Serves 4-6: As New Orleanians, we often fall into the red bean trap: making them the same way every time. This week, we’re exploring new ways of enjoying this staple food. Diners in Asian nations enjoy red beans in delicious, healthy soups, and we’ve paired it with delightful Japanese rice cakes! A great way to feed a family or cook for the next few days.

Tools Needed: Knife, cutting board, skillet, spatula, mixing bowls, slow cooker


  • 1 lb. red beans, pre-soaked
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly diced, with juice
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • ½ tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled & diced 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup dry rice, cooked (makes 2 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme


Rinse the dry beans under running water, then put them into a large pot or bowl. Add eight cups of clean water, cover and allow to sit overnight. When ready to cook, drain and rinse..

When ready to cook, put the soaked beans and the next 10 ingredients to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Cook the rice while the soup is cooking. Do not rinse the rice before cooking! You want the rice sticky. Once cooked and drained, allow to cool down. In a bowl, add the cooked rice, garlic, thyme, and the flour. Mix well by hand until all flour is incorporated, then form into six patties. In a skillet, warm the oil over a low heat, and fry the patties for 2-3 minutes, then flip and fry again. Then, turn the heat up to medium, and continue frying, flipping until both sides are crispy and golden. Set onto a paper towel and pat dry, then serve floated in a bowl of the soup, or on the side.

Nutritional Facts: 

Red Bean Soup: 1 cup-158 calories – 2mg cholesterol – 701mg sodium – 29g carbohydrates (5g sugars, 8g fiber) – 11g protein

Rice Cake: Per cake-192 calories – 206mg sodium – 36g carbohydrates – 6g sugars – 7g fat – 1g saturated fat