After coming across mung beans in my local market one day, I was curious as to just what to do with them. After much searching I found this recipe on the internet which I've altered to suit our tastes. The result is a spicy and satisfying soup-a meal in a bowl. I found in my research these Asian beans don't need pre-soaking and are very nourishing, while being relatively easy to digest--they do not generally create abdominal gas or bloating (sorry, but for some people, that is important). According to modern nutrition, mung beans offer 14 gms of protein per cooked cup. Mung beans are also a good source of dietary fiber. They also contain thiamin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper, and are a good source of folate. The ham in this recipe can be omitted and vegetable stock substituted for chicken stock if you are vegetarian. I serve with crusty bread on the side, but you may also serve over rice if desired.
- 2 cups whole mung beans, picked over, washed, and drained
- 4 cups water
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 chilies, finely chopped (seeds removed, if desired)
- 1⁄2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups cooked ham, diced
- 10 ounces frozen spinach (thawing is not necessary)
- salt and pepper, to taste (I don't find it needs any)
- Tabasco sauce, passed at table (optional)
- Place beans in a large pot and add 4 cups water; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or as long as needed until the marjority of the beans pop their skins and the water is absorbed (if your water cooks out and the beans are not cooked, simply add more water as needed and continue cooking until beans burst; it is better to overcook than undercook, but in any event, continue cooking until the water is all absorbed).
- Meanwhile, saute garlic, chilis and onion in olive oil until the onion softens, about 5 minutes; set aside.
- When the beans have burst and the water has cooked off, add the chicken stock to the beans and bring to a boil.
- Add the onion mixture, ham, and spinach to the pot; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.
Uncle Bill, I was truly surprised at how delicious this soup was! I used split mung beans and vegetable stock, omitted the ham, and instead of frozen spinach i used a fresh unidentified green from the organic shop down the road (was it chard? i think, maybe). I couldn't find fresh chilies so threw in some chili powder at the last minute. The end result had a deliciously creamy/nutty flavour. Wow! I never knew mung beans were this delicious.
I was not sure what type of chili it was wanting, so I added one jalapeno then then added some chili powder and turmeric for more flavor once it was done cooking. Also, I used just a pressure cooker, sauteed the onions and garlic for just a but and then added everything except the spinach. I used an entire 10 oz bag of fresh cut up when done and just heated. SO good!
I tagged these because I had mung beans in the pantry for awhile and not quite sure what to do with them. This was pretty good. I served the soup with green onions, corn bread and green pepper sauce for an extra kick. The cooking times are perfect.