Nourishing Kidney Bean Soup with Goji Berries 枸杞子


  • 1 cup Organic Dark Red Kidney Beans, soaked in water overnight (or three 15 oz. cans)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 TB, chopped scallion (Cong Bai)
  • 1 TB minced garlic (Da Suan)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB butter
  • Ham Shank, (natural, uncured, fully cooked), cut bite-sized meat
  • ¼ C whole goji berries, (Gou Qi Zi 枸杞子)
  • 14 Green Cardamom pods (green Indian cardamon tastes best) slightly crack each pod.
  • 3 TB, fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • Pinch or so, cayenne pepper (Hua Jiao) – according to taste


Indian Cardamon Seed Pods & Seeds

Indian Cardamon Seed Pods & Seeds


Change water used to soak beans several times.  Strain before cooking.

Sautee onion and scallon (Cong Bai) + garlic (Da Suan) in 1 TB olive oil w/ 1 TB butter

Add 4 cups water & beans, ham, paprika, cardamon, goji berries, cayenne, lemon.

Bring to boil, stir & reduce to simmer.

Cook 30 minutes in pressure cooker or 2+hours in regular pot.  (If using  canned beans, cooking time will be 30-40 minutes)

Remove cardamom pods and serve.


This soup can be simmered a little longer to thicken and then poured over brown rice.  Serve with fresh yellow corn on the cob w/ butter, or cornbread.  (A more complete protein combination.)

Thanks so much Ann for this original recipe. Delicious!


Medicinal Info:

Dark Red Kidney Beans nourish & strengthen the kidneys.

*   Goji Berries (also called Wolfberries) are a wonderful, nutrient-rich yin food for the liver and kidneys, that help protect the eyes.  Research reveals incredible healing and protective properties.  Here’s a link to more info:





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  1. This was a lot of fun to make, especially because it improved on a traditional “red beans and rice” type of New Orleans recipe – improved by adding two unique and wonderfully flavorful ingredients: Cardamom and goji berries. Both were a delicious plus. I will be making it again this upcoming weekend!

    Comment by Ann Williams — August 11, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

  2. This looks so good! I’ve made a version of this, but never thought to add goji berries. Looks like I’ll be cooking this during break!

    Comment by Lisa Polson — August 16, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

  3. I fixed Goji Berries polo the other day and served with garlic roasted chicken , it tastes so fantastic and plus its so healthy . Mix Goji Berries with some butter or your regular cooking oil , add touch of salt and pepper . Cook and roast over low heat for 10 min , add some saffron , touch of turmeric . After your rice is cooked , you may serve it over rice or mix with rice before serving .

    Comment by Sai Houston — October 10, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

  4. Just add Goji Berries to your salad , or top your home made pizza with it it comes out great . For the pizza , add the berries the last 5 to 7 minutes . I made a vegetarian pizza with garlic , Basil , Goji Berries , Mushrooms just to die for . Your body will thank you ….. a lot.

    Comment by Sai Houston — October 17, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

  5. I love really simple recipes like this that have just a couple of interesting herbs thrown in. Really useful!

    Comment by Jodi Host — October 29, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

  6. That pizza sounds delicious, Sai. I’m always in the mood for pizza, and will try your suggestion soon!

    Comment by Kim O'Berry — December 6, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

  7. It’s soups like this that make me look forward to the chillier months

    Comment by Kelsey Rumfello — August 13, 2014 @ 9:03 am

  8. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this
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    Comment by skin care blog — August 21, 2014 @ 11:34 pm

  9. What a great recipe for a nourishing spring savory soup! I need to percolate a bit and see if I can come up with a sweet bean and goji berry hot dessert.

    Comment by Cali James — April 13, 2017 @ 8:40 am

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