Acorn Squash, Pear, & Adzuki Bean Soup w/ Chinese 5-Spice & Shiitakes


This is one of my all-time favorite soups. The acorn squash, pear, and Chinese 5-spice are just MAGICAL flavors together. This recipe comes from the plant-based classic Veganomicon, adapted for my food plan.

This soup could be blended as much or as little as possible, depending on how comfortable you are blending your food. We are advised not to blend our food in most programs, but many of us can tolerate a little bit of blending.ย If you don’t want to blend it, this soup is delicious as a chunky un-blended soup too.

Note – This soup contains pears, so it works on the weight loss plan for lunch. It doesn’t contain a full fruit serving though (it only contains half), so you’ll need eat another half of a fruit serving on the side to complete the meal. You could try doubling the amount of pears, but it might make the soup too sweet.

Some people have been mentioning lately as we move into soup season that soups mess with their peace because of the category mix up in soups and the “close enough” mentality that can sometimes happen.

This recipe is broken down precisely so that you can make the quantities as exact as you need to for your mental peace.ย I’ve taken the time to figure out the exact raw amounts, and provided step by step photos below to help you weigh the components out perfectly yourself.

Each Serving (1 lb, 2 oz = 1 serving) Contains:

  • 6 oz Veggies
  • 1 Protein Serving
  • 1 Fat Serving
  • 1/2 Fruit Serving


Veggie Serving

  • 1 acorn squash (1.5 to 2 lb squash)
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced (5 oz raw)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (3 oz raw)
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced (8 oz raw)

Protein Serving

  • 18 oz adzuki beans (about 2 cans, drained)

Fat Serving

  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil (for the soup)
  • 1.5 tablespoons sesame oil (for the mushrooms)

Fruit Serving

  • 9 oz ripe, diced pear (about 2 pears)

Condiments & Spices

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Splash of soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and roast face down on a piece of parchment paper, lightly sprayed with oil, salt, and pepper if desired.
  2. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until soft.
  3. Sautรฉ the onions and peppers in the 1.5 tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.
  4. In a bowl on the food scale, weigh the scooped out squash and cooked onions and peppers to reach 1 lb 2 oz (which is 3 veggie servings of 6 oz each), or adjust to 3 veggie servings according to your food plan. Save any extra squash for another meal.
  5. Add the veggies back into the pot.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic and sautรฉ for 1 more minute over medium heat.
  7. Weigh 9 oz of diced pears (3 half servings of fruit)
  8. Stirring often, add the salt, five-spice, and pear, and cook for another minute before adding the vegetable stock.
  9. Cover and bring to a boil.
  10. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10-15 more minutes, or until the pears are tender.
  11. If you are going to purรฉe some of the soup, purรฉe half of it now, either using an immersion blender or by transferring half of it to a blender.
  12. Weigh 1 lb 2 oz of drained, rinsed adzuki beans (3 protein servings).
  13. Add the adzuki beans and lime to the soup. Cover and simmer over low heat until the beans are heated, about 5 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms. In a cast iron skillet or other kind of skillet, heat the 1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil over medium heat.
  15. Brown the mushrooms for about 7 minutes.
  16. Add a splash of soy sauce and stir until absorbed (about 1 minute)
  17. To portion and serve, divide the soup into 3 equal portions in bowls or in large tupperware containers or jars. Or, you can measure out 1 lb, 2 oz of soup, which is 1 serving.
  18. Top each serving of soup with 1/3 of the browned mushrooms. I count the mushrooms as a condiment, because they cook down to less than 1 oz per serving. The oil, however, is counted as part of the fat serving.


Rate This Recipe:


  1. PERFECT timing!! I have some adzuki beans in my pantry and have had no idea what to do with them. This looks delicious! Thanks Katie – love all the how to pictures.

  2. Hi Katie! What is Chinese 5 spice?

    Sent from Mrs T


  3. So this makes 3 servings total, right? How much does 1 serving approximately weigh?

  4. Wonderful recipe. Thanks so much for posting this !

  5. Delicious recipe.Thanks for sharing!!

  6. YUMMMM! Such intriguing flavors. The pear with the five spice with the sesame/soy shiitake. SOOO good Katie! This takes a while to make, but it felt very nurturing to do all the prep on this dreary Friday! I did about 1/2 puree using the immersion blender in the pot – just like your pictures.

  7. This is my favorite recipe so far! Took me a while to make but so worth it! Buying veggies presliced will make a big difference. Used navy beans because I could not find adzuki anywhere. Are they hard to find or partial to health food stores? Other than the mushrooms is there any reason not to do this on a slow cooker?

    • I know, it’s hard to find adzuiki beans for some reason. I think we finally found them at whole foods. Sometimes they are in natural food sections. I don’t think there’s any reason not to do this one in a slow cooker, let me know how it goes!

  8. Made this today – delicioussss combo of flavors, especially the hint of pear against everything else. I blended half and like that because it made it a think soup with just a bit of chunkines. I used black beans, garbanzo, and pinto, and it still turned out well.

  9. I thought this was delicious!!! I like texture so I did not blend 1/2.

  10. OH WOW! Does this look good! Thank you, Katie! You’re always so precise with your recipes and I appreciate it! I’m getting back on the BLE train and I’m planning out my meals for this next week. Can’t wait to try this one out!

  11. Do you think I could use other spices than Chinese 5 spice?

    • The Chinese 5 spice is what makes this soup so freaking yummy, in my opinion. You could swap it with something else, but it would be a pretty different soup. Maybe garam masala or curry powder?

  12. I had never used Chinese 5 Spice. I agree with you, Katie, this spice makes this dish! So unique and deeeeelish!!