Adzuki Bean Minestrone

  • Yield 6 to 8 servings

Adzuki Bean Minestrone is more of a hearty vegetable and pasta stew than a soup.

Ingredients

2 cups dried adzuki beans*
1/2 cup dried tubetti or ditalini pasta
1 tablespoon pure olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 leeks, carefully cleaned and sliced
1/2 head cabbage, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
2 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice
2 quarts water or canned vegetable broth
2 medium zucchini, diced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak adzuki beans in water to cover overnight. Drain, place in a large pot, cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Drain and reserve.
  2. Cook pasta in plenty of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender but al dente. Drain and reserve.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, leeks, cabbage, fennel, dried rosemary (if using fresh, add later), and fennel seeds, saute 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice, water or vegetable broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes. Add the fresh rosemary, if using, zucchini, cooked beans and pasta. Simmer 5 minutes more, adding a little extra water if soup appears too thick. Add basil and pepper.
*You can use 3 cups rinsed and drained canned kidney or cannellini beans or chickpeas instead of adzuki beans, if desired. Then you should skip the soaking and simmering steps and proceed to cooking the pasta.

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