In fact, I don’t know whether there are these cranberry beans in Vietnam or what they are called in Vietnamese name. They just resemble another kind of bean which is used popularly among Vietnamese people. This bean can be made into sweet soups or sticky rice dishes.
This is my first experience with cranberry beans. I immediately thought of make some sweet soup with them. Using beans in making sweet soups is a popular habit. Sweet soups are not only favorite street foods by teenagers but a lot of young adults love eating them too. Sweet soups can be cooked very fast and easily at home. Especially during hot summer, sweet soups are consumed as desserts or at anytime of the day to reduce the heat inside the bodies. During winter, sweet soups are added hot spices, mostly fresh ginger root, to warm up the bodies. Therefore, a lot of youngs and olds like sweet bean soups.
I cooked this sweet soup with cranberry beans in the same way Vietnamese people cook that similar kind of bean. I was amazed at the taste of the soup. It was so special with gentle sweetness of rock sugar and mild fragrance of pandan leaves. Cranberry beans offer a distinctive and very attractive flavor to the soup.
- 150g cranberry beans (fresh from the pods)
- rock sugar, as needed
- several pandan leaves, cleaned
- Put the beans in a pot of boiling water to cook for 4-5 minutes. Or soak the beans in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and peel off the outter skin.
- Combine the rock sugar in a preferred amount of water (about 3 cups) and pandan leaves in a pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add the beans to the pot, simmer for about 15 minutes until the beans start to break apart. Taste again to adjust the sweetness. This soup should offer a mild sweetness only.
- Discard the pandan leaves. Serve warm or cold.