shitake-adzuki bean soup

did i miss something? did the month of february actually happen? i apparently failed to post anything to the blog last month and my brain hasn't quite processed the fact that it is already march! my daily bike commutes have been seeing more and more daylight... a welcome reminder that spring is truly on it's way! but besides the subtle adjustments to sunrise and sunset, i feel like an entire month just slipped away into a blur of events and daily routines. i had the joy of catering an intimate wedding on valentines day and a baby shower for my cousin, taught a yoga workshop to a group of eager beginner yogis, opened up registration for my first yoga retreat that i'll be co-teaching and cooking for (!!!), added two new yoga classes and a new private chef client to my weekly schedule ... whew! no wonder the blog fell by the wayside! but this soup - it is so blog-post worthy! 

i created this soup for a client recently, and loved it so much i made it for all my other clients and twice for myself! it's the perfect soup to help fight off a cold. it's hearty, warming, and packed with flavor and nutrients. if you like the flavors of pho, you'll love this quick and easy one-pot soup! if you can't find adzuki beans (dried or canned), i might suggest swapping them out for shelled soy beans (which you can often find in the freezer section) or green peas. 

shitake-adzuki bean soup ~ serves 4+
3 cups chopped carrots & parsnips (or other root vegetables)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
5-6 cups stock of choice
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon chinese five spice
pinch red chili flakes
2 star anise *optional
1 heaping tablespoon takii umami powder *optional 
3 cups shitake mushrooms
4 stems green onions
2 cups cooked adzuki beans, strained
1 small bunch lacinato kale
juice of 1 or 2 limes
spicy fresh chili *optional 

crush garlic and set to side for at least 10 minutes while you prep other ingredients. clean and chop carrots and parsnips into equally sized disks or half moons. brush off any dirt and quarter or slice shitakes mushrooms. in a large soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat and add root vegetables, ginger and garlic to saute for 5 minutes. add stock, tamari, five spice, anise, chili flakes and takii powder and bring to a simmer. add mushrooms, cover pot and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes or until root vegetables and mushrooms are fork tender. 

while soup simmers, wash, de-stem and chop kale into thin strips and thinly slice green onions. once root vegetables and mushrooms are cooked through, add adzuki beans, kale, green onions and lime juice. cook for just another minute until kale is gently wilted and beans are warmed through. serve with extra lime wedges, fresh chilies or an extra drizzle of tamari if you crave more salt in the soup. (spoon out the star anise when serving - no one wants a surprise mouthful of wood-hard anise)