Ginger Edamame Soybean Soup (Bacon?) & How we took the photograph

by White on Rice Couple on January 24, 2010

Two weeks ago we had a mildly hectic week  planning for Food Blogger Camp and prepping for the Multimedia Presentation that we were giving. Normally, there’s a checklist of things to finish up before we head out and at the top of the itinerary is to cease all grocery shopping and eat everything left in the fridge. Being more attentive to eat leftovers and not wasting food has saved us a nice sum of money that went towards building new raised vegetable beds!

Hooray for cutting back on excess and being rewarded with a new garden project. Yippee! More dirt.

start with edamame soybeans and fresh ginger root

The jam-packed freezer is always our first target. It’s our Alaskan-winter cache of overstocked edibles and our emergency vault of food that’s packed with frozen stocks, plenty of meats, and basil pesto from Summer garden explosions. So we turned to the freezer when the fridge was at a bare minimum and pulled out the ever present back up bag of edamame (soy beans). Having a back-up, emergency bag of Edamame soybeans is as essential as stocking the extra quart of chocolate ice cream. Hey, I’m a huge fan of fiber-rich foods and the chocolate ice cream is my reward for being such good girl. Fiber and chocolate are my ying/yang munchies.

Edamame or soybeans are hearty and full of firm, nutty bite when eaten whole. But what about its flavor as a soybean soup? I’ve always had a munching love affair with Japanese edamame (soybeans) ever since my days of vegetarianism (I’ll share this vegetarian turned carnivore story later). Blending it up with some fresh ginger and stock sounded so simple and satisfying.  The smooth river of delicate green edamame liquid that flowed from the blender proved another reason why soybeans are so versatile and healthy.

sauteed edamame soy beans then simmered in stock

The fresh bite of ginger in the soybean soup made it fragrant and tingly with a bright nose of ginger root. The thick, clingly soup is filling and even more satisfying when dipped with some crusty slices of toasted bread. Even a small bowl of edamame soup felt gratifying and fulfilling enough to make a complete dinner.

And oh, bacon makes this soup soooo good! The slow browning of simple shallots, garlic and ginger are all it takes to make this soybean soup loaded with flavor. But if you have a open love for all things pork (that’s me!), especially bacon (double me!), then add in some thick slices for a huge explosion of extra fatty flavor. Fat is good. Flavor is better. And bacon is bad-ass.  More bacon please!

Getting the photograph. This edamame (soybean) soup is even better the next day when all the flavors have given time to settle in. When we shot the photograph, we thought it would be of interest to those interested in honing their photography craft. We always get questions on how we achieve certain food shots, so when we have time, we’ll try to take more pictures of the setup during the cooking process.

Here’s the photography post (on our Photography site) showinghow we took this edamame soup photograph and below is the recipe for this great soybean recipe.

Enjoy!

Diane

don’t be deceived – this delicate looking soybean soup is packed with flavor and fiber!

Soy Bean Soup Recipe

Yield: Serves 3-4

Total Time: 30 Minutes

For vegetarians, use vegetable stock. For everyone else, use bacon and stock.

Ingredients:

  • 1 T Butter
  • 1 t Sesame Oil
  • 2 T Shallots, finely minced
  • 1/2 T Garlic (2 cloves), crushed
  • 1 1/2 T Ginger (2" knob), finely grated or crushed
  • optional- 2 pieces Bacon, diced
  • 1 pkg Soy Beans (16oz)
  • 3 c Chicken or Vegetable Broth (add more for a lighter, more liquidy soup)
  • 1 1/2 T Soy Sauce
  • fresh cracked pepper and thinly sliced green onion for finish & garnish

Directions:

  1. On medium heat, melt butter with sesame oil in a sauce pan. (If using bacon, omit the butter and fry the bacon and sesame oil till the fat is rendered) Add shallots, garlic and ginger. Sauté until lightly golden and fragrant.
  2. Add soy beans, broth and soy sauce.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until soy beans are tender (how fast or slow you simmer will affect the thickness of the soup. It is always a good idea to have extra broth in case you boil off too much liquid.)
  3. Put everything into a blender and puree until smooth. Return to sauce pan to keep warm.  Serve with fresh cracked pepper on top of each bowl and the thinly sliced green onion. Add a light stream of sesame oil or a  touch of sour cream or creme fraiche for extra tastiness.
  4. If the soup is too thick for you, add more broth until it reaches your desired consistency.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you. And remember in making the recipes, if using table salt instead of kosher or sea salt, make sure you reduce the salt amount.


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patricia@TheTravelingTable January 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Love the photography tips. I can cook…it’s the photographs I’m struggling with and hope to someday come even a little closer to your beautiful shots! Thanks so much!

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2 White on Rice Couple January 27, 2010 at 7:07 am

Patricia- glad to know the tips are of some help to you. Have fun photographing.

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3 Manggy January 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Soy bean soup! That’s gotta be a first, I love it. I’ve only had edamame once in the Philippines; it’s so hard to find but worth the quest, I think :) Thanks for the photography tips, that was a lot of fun, and educational for all (incl Sierra…). I’ve long thought of sharing Photoshop tips but I’m always afraid food bloggers will be banging on my blog door with pitchforks :/
By the way — LOVE. THE. CABINET DOORS. :)

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4 White on Rice Couple January 24, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Manggy- sharing photoshop tips would be awesome! Definitely there’s a demand for it and they’ll thank you for it and maybe beg for more!

