Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Black Soya Bean & Pinto Bean Soup

I made this soup a few times already and I really like the combination of two types of beans in the soup. Their textures are completely different and that is what makes this soup a true winner.

I usually get fresh pinto beans in pods when I go to the market. Peeling them is Nic's job although it isn't really that hard to peel them. They're beige beans speckled with red dots.

My vegetable seller tells me these beans are great for soups as they're nourishing. Pinto in Spanish means "painted".

A quick search on pinto beans turns up wonderful information. You can find out more about the nutritional profile of these beans here and here.

As for black soya beans, I use the dried variety which I get from my sundry goods store in the market. Before you use them, you have to dry fry them in a pan until their black skins crack open to reveal their green insides.

Black soya beans contain antioxidants and are deemed high in Vitamin E content. They are also anti-aging and the colour of their skins are beneficial to the kidneys too. Having a healthy kidney means you get healthy skin, healthy glossy hair and reduce hair loss. (You can also make black soya bean milk which is supposedly better-tasting than regular soya bean milk.)

What's interesting is that black soya beans possess higher Vitamin E levels when they're cooked. So if you add these beans to your soup, you actually get more Vitamin E!

A high level of Vitamin E helps you improve your skin health. It also improves the collagen and elastin which helps your skin retain its suppleness.

Besides the two types of beans (about 1 cup of each), I just add pork bones (or chicken bones), chicken feet and a few dried red dates (pitted). Bring some water to boil and blanch the meat/pork/chicken feet. This gets rid of the scumminess from your soup.
In a regular stock pot, bring to boil 1 liter of room temperature water.

Once it is boiling, add your ingredients. Bring them to a rolling boil uncovered for about 10 minutes. Then cover with a tight lid, lower fire to a mere simmer and let the soup simmer for 1.5 hours. Season with salt at the end. Serve hot. (Don't over-simmer as the pinto beans will get very mushy.)

You can freeze leftover soup which I usually do. They keep well frozen. When you need to consume the soup, warm it up again on the stove. The longer you keep some soups, the better they taste. Of course, that said, don't freeze them forever. Consuming the soup within a week is probably best. For Nic and me, we usually can have this soup about 3 times.

Since we're talking about freezing soups, a little warning here - do not freeze lotus root soups as something about freezing changes the texture and crunchiness of the lotus root. You will end up with some soggy and pathetic bits of lotus root which really isn't that palatable!

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