Have you ever tried black bean soup before? My husband and I grew up drinking this type of Chinese style black bean soup. It’s an easy, cheap and nutritious dish to complement the family meal.
I will be cooking black bean soup for quite a while since there are plenty of leftovers from the sensory play garden with black beans that I had set up here.
About black beans
I am using dried black beans for this soup as shown in the picture below (right). It’s different from soy black beans which are typically fermented to produce black beans sauce. Black beans are part of the legume family and rich in phytonutrients, fibres and protein. If you are keen, you may read about the many benefits of consuming black beans at whfoods.com. Unlike some places, the black beans in Malaysia are not sold in cans. Instead, they are usually sold at the dry goods section of supermarkets together with other members of the legume family like red beans and mung beans.
As with most legumes, black beans are quite hard and need to be pre-soaked prior to cooking. I usually soak for about half an hour before using it for boiling soup. Don’t be intimidated by the resulting blackish colour soup which is literally like black gold. It is packed with tonnes of nutrients and makes an ideal meal for children when served with white steamed rice.
The cooked black beans itself is edible. It is soft but have a mealy texture. You may choose to skip the beans like I often do anyways :))).
I have to admit that there are days when I am super busy or feeling under weather that I would simply boil black bean soup with just boned in meat and a bit of salt. But for today’s recipe, I am going for a more decadent version simply because it would taste so much better!
The addition of chicken feet and lotus roots really elevates the taste of the soup. The gelatin from chicken feet is rich with collagen and boost up the soup in term of nutrients and flavours. And did I mention how ridiculously cheap chicken feet are? I usually use between 6-8 chicken feet for each batch of soup and these only cost between RM2-3 ringgit depending on the size. They are really huge bang for your buck.
Lastly, the addition of lotus root which is rich in fibres and vitamin C nicely rounds up the soup. My children and I love the crunchy delicate flavours of lotus root. If you wish to know more, this lotus stir fry recipe from Serious Eats have an excellent summary on lotus root.
Although this is a budget friendly soup, lotus roots can be expensive nowadays. Hence, do check the price before making your purchase to avoid a rude shock. Now on to the recipe. Happy cooking!