Arame is a dark brown Japanese sea veg sold as long, wiry strands that are rich in dietary fibre. Its mild flavour makes arame one of the most versatile seaweeds and a great addition to salads and soups, as it won’t overpower other ingredients. Each spoonful of this nourishing guise of minestrone is sheer comfort.
- This soup will thicken upon resting, so stir in additional broth when simmering leftovers.
- Rehydrated and chopped kombu or wakame can be used in lieu of arame, and other bean choices include cranberry, kidney, cannellini, or orca.
Spill the beans
In Asia, lightly sweet red aduzki beans are used in everything from soups to desserts. The legumes are also packed with a nutritional bounty including fibre, protein, and vital minerals. Soak dried aduzki beans overnight, and then simmer in a pot of water until tender, about 40 minutes.
1/2 oz (about 1 1/2 cups/350 mL) arame
2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
3 cups (750 mL) peeled and diced butternut squash
2 cups (500 mL) sliced crimini or shiitake mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste, without salt added
1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander
1/2 tsp (2 mL) red chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
3/4 cup (180 mL) dry white wine
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable broth
14 oz (398 mL) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
6 oz (about 2 cups/500 mL) whole grain orecchiette, small shells, or other small pasta
2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned adzuki beans
2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
Place arame in bowl, cover with cool water, gently stir, and soak for 5 minutes. Drain, coarsely chop, and set aside.
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and salt; heat until onion begins to darken, about 6 minutes. Add squash, mushrooms, and garlic; heat for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, coriander, chili flakes, and black pepper; heat for 30 seconds. Add white wine to pan and boil for 1 minute. Add broth, canned tomatoes, and pasta to pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in arame, beans, and vinegar and heat through. Ladle into bowls and serve.