Lunar New Year – Red Bean Soup Recipe, Refined Sugar Free, Maple Syrup

red bean soup

Red bean soup is a recipe that my family makes often. Red bean is a very popular flavor in Asian desserts (there’s red bean ice cream, red bean filling in mochi, and even red bean popsicles), and I’ve grown up eating this soup all my life.

This soup is a sweet soup that warms you up in the winter, and it goes great with tang yuan, which are a traditional chewy sweet rice balls that signify family togetherness and are eaten at celebrations like weddings, and especially at Lunar New Year.

This soup is normally made with a lot of cane sugar, but I make the soup with maple syrup instead. My trick for using less sweetener when eating this soup is to drizzle about 1 tbsp of maple syrup on top of each bowl, and to not stir it in.

That way each time you take a bite, you get that little hint of sweetness and you end up using less maple syrup overall.

Another good way to cut down the sweetener in red bean soup is to cook the soup in a slow cooker. The beans taste sweeter when cooked this way, and with a few tang yuan and a drizzle of maple syrup, I promise you that you won’t miss the cane sugar version because this one is amazing.

If you need to cook red bean soup in a hurry, you can do this on the stove top in about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. The texture of the beans won’t be quite as soft and tender as the slow cooker red bean soup, but the stove top version will still be very good.

If you’re expecting to serve this to more than 6 people for Lunar New Year, I recommend making two batches of this soup. If you have extra, you can send it home with people and everyone will be extra happy for Lunar New Year.

 

Sweet Red Bean Soup Recipe

Makes 4 – 6 servings (if you use some of the red beans to make tang yuan, 6-8 servings if you don’t).

Ingredients

1 lb Adzuki Beans (aka Red Beans, preferably organic)

10.5 cups of filtered water

– maple syrup for serving


Instructions

Slow Cooker Directions

1. Give the beans a good rinse. Add them to a large pot and cover them with 1.5 inches of cool filtered water. Bring the beans to a boil, then set a time for 2 minutes and let the beans boil until the timer goes off.

2. Drain the beans and add them to a slow cooker along with 10.5 cups of filtered water. Cover, and let the beans cook on high for 9-10 hours until the beans are very soft and tender.

Stove Top Directions –

1. Give the beans a good rinse. Add them to a large pot and cover them with 1.5 inches of cool filtered water. Bring the beans to a boil, then set a time for 2 minutes and let the beans boil until the timer goes off.

2. Drain the beans and add them back into the pot along with 10.5 cups of filtered water. Cover, bring the beans to a boil again, then turn the heat down to medium low and let the beans cook covered for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until the beans are soft. Give the beans a stir every now and then, and if the water looks a little low, add a little more water. The soup is done when you can easy smush a bean between your thumb and forefinger.

If after an hour and a half of cooking the beans are still firm (older beans sometimes take longer to cook) turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 30-45 minutes and the beans should be soft by then.

Serve the soup with homemade tang yuan and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Happy Lunar New Year!

2 thoughts on “Lunar New Year – Red Bean Soup Recipe, Refined Sugar Free, Maple Syrup

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