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December 17th, 2021 | By Alicia Silverstone

I’ve never served this dish to anyone who didn’t freak out about how delicious it was. Warm, nourishing, and great for winter, serve these beans with a simple bowl of rice and steamed greens. If you can’t find kabocha, butternut squash will do, but kabocha is just so good. This also tastes great the next day.

Black Soybean and Kabocha Squash Stew

Serves 5.


  • 1 cup dried black soybeans
  • 1″ piece kombu seaweed
  • About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Fine sea salt
  • Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 21cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 1kabocha squash, halved, seeded, and cut into 1″ pieces (peel only if the kabocha squash is not organic)
  • 1-3 tablespoons of mirin (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3–4 fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped


Rinse the soybeans, then turn them out onto a kitchen towel and rub to remove as much moisture as possible. Place the beans in a dry, medium skillet, and pan-toast them over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until they puff up a little and their skins begin to split.

Transfer the beans to a large pot, and add the kombu and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 90 minutes or until the beans are tender.
While the beans cook, combine the oil, garlic, onion, and chili powder in a large skillet over medium heat. When you hear the onion start to sizzle, add a pinch of salt, red-pepper flakes, and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, squash, mirin, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the squash is tender, about 35 minutes. Remove a small amount of the broth from the skillet and use this to dissolve the miso. Once dissolved, stir the miso into the vegetables.

Once the beans are fully cooked, drain them of any leftover liquid. Add the beans to the vegetables, and simmer over low heat until all remaining liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat, stir in the celery and cilantro, and serve hot.


Recipe courtesy of The Kind Diet. Copyright © 2009 by Alicia Silverstone. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House

Photo credit: Victoria Pearson © 2009

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