Spicy Mung Bean Soup

Mung beans are delicious and easy to digest, much like lentils. This soup is simply delicious and can offer much comfort on a winter’s day.

1 cup dried mung beans, washed and rinsed
5 cups cold water or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 or 3 large tomatoes, chopped
A 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 or 3 serrano peppers, very thinly sliced (do not remove the seeds)
1 cup coconut milk
2 medium or 1 large organic chicken breast (optional)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
sea salt or celery salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon

Place the mung beans in a pot with the 5 cups of cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are tender. (Do not boil. Just a gentle simmer.)

In a separate bowl, combine the turmeric, cumin, curry powder, and garam masala and set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions until soft. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic, tomatoes, and the ginger. Sauté for a minute or so.

Add the combined spices and the sliced serrano pepper and sauté for another minute. Next add the beans and their cooking liquid to the pot with the vegetables and spices. Add the coconut milk and the chicken breast, if using. You might need to add another cup or two of water, if the soup seems a little thick. Simmer the soup uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken breast from the soup and let cool for a little bit before shredding. Add the chicken back to the soup.

Stir in the cilantro, season with salt and pepper and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Why eat Mung Bean:

Mung beans are cooling in nature, can aid in detoxification, are beneficial to the liver and gall bladder, and are mildly diuretic and thus can help to reduce swelling. Alkaline in nature, they can help reduce acidic states often marked by inflammation and general signs of heat. Mung beans are also a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and of phytoestrogens. They contain vitamins A, C and E, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium.

Serving Ideas:

    • Mung beans can be cooked to a soupy texture with lots of water and spices. Stews and soups that combine mung beans with a wide variety of greens and vegetables and grains such as barley are also common.
    • Mung dhal flour can be combined with whole wheat flour to make fresh flatbreads on a griddle.