Mung Bean and Vegetable Soup


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
My regular readers may have noticed that posting has been light here at Lisa's Kitchen lately. I hope to be back to my regular cooking habits and hence blogging frequency too. In the meantime, I share this nourishing soup containing one of my very favorite legumes.

Widely cultivated in the Far East and Indian subcontinent, the sad neglect of the bright green mung bean deprives busy cooks elsewhere of a nourishing and time-saving friend. Soaked overnight, mung beans cook in as little as 20 minutes and provide an easily digestible source of protein, dietary fibre as well as thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. Best of all, the mild and slightly astringent taste of mung beans pairs easily with almost any variety of vegetables and spices for simple, wholesome and delicious dishes that form a complete meal when served with rice or other grains.

Use this recipe as a simple template for quick and easy mung bean and vegetable soups, adjusting spices to suit your taste and incorporating your own favourite vegetables at intervals suited to their cooking times. In this case I used three carrots added with the beans at the beginning of boiling, and half a cup of fresh garden peas 5 minutes before finishing. Wholesome, warming and delicious, this mung bean and vegetable soup is thick enough to serve on a bed of rice or on its own in a bowl, and is a satisfying dinner solution when time is a cook's precious commodity.

Asafoetida powder — the ground resin of a fennel-like plant found in Asia — is a pungent spice reminiscent of onions and garlic but far more digestible (many Indians avoid onions and garlic altogether in favour of asafoetida). It is easily found in Indian and Asian grocers, and should be added to hot oil for only a few moments. If you don't have asafoetida, add one clove of minced or crushed garlic with the other spices.

This is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair, one of my favorite events started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Monsoon Spice.
Mung Bean and Vegetable Soup

1 cup dried mung beans
1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste


Rinse the mung beans under cold running water and soak overnight in a bowl covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added.

Drain and rinse the soaked beans and add to a medium saucepan. Cover with 3 cups of fresh cold water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, stir in the cayenne and turmeric, and cover. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the beans are soft, stirring occasionally.

If using root vegetables such as potatoes or carrots, add to the pan with the beans and water. Add other vegetables at intervals suited to their cooking times (e.g., after 10 minutes for green beans, after 15 to 20 minutes for corn or peas).

When the beans and vegetables are cooked, remove from heat. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the brown mustard seeds, wait a few moments to let the seeds start to splutter, then quickly stir in the cumin and coriander. Toss in the asafoetida, stir once, then pour the seasonings into the soup. Let the soup sit for a few minutes to let the flavours mingle.

Season with salt to taste, and serve hot or warm. Serves 4.

Other mung bean dishes you may enjoy:
Indian Sour Mung Bean Soup
Mung Bean and Coconut Soup
Mung Bean and Tamarind Dal
West Bengali Mung Bean & Tomato Soup

On the top of the reading stack: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Audio Accompaniment: Vibrant Forms II by Fluxion

19 comments:

Ricki said...

They really are a lovely shade of green! The soup looks wonderful. Glad to see you posting and hope all's well!

the twins said...

that looks so yummy and comforting!

Ivy said...

Your mung bean soup looks so fresh and yummy, packed with vitamins!

Parita said...

hey lisa, i hope you are now feeling well? the soup looks fantastic, so healthy and fulfilling

Happy cook said...

When i was living at home, mung beans were a regular item at home, i have not made them for a while, soup looks delicious.

Priya said...

Wow such a delicious soup, looks fabulous and filling..

Johanna said...

good to see you posting again - this looks like it will stick to your insides - hope it gives you the nourishment you need

Miri said...

This seems so unusual and interesting - will be trying this!

Soma said...

hope you are feeling better Lisa.. i am making only one bowl meals like this now:-) I have never soaked the mung with yougurt or lemon juice.. how does it help?

Lisa said...

Hi Soma;

I am feeling a bit better, thanks. The yogurt helps with digestion, though mung beans are one of the easiest legumes to digest.

Astra Libris said...

Mmmm, it's been far too long since I've fixed mung beans - thank you so much for reminding me of them, and for the awesome recipe! I'm also very excited that this recipe will give me another way to use the very large bag of Asafoetida powder sitting in my pantry, which I'm finding lasts quite a long time... :-)

I'm sooooo excited that you're reading Crime and Punishment... It's one of my top 3 favorite books of all time...

Cheddar Cheese said...

Yummy & Healthy! I love the green Mung of all the pulses. Surely a high protein source.

Recipe said...

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eatme_delicious said...

Hope everything's going well with you! This soup looks yummy. I think it would be really good pureed!

Indhu said...

Have I told you I love your soups... I love the variety of beans you use in them :)
this soup looks so comforting especially with the chilly weather that we have been having in Seattle!

Lisa said...

"Crime and Punishment" is for sure one of my very favorite books, which is saying a lot. Reading it for the third or fourth time now and it won't be the last.

Next is "Waiting for Godot" and then maybe "The Castle" by Franz Kafka (again) or more Dostoevsky. "The Brothers Karamazov" comes to mind again.

Aparna said...

Along with chickpeas and red lentils, these beans are my favourites too.
This soup looks very filling and comforting. Perfect for my rainy days at present.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Mmmm... thanks for the delicious reminder to make some lentil soup. It's supposed to rain here this weekend, so it's perfect timing!

Angela said...

This looks really beautiful. Mung beans are so delicious! They are sadly neglected in the American diet.