Monday, 17 December 2012

Soya Bean (Soybean) Soup

This is a rustic, warming, tasty and fulfilling dish and very economical to make (dried soya bean 500g is under £1).  It is very simply home made, that you won't find in any restaurant.

Soya bean is one of the healthiest and life-affirming staples you can eat and is considered a "complete protein".

Prepare dried soya beans  for use.  They are then ready to toss in a salad, eaten as a side or to add substance to a good vegetable broth.  My personal favourite is to use with pork ribs in a hearty slow-cook soup.

1.  Prepare 150g dried soya beans, as in the link above, as far as the point where it has been soaked overnight.

2. Then add the soya beans to a large pot  with 2 ltrs of water and boil.  You need to watch the pot at this stage as boiling produces a lot of froth and you need to watch that this doesn't spill over.  Once boiled, pour out into a colander.

3.  Now you are ready to make the soup. Fill the pot with 2 ltrs of water and add soya beans, and boil once again.  Once it has, turn the heat to the lowest setting and simmer covered, for 1.5 hours.  Just make sure it doesn't have a tendency to boil over, it shouldn't!

4.  Then add pork ribs (about 6-8 medium) and boil up.  Return heat to lowest setting.  Skim off any scum, carefully, with a spoon. Simmer covered for another 1.5 hours by which time the soup is rich and the meat soft and tender, ready to fall off the bones.  Skim off oil*.

5.  Taste and season with salt.  You are ready to ladle into large soup bowls.

This soup is made even richer, and even more rustic, if instead of using pork ribs, you use trotters.  I can understand that you may find this repellent, but you shouldn't, it is wisely and economically used in traditional working dishes all around the world.  How to cook pigs trotters and An account of cooking with trotters.

*I always find it difficult to skim off the oil which is released into the soup when cooking with meat, ending up chasing with my spoon around the edges of the pot, while my face is entirely steamed up.  I was given a very handy piece of advice by a lovely elder cook, to ladle soup while avoid catching any oil; trick is to boil up the soup, so it is bubbling in the center, this pushes the oil to the edge, then ladle only from the center of the pot.  Et voila!  Clear oil free broth.

I hope you enjoy slow-cooking this traditional soup.


  1. I bet the bean is a lot better than other soy products. I've heard that soy tofu and other products have a compound that ladies bodies interprete as estrogen causing them to have problems from having too much estrogen. I'll have to study up on the bean looks good!

  2. Hi Brooke

    Thanks for stopping by and drawing attention to this. I am not sure of the oestrogen - related difficulties some women may have with soya products, but I would say, that if it is a recognised problem for some women, definitely to avoid/measure it.

    Soya bean is a staple in diets across the world, especially in countries such as Japan, where it's health virtues are well recognised. It has been raised as one of the main components for the comparative longer life expectancy and better health experienced in Japan.

    It is also a very tasty soup : )

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