. Hi there! I apologize! The recipe was a little unclear. I’m heading over to address it right now. The cooked beans are added in and simmered with the veggies. I’d have responded sooner, but I was en route from Peru back home!

  10. Cooking this for the first time and excited to try! However, I’m confused by the second part of the recipe and wanting slightly more specific directions on how long to cook/simmer the whole stew. Also, just left it on sauté setting on IP and hoping that’s right! Would have loved to do 5 minutes of pressure but don’t want to kill the miso goodness.

    1. I’m so sorry! It’s Easter, and I just returned home! As per step #1 – the beans need to cook under pressure for 15 minutes. After it sits 10 minutes, release the pressure. You then drain the adzuki beans and proceed with the recipe. You don’t cook the stew under pressure. You just simmer until everything is tender. I hope this helps and got to you in time! Please let me know!

      1. Thanks for the prompt reply! On a holiday no less! I could not figure out how to simmer in an IP so I ended up sautéing with the lid on, oops! It came up to pressure so I definitely did it wrong but it still tasted great. I was having trouble getting the squash soft. In the end it worked out and was tasty with a scoop of brown rice. Loved the flavor combos!

  11. I have been experimenting with different Indian beans and picked up some red chori at my local Indian grocery for no particular reason. When I looked them up, they are the same as adzuki beans. So check out your local Indian grocer. You will be amazed at how many different beans and lentils they have. The Bob’s Red Mill website has a recipe for chori.

    1. That had been my experience as well Lois! I really love the texture of adzuki beans, and I’m hoping this recipe encourages people to try them in more savory dishes!

  12. Wanted an InstaPot for Christmas, but didn’t get one. Maybe for my birthday but this recipe looks so delish. I have never even heard of these types of beans before. Can’t wait to try it.

  13. We just got an instant pot recently! Will have to add this to the list! Warm and comforting soups are my absolute favorite. I’ve never made anything with miso before, but would love to try.

    1. Miso is an amazing ingredient to add to your pantry/refrigerator… I find it adds so much flavor to many foods (not just Japanese)! I hope you’ll give it a go…

  14. This looks like the PERFECT winter recipe!! And I’ve never heard of adzuki beans…I’m going to have to experiment because my house LOVES beans! What a great new recipe find! Thanks for posting this!

  15. I’m one of those weird people where beans are my favorite food. If I see a bean highlighted as a feature ingredient, it will almost ALWAYS make it into my menu plan. I love Bob’s Red Mill products and will be looking for their adzuki beans next time I’m at the store!

    1. Haha. Neither do I Gloria! I’ve been cooking with a pressure cooker for decades, and no one paid much attention to those recipes until I stuck “Instant Pot” in the title! I did “confess” in the post 😉