Soy is a herbaceous plant of the legume family, which produces small beans (three in each pod) of different colors - green, yellow or red - depending on the variety. Like rice, soy has always been a source of nourishment for Asian populations.
Soybeans are rich in proteins - their amount is almost the same as those of animal-, vitamins, minerals and above all in lecithin. Plus, they are cholesterol-free.
This legume can be used like common beans: left to soak for a few hours, soybeans are then drained and cooked in cold water.
Another soy derivative are the sprouts, which are the result of soy beans' germination. They appear as thin white, fleshy and crunchy stems with a pale yellow appendage at the top. Sprouts are excellent raw, for example in salads , cooked and sautéed in a pan.
This legume can be used even to produce flour, milk,cheese (called tofu) and dark brown flavored sauces, more or less spicy, widely used in oriental cuisine.