This soup’s long success stems from this Japanese condiment—ume plum vinegar. Mated with hot sauce it yields a hot-salty-sour keystone balance.
This vegan soup uses only a few ingredients and only water as stock. Easy and inexpensive to make—this filling soup has been in my regular rotation for over 25 years. For under $3.00 you can fill 12 bowls of deliciousness!
Bonus: add additional ingredients to build into a main course soup. See below how to turn this into 5 different versions!
- onion- 2 cups, chopped, or leeks
- celery- 2 cups, slant sliced
- vegetable oil- 2 TB., neutral
- baby lima beans- 1 LB.
- water- 8 cups
- garlic- 2 tsp, chopped
- ume plum vinegar- 3-4 TBS.
- hot sauce- 1 to 3 tsp, to taste
- basil, fresh- 1/4 cup, chopped
- In a large pot sauté the onions in oil for a few minutes, then add the celery and continue for another few minutes
- Add the water, lima beans and bring to the boil. Cook until beans are very tender. If using a pressure cooker, cook for about 18-20 minutes. If using slow cooker cook for several hours. Stove top cooking figure on 45-60 minutes or more.
- When beans are tender, add the garlic, ume plum vinegar, and hot sauce. Cook a few more minutes and taste for seasoning.
- Serve with torn, fresh basil or fresh herb of choice
Mashed Potatoes: Don’t ask me why, but I mounded warmed mashed potatoes in a bowl and ladled in the soup. Wow!
Seafood: Off heat add in raw shrimp and cover for 3-5 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice
Upper Left: Poaching shrimp shells in water for stock; Right: Yuan enjoying our new concoction; Bottom: Served with a side of kimchi
Chicken & Rice: Add cooked chunk chicken and serve over rice
Sausage: Dice cooked sausage and heat with soup
Spinach & Eggs: Add in a good bunch of baby spinach and when tender, stir the hot soup and drizzle beaten egg and serve as Spinach Egg-Drop Soup
Kimchi & Lima Bean Soup [Below]: Wowzer! Before serving, stir in chopped kimchi for an umami punch. I had some leftover seared Ahi tuna, some avocado, noodles, and sesame seeds and it became a restaurant grade, main course soup.
Soup is served as a stew here along with Coconut Braised Collards
Recipes using Ume Plum Vinegar:
Recipes by B. Hettig