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.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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.
Otherwise you'll just need a nice sharp knife for chopping up your veggies. I like to use a garlic crusher rather than mincing the garlic. And a big wooden spoon to stir it all together.
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
How to Cook Dry Black Beans
Instant Pot Chickpeas
Mung Bean Soup
- 1 cup mung beans rinsed and checked for stones
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 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.1 cup mung beans
- 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.3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Add the sliced leek, and sauté until it softens and becomes a bit translucent.1 large leek
- Add the potatoes, celery, carrots, crushed garlic, and bay leaves to the pot and stir to combine.3 cloves garlic, 1 ½ cups diced carrot, 1 ½ cups diced potato, 1 cup diced celery, 2 bay leaves
- 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.5 cups 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.1 large lemon, 2 Tablespoons fresh dill, 6 ounces frozen spinach
- Serve hot, with lots of dill on top for garnish.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only
I'm tying to cook in accordance to Chinese medicine and came across this recipe as being good for springtime. I think I get the wrong mung beans (mine were yellow and peeled) as mine turned into mush in my soup but it was still good all the same. I took a few bites, made a face like I was about to cry and the words "good soup" just fell out my mouth lmao. I think my brain went lizard brain for a second. Really easy to make and packed full of veggies! I have enough veggies to make another batch if I want to! Fresh and citrusy but also warm and cozy! Good soup!
Hi Usagi! Thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed the soup so much 🙂 Sounds like you got moong dal, or split mung beans. Glad it tasted great despite the mushy beans!
Tasted like dill pickle onion soup, which is great if that’s what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, my family didn’t care for it and I feel like we wasted ingredients on this one. 🙁 Also, there’s no garlic listed in the ingredients list but it’s in the instructions.
Hey, bummed that this one didn't work out for you. It's definitely a dill-forward flavour, so if that's not your thing it's not your thing. Thanks for the heads up on the garlic - have fixed the ingredients list now.
This looks delicious; can't wait to try it. I wonder if frozen leeks would work?
Well this looks magical. Can’t wait to try it!