There is nothing nicer than soups and stews to warm you up when the weather is cold.

Adzuki bean and pumpkin stew is not only easy to make but it is naturally sweet and nourishing for your digestive system.

This is a perfect recipe for autumn and winter as that is when pumpkins are in season. In Chinese dietetics pumpkins correspond with the Earth element which represents the digestive system. Pumpkins are considered warming and deeply nourishing for both your digestion and your lungs. Pumpkins are also very versatile. Here is a delicious pumpkin soup recipe that I posted a few years ago. They are delicious roasted with sesame oil and tamari and every Halloween my son loves it when I make a sweet pumpkin pie.

I first discovered Adzuki beans when I was in Japan and tried red bean pancakes. They are still one of my favourite deserts and no trip to Chinatown is complete without buying a red bean bun for a treat. Adzuki beans (Chi Xiao Dou) are one of those wonderful foods that are also used medicinally in Chinese medicine. They are classified as a damp draining herb so are great when you feel like you are retaining fluid. Since they look like little kidneys and are a diuretic they are are considered to support your kidney energy which makes them a perfect addition to winter cooking as winter is the season to nourish your kidneys.

Ingredients:  (serves 4)

1 cup dry adzuki beans – soak for 24hrs then drain
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, sliced finely
1 garlic clove, diced
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, diced
1 leek, white part only, sliced thin in half moons
1 celery stalk, sliced thin
1 medium carrot, sliced thin in half moons
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
4 cups pumpkin chopped into large chunks – you can use any type of pumpkin & I usually leave the skin on
1 Tbsp tamari


  1. Drain the beans after soaking for 24hrs and place in a pot with fresh filtered water (enough to cover the beans by a few centimetres) and add bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes or until the beans are soft and cooked through. Strain and leave to one side.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pot and add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook on medium-low heat for around 5 minutes until they have browned
  3. Add carrot, leek and celery and cook for a few more minutes until they begin to soften
  4. Add the ground cumin, paprika, cinnamon and salt. Stir through the vegetables and cook for another few minutes until the spices are fragrant
  5. Add the pumpkin and 1 cup of filtered water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked through.
  6. Add adzuki beans and tamari and cook for a further 5 minutes

Serve on a bed of steamed rice or cauliflower rice and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


Your feedback and questions are always welcome so please leave a comment below.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Qigong and Wholefood counselling). Tania is an AHPRA registered practitioner of Chinese Medicine located in Katoomba, NSW and has spent 6 years lecturing at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Sydney campus.

The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety at all times.