Soybean and Butternut Pumpkin Stew

I have never cooked with or eaten whole soy beans before. I saw some loose dried soybeans at a health food store and thought I would give them a try. I didn’t know what to do with them. But I saw a recipe for Black Soybeans and Kabocha Squash, in my recipe book, The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, and thought maybe they would work with this. I also didn’t have kabocha squash. I think Woolworths do carry them sometimes, but Alicia said you can use butternut squash/pumpkin instead.

This recipe is meant to take about 90 mins, but I chopped the time down to about an hour, since we were all hungry. The recipe says to simmer the soy beans on a low heat in water, but I simmered mine on a higher heat, which bordered on boiling. The taste of the soybeans themselves was quite nice. It didn’t taste ‘soy-like’ at all. In fact they tasted quite nutty. If can’t get them you can also use other dried or canned beans, such as aduki or black beans. If you do use soy beans don’t be alarmed by them loosing their skin when you soak, dry and toast them. I tried to discard the skins, but I think this is normal.

I adapted some of the ingredients for the stew, but not a lot. I loved the taste of the mirin. It sweetened the stew and took away the acidity from the tomatoes, in the same way that sugar does. I did use a lot less tomatoes, but I did add more water, when I found the stew dried out. The miso also had quite a strong taste, but if you like miso its quite a pleasant flavor and its very healthy fermented food.

I served this stew with brown rice and steamed broccoli and brussels sprouts  So what did the critics say? Well Marco liked it. He did mention the soy beans were a little crunchy for him. My Chinese student really liked it as well. Marco doesn’t like celery or coriander, but I think it was a really nice garnish that brought a freshness and a crunch to the dish.

Have you cooked with Soybeans before? What did you do with them?


Soybean and Butternut Pumpkin Stew (vegan, gluten free, nut free)


1 cup dried soybeans

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 red onion, diced

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

sea salt to taste

450g butternut pumpkin, peel and chopped into small pieces

1 can diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons mirin

1 cup water

2 teaspoons white miso paste

2 stalks celery, chopped and diced coriander leaves to serve???????????????????????????????


1. First clean the soy beans, then rub the water of them with a tea towel.???????????????????????????????

2. Then dry toast them in a pot for 5-10 mins, so that the skin splits.

3. Add 3 cups of water to the pot them bring to the boil. Then place on a high simmer (not low) for 60 mins or until the soy beans are tender. I had to continually add more water so that they didn’t burn.???????????????????????????????

4. In the mean time take a large pan and heat olive oil. Then add garlic, onion and cayenne and cook for 2-3 mins.

5. Then add cumin and salt then cook for a further 3 mins.

6. Add butternut pumpkin, diced tomatoes, mirin and 1 cup of water. Cook for 35 mins. Add more water if it gets dry.

7. Take a bit of the juice from the stew and dissolve the miso, then add back to the stew. Then add cooked soybeans and heat through.

8. Serve with chopped celery and coriander leaves.

*Serves 5-6