Sweet red bean (or green bean or barley) soup is a common dessert in my family when I was growing up. Very rarely, we make cookies, cakes or some other pastries for an everyday dessert – those are generally reserved for some special occasion like Chinese New Year and Christmas or as a special treat. After eating so much of this dessert growing up, I never thought I would ever miss it (should have known better), but thank goodness it’s such an easy dish to make – no special unavailable ingredient or secret technique – just put the red (azuki) beans and water in the pot, boil the beans until tender, add sugar to taste and voilà, sweet red bean soup…delicious eaten warm during the cold autumn/winter days or cold during the hot summer months. What more could a gal ask for? :)
1 pound red beans (azuki beans)
14 cups water
1¼ cups sugar
Rinse the beans and place them in a pot with the water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for about 2 hours (keep the lid slightly open), or until beans are very tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary. When the beans are tender, add sugar and turn off heat. Serve warm or cold.