Soy far, soy good

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It’s Soup, Glorious Soup Month over at Veggie Venture, and while I wouldn’t dream of cooking up a piping hot pot of soup in this Sydney weather, there’s a whole range of cold soups that shouldn’t be ignored.. vicchysoise, gazpacho, and their ilk.

At it’s most basic form, soy beans are fantastic eaten straight from their freshly steamed pods, sprinkled with nothing more complicated than a few flakes of sea salt. You can also make a wonderful chilled soup out of the tender beans. Nevermind the shade of green that reminds me of the house I grew up in, in the 70′s; this soup is light, clean-tasting and was a great prelude to yesterday’s main dish of Dory Namban-Zuke, which also contained a handful of the green beans as a garnish.

The recipe comes from Shunju : New Japanese Cuisine by Takashi Sugimoto and Marcia Iwatate.

Chilled Green Soybean Soup :
(Edamame no surinagashi)

Serves 4

3 1/3 tablespoons mirin
4 cups water
2 tablespoons natural sea salt
3 cups edamame (podded green soybeans)
3/4 cup katsuo dashi (bonito stock)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/3 tablespoons milk
pinch natural sea salt
4 sprigs chervil

Put mirin in a saucepan and boil off the alcochol content to leave about 2 tablespoons. Cool and reserve.

Bring the water and sea salt to a boil in a large pot of water over high heat and boil soybeans for 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of iced water. When completely cooled, drain and pat dry.

Peel the thin skin off the beans. Set 4 beans aside to garnish, then puree the remainder in a blender with the stock. Add mirin, sugar, and milk and continue to blend. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and mash any remaining bits. Taste and add salt if necessary. Chill.

Pour chilled soup into cups and float one soybean and a sprig of chervil in each.

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