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Easy Mung Bean Soup (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

mung bean soup

Aren’t mung beans pretty?

mung bean 3


I know you’ve had mung bean sprouts in one form or another (perhaps an Asian stir-fry, Chinese take-out, or a Banh Mi sandwich), but it’s far less likely you’ve tried them whole.

I couldn’t resist these jade beauties on one of my visits to Central Foods in Houston–I tend to lose most of my self-control in bulk food sections in general, and the variety at Central Market is glorious. You can purchase mung beans split (called mung dal), but I had to have the whole ones. The price was right–a mere 89 cents per pound–so into a bag they slid.

And onto my pantry shelf they sat for the next 9 months. Until Thursday, when at long last, they made their debut in a rosemary-scented soup.

I was perusing the Whole Foods Market legume cooking guide earlier in the afternoon when I was reminded of my mung bean stash