This winter casserole will warm you up from the inside out.
½ cup adzuki beans, soaked overnight (12 hours if possible) in filtered water, drained and rinsed
10cm strip kombu
4 carrots, sliced into 1.5cm rounds
1 leek (white part only), washed and cut into 1 cm rounds
4 dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water. Remove stems and cut into quarters
2 stalks celery, finely diced
½ cup vegetable stock plus ½ cup leftover cooking liquid from beans
1 tablespoon miso paste
1½ tablespoons shoyu
1 large tbsp brown rice syrup or 2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp mustard (Dijon or German)
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon mirin, sake or brown rice vinegar
1 sprig fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Soak kombu in water to rehydrate.
Drain beans and place in a large saucepan with 2 cups of filtered water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Strain beans and return to pot with fresh water. Add kombu. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until soft (but not mushy). The beans should be whole, but soft enough to squash between your fingers.
Strain beans and keep cooking liquid. Set aside for use in the sauce.
Place beans in a ceramic or cast-iron casserole dish (preferably with a lid).
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Add the carrot, leek, celery and shitake mushrooms to the cooked beans.
In a measuring jug, combine sauce ingredients and mix together.
Pour mixture over the beans and stir through. Add a bit more stock if needed. Cover with lid and bake for 60-90 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
Serve with brown rice, steamed greens and garnish with finely sliced spring onion.