I first made this bean soup for a friend about a year ago. We were looking for dishes to support bone health and this stew, with delicious black soy beans, sea vegetables and winter squash, is lovely and super nourishing.
The components for this recipe can be found in The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health by Michio Kushi and Alex Jack under Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis Stew. If you don’t already have a copy of this book, I think it would be a wonderful addition to your library. I frequently use it as a resource and it is packed with useful health information and recipes.
The recipes in the back of the book can be a bit vague and confusing to decipher, so we got some guidance from Warren Kramer, of Macrobiotics of New England. What follows are the notes I jotted down during my first attempt at making it. This stew will not disappoint. It is lovely and delicious and perfect for this time of year as we move from Autumn into Winter. Yes! It seems like Autumn just started, but it’s already almost time for making adjustments to get ready for Winter.
1 cup black soy beans, rinse and soak overnight in water to cover
postage stamp size piece of kombu
1 onion, fine dice
1 dried shiitake mushroom, soak in water to soften and then finely dice, can add soaking water to the stew
3/4 cup finely diced carrot
3/4 cup finely diced winter squash (I love kabocha, red kuri and buttercup) You can peel the squash or leave the skin on, removing any hard bits.
a few handfuls hearty greens like daikon, turnip, kale or collard, wash and chop into small bite size pieces
darker miso (brown rice or barley)
lighter miso (sweet white or chickpea)
parsley or scallion, chopped, as garnish
- If using Hokkaido black soybeans, retain the soaking liquid. Otherwise, discard the soaking liquid and add fresh. Place beans in a pressure cooker. Add soaking liquid/water to a few inches above the beans. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Add the kombu, place pressure cooker lid on and bring to pressure. Lower heat and cook at pressure for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally.
- In a heavy bottom soup pot or large Le Creuset, heat the sesame oil and add the onion. Saute onion on a moderate heat until translucent. Add a few small pinches of sea salt. Continue to saute for a few more minutes.
- On top of the onion, layer the shiitake mushroom, carrot and winter squash. Add the black soybeans and the cooking liquid on top. Add more liquid as needed to about two inches above the top of the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add more water along the side of the pot (not to the middle) as necessary to get a stew-like consistency.
- Add the greens near the end of cooking time.
- Place about 2 tsp each of the dark and light miso into a small bowl. Add a scoop of the broth from the stew. Mix well and add back to the stew. Stir well. Simmer gently for a few minutes. Taste and add a little more miso if needed.
- Serve with a garnish of parsley or finely sliced scallion.