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5 Divina January 24, 2010 at 11:26 pm

I absolutely love edamame. Manggy is right. Sometimes they are to find but really, really worth it. I need some photoshop tips when all else fails with my bad shots. This soup is just perfect. Love the creaminess and the color.

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6 Kate/Kajal January 25, 2010 at 8:29 am

Wow green soya bean soup ! I can just about imagine these gorgeous flavours. I wonder if you left a few whole soya beans in there it would be so much more fun :)) Every spoonfull you have you are searching for the plump green soyabean D

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7 White on Rice Couple January 27, 2010 at 7:05 am

Kate- that’s a great idea to add some whole soy beans in there. What a added treat to munch on them as part of the soup. Thanks!

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8 DianasaurDishes January 25, 2010 at 10:49 am

I could easily stuff myself on soybeans! I love them in the shell though, there’s something about the pile of edamame carcasses that makes me feel so satisfied when I’m done! The soup sounds great and I’ll definitely be trying it. I think I might try this with mushroom broth. I have a ton from reconstituting shiitake mushrooms.

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9 White on Rice Couple January 26, 2010 at 7:16 am

Diana – adding mushroom or shitake will add wonderful, earthy depth to the soup. let us know how it turns out!

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10 Dandy January 25, 2010 at 11:29 am

That soup sounds amazing!

Thank you so much for the photog tips, I’ve never seen the combination post before and I love it!

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11 Rita January 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm

It is the second time I see edamame soup this week, I might just have to give it a try…The photos are gorgeous, as usual.

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12 White on Rice Couple January 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

Rita- edamame soup is so wonderful, we think more even more people will soon be discovering the versatility of soybeans!

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13 Trissa January 26, 2010 at 3:22 am

I love edamame too but have always eaten them plain with some salt. I am definitely going to try this soup. Thank you for the tutorial too – am hoping over to check it out now. And also, wanted to know, if the edamame is green, why is the soup on the beige side? Thanks!

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14 White on Rice Couple January 26, 2010 at 7:11 am

Trissa – It’s the broth. Once you add the broth and puree the soup, the color begins to lighten. Also, we added extra broth in the end to make the soup less thick. The more you add, the lighter the color becomes. A thick soup will be more green.

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15 Jeff January 26, 2010 at 7:03 am

I am extremely jealous of your natural light. I have switched over to speed lights shooting through umbrellas with foam core reflecting in order to get decent shots. I was using a light tent but I did not realize how harsh the lighting was and I think that was more a result of using work lights that the tent could not diffuse.

Everything is better with bacon! Awesome job!

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16 White on Rice Couple January 26, 2010 at 7:14 am

Jeff- Yes, shooting with strobes/speedlights can result in very harsh lighting, especially on such delicate subjects like food.
Suggestions:
-have you tried moving the speedlights further away?
- increase the distance between the speedlight and the umbrella for more even light spread
-double diffuse the light
-turn the speedlight and umbrella away from the food, and bounce it back with foam core.

good luck! and yes, bacon makes almost everything better.

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17 Nicole Spasiano January 26, 2010 at 9:33 am

yum. I def need to try this.

very jealous of your natural light… we live in a ‘garden apartment’- meaning basement. Don’t get me wrong we have like 1300 sq at a great price in Boston with a yard and what not but I miss the natural light. Such beautiful pictures.

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18 White on Rice Couple January 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Nicole- not everyone has the luxury of natural light to shoot in. That’s why you need to explore different options using speedlights or small, simple strobes. We have some tutorials for shooting with basic speedlights on our photography blog!

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19 Jennifer January 26, 2010 at 10:38 am

This soup is an impressive result of a fridge/freezer cleanse. I also look forward to reading about your “vegetarian turned carnivore story.” My own involves bacon-wrapped scallops. ;)

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20 White on Rice Couple January 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Jennifer – It’s probably always the bacon that makes vegetarians turn back to the carniverous side!

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21 emily January 27, 2010 at 6:18 pm

This recipe made my night – fast and made from ingredients I had at home. I didn’t have bacon but I crisped some pancetta and crumbled on top. So delish. Thank you!

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22 Kat January 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm

The flavors in this soup sound like such a great combination. Thank you for the photo tips too!

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23 lowrah February 1, 2010 at 10:43 am

Can you give a measurement for a pkg of soybeans? What is the approx. yield for the recipe? I am considering making it for guests!

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24 White on Rice Couple February 2, 2010 at 8:42 am

Hi lowrah,
It is a 16oz pkg of soybeans. We’d say it does about 4 bowls or 6 cups of soup. The cup sized serving is probably more appropriate for this soup.

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25 Solaine February 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I am 3 years late but, I justdiscovered your blog via pinterest (what a blessing!) i was doing my freezer cleaning today and saw that bag of edamame sitting there, not knowing what to use it for, well now I know!! Thanks to you, and with that addition of bacon, I will be able to make my husband eat something healthy!! :)
Thanks!!

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