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NAPPEI-JIRU, JAPANESE VEGETABLE SOUP
from "Soup, A Way of Life" by Barbara Kafka

I often forget that tofu, or bean curd, is actually made from soybeans. When I first made this soup, adzuki beans were virtually unobtainable. I substituted kidney beans, which are the same color and have a similar flavor. While I use chicken broth, it would be more authentic – and vegetarian – to use konbu dashi.

Makes 8 cups (2 L); 6 First-Course Servings
INGREDIENTS (CLICK TO BUY)

For the Flavored Bean Curd:
3/4 cup basic chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
Two 1/4-pound pieces firm silken tofu

For the Soup:
8 large or 12 small dried shiitake mushrooms
6 cups chicken stock
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup peeled, diced turnip
1 cup cooked adzuki beans or red kidney beans (see Note) or drained and rinsed canned beans
1/4 pound daikon (mouli), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or less if using commercial broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 medium scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced across on the diagonal

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PREPARATION

For the Tofu:
In a small saucepan, bring the stock, soy sauce, and sugar to a boil. Add the tofu. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and reserve.
For the Soup:
Soak the mushrooms in 2 cups warm water for 20 minutes. Drain; strain and reserve the liquid. Discard the mushroom stems and slice the mushroom caps across into thin strips.
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock or dashi to a boil. Stir in the carrot and turnip. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the beans, tofu, mushrooms, daikon, soy sauce, and salt.
Dissolve the cornstarch in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Stir into the soup and return to a boil. Sprinkle the scallions over the soup just before serving.
Note About the Beans: Either start with unsoaked beans or drain soaked beans. Rinse the beans and place in an appropriately sized pot. Add fresh water to cover by 2 inches, or the amount called for in the specific recipe. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 to 3 hours, depending on the type and age of the bean, until the beans are soft but not bursting.


Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  FreshDirect Chicken Stock - $3.49/ea
 pint
 
  Nasoya Organic Silken Tofu - $2.99/ea
 16oz
 
  Shiitake Mushrooms, Packaged - $3.99/ea
 3.5oz, Farm Fresh  
 
  Cal-Organic Organic Carrots, Bag - $1.99/ea Save! 2 for $3.00
 1lb
 
  Turnip - $1.99/lb
 Farm Fresh
 
  Goya Red Kidney Beans - $1.29/ea
 15.5oz
 
  Daikon - $2.49/lb
 Farm Fresh
 
  Ocean Mist Farms Scallions - $1.99/ea
 5.5oz, Farm Fresh, bunch
 
You May Already Have
  Yamasa Soy Sauce, Naturally Brewed - $2.39/ea
 10oz
 
  Domino Granulated White Sugar - $2.49/ea
 2lb box
 
  Kikkoman Lite Soy Sauce - $2.99/ea
 10oz
 
  Morton's Coarse Kosher Salt - $2.99/ea
 48oz
 
  Argo Corn Starch - $1.99/ea
 16oz
 
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