Another year is about to end. Most people can’t help feeling reflective and sentimental around this time. I am no exception, feeling quite homesick. Since the Sydney end-of-year weather (Australian summer is in December-February) is fortunately relatively cool this year, it is only appropriate to cook up a remedy for homesickness.
Savoury red bean soup is one of my Mom’s most potent arsenals for her fussiest children and grandchildren. This soup appears homely and unglamorous but it is very easy to cook and very soothing for the soul and body. It is a good source of protein, dietary fibre, potassium, beta carotene and folate (FSANZ, 2012). However, whether it is a nutritional powerhouse or something in between, pork and red bean soup will always have a special place in my heart and kitchen.
To cook the soup, soak 250g / 9oz red kidney beans for at least 6 hours. Discard the soaking water and rinse the beans. Bring 9-10 cups of water to the boil in a large soup pot. Add the beans. Simmer the beans over medium/high heat for 15 minutes. Add 750g / 1lb 10oz pork soup bones or 500g / 1lb diced pork fillet. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Reduce heat. Add 5 peeled and chopped (chunky) carrots. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce. Add iodised salt to taste. Serve hot with steamed rice.