Azuki Beans with Kabocha Squash

The Kind Life

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This recipe is a must, if you haven’t made it already. It was perfect for winter, so I hope you ate it a bunch. But it’s still good to eat on colder days… Or just once a week for real, deep nourishment.
I’m happy because I just made this dish with kidney beans instead of azuki and it was so good! Enjoy!
SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS
4-6 6-inch pieces of kombu
1 cup dried azuki beans
2 cups kabocha squash, cut into large chunks (peel only if the squash is not organic)
1 teaspoon shoyu
chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish
STEPS
Combine the kombu and beans in a bowl and cover with water by an inch or two.
Soak overnight.
The next day, drain the kombu and beans and discard the soaking water.
Slice the kombu into 1″ x 1″ squares, and place them in a heavy pot with a heavy lid, preferably enameled cast iron.
Add the beans and enough fresh water to just cover the beans.
Bring to a boil.
As the beans boil, strain off any foam that rises to the top.
Let the beans boil, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, as this allows gases to release.
Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low (or place on a flame detector if you have one), and simmer for about 40 minutes.
Check the beans every 10 minutes, adding water to the pot when the water level appears to dip below the bean level.
After 40 minutes, arrange the squash on top of the beans and add more water to keep the beans covered.
Cook for another 20 minutes, or until the beans are soft and tender.
Add the shoyu to the beans, and cook for 10 more minutes.
Serve garnished with the cilantro or parsley.
Variations:
You can use any kind of winter squash (buttercup, butternut, Hokkaido pumpkin, delicata, and so on), or even carrots, in place of the kabocha squash in this dish.
You can also make a soup from azuki beans and sweet vegetables. Follow the same directions, but use more water and a variety of sweet vegetables (such as onions, carrots, squash, and corn). Season with shoyu, garnish with scallions. This is also deeply nourishing and revitalizing.

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