This simple Mung Bean Soup recipe is packed with bright flavours. Sweet leeks, lemon, and dill combined with protein-packed mung beans make a healthy and delicious vegan soup that's a breeze to make.
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It's no secret that we're pretty big fans of mung beans here on HNL.
We've got a spicy Mung Bean Salad with halloumi and carrots. We've got Mung Bean Hummus. We've got the quintessential guide on How to Cook Mung Beans. And of course, we've got our internet-famous Mung Bean Curry, which has been the most popular recipe on this site for several years running.
If you were wondering what else we could possibly contribute to the mung-o-sphere, here it is: Mung Bean Soup.
This recipe is a pretty big departure from our Mung Bean Curry - it's a brothy, vegetable-studded soup that's simmered on the stovetop until tender perfection. The flavor is almost Greek-ish, with sweet, softened leeks, lemon, and a lot of dill delivering a bright, sunny taste.
And thanks to a quick soaking technique that softens the mung beans while you're bringing the rest of the soup together, you'll have this one on the table and ready for dinner in a flash.
Let's make it together!
What are mung beans?
Mung beans are small legumes, in the same family as beans and lentils. Today mung beans are cultivated in China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Korea, and Southeast Asia (among other places), but the legume is believed to have originated in the Middle East.
Mung beans refer to the whole, intact green beans that are encased in a green husk. This is what we're working with today. Mung beans are also referred to as green gram, or moong, and probably other regional names that I'm missing as well.
Time to gather up our ingredients! The components of this recipe are simple, everyday ingredients you may already have on hand. Here's what you'll need:
- Mung beans --> Kinda the star of the show.
- Leeks --> They bring a bit of sweetness to the recipe.
- Carrots --> A few big guys all diced up.
- Celery --> Bringing the crunch.
- Potato --> Adding structure and keeping you satisfied.
- Garlic --> Because of course.
- Lemon --> For a bright, fresh flavour.
- Dill --> Same same.
- Bay leaves --> Mooooore flavour.
- Spinach --> Bringing the greens. I use frozen spinach in this recipe, but fresh is fine too!
I like to make this recipe in a big, heavy soup pot. I use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven for most soup recipes and I love the way it heats evenly and retains heat throughout cooking. the heavy lid is great for simmering bean soups like this one too.
How to make mung bean soup
You will find detailed instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but let's go through it together step-by-step here.
You might be wondering do mung beans need to be soaked before cooking? Well the answer is no! They're small, quick cooking legumes and you can absolutely just toss them right into the soup to cook alongside the vegetables.
However, in this recipe I'm using a technique called the Quick Hot Soak to reduce the cooking time. What this means is I simply put the mung beans into a saucepan and cover with water, bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and let the beans soak while I'm chopping the veggies and starting the soup.
This step is optional and may save you 10-15 minutes in total simmering time.
While your beans are soaking, get to work on your soup base.
You'll start by softening the leeks. They get sautéed in olive oil until they've relaxed and are starting to turn a bit translucent.
Then, add in the carrots, celery, potato, and garlic and sauté for about five minutes.
When the vegetables have softened slightly, drain the mung beans, give them a quick rinse, and add them to the pot.
Add the vegetable broth, and bring your mung bean soup to the boil.
Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender.
The amount of time this will take will vary depending on whether you soaked your beans, how old your beans are, and whether your water is hard or soft. In my tests using the quick hot soak with the mung beans, they were tender after 15-20 minutes of simmering time with the soup.
Once the beans are cooked, add the frozen spinach, lemon juice, and dill. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as you like.
Allow the soup to come back to temperature, and then serve hot with garnishes of your choice. I like to dish it out into big soup bowls and then add lots of fresh dill, black pepper, and extra lemon slices on top.
HOW TO FREEZE SOUP
Your Mung Bean Soup will last about three days in the fridge. Like most soups, this one freezes brilliantly.
To freeze, simply transfer cooled soup into freezer-proof containers and ensure there's enough head space for the soup to expand as it freezes. I often re-use yogurt containers for freezing my soup, but I also love these reusable silicon freezer bags.
You can also freeze soup in Mason jars, but you need to be really sure to leave enough space for expansion so the jars don't break in the freezer.
To re-heat soup I most often use my microwave.
If the soup is frozen, I'll drop the frozen block of soup into a pot and heat on low heat, covered, on the stove top until the soup has melted and warmed up.
ARE MUNG BEANS HEALTHY?
They sure are!
Mung beans are a great source of many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in beans is one of the things that makes them special.
A one cup serving of mung beans contains around 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract.
The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.
Other recipes you might enjoy
Instant Pot Vegan Chili
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Miso Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup
Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup with Red Lentils
Vegetarian Dumpling Soup
Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup
Mung Bean Soup
- 1 cup mung beans rinsed and checked for stones
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups diced carrot approx 3 large carrots
- 1 ½ cups diced potato approx 1 large
- 1 cup diced celery 2-3 stalks
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large lemon juiced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- 6 ounces frozen spinach
- Place the mung beans into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, the turn the heat off and put a lid on the pot. Set aside to soak while you're preparing the rest of the ingredients for the soup.
- While the beans are soaking, prepare the vegetables. Slice the leeks, peel and dice the carrots, dice the celery, dice the potato, and crush the garlic.
- Heat 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the sliced leek, and sauté until it softens and becomes a bit translucent.
- Add the potatoes, celery, carrots, crushed garlic, and bay leaves to the pot and stir to combine.
- Sauté the vegetables, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
- Drain the mung beans and give them a quick rinse.
- Add the beans to the pot with the vegetables, along with 5 cups of vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and put a lid on it.
- Simmer until the beans are tender, about 15-20 minutes if you have soaked them first.
- Once the beans are tender, add the lemon juice, dill, and frozen spinach. Stir through, taste, and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot, with lots of dill on top for garnish.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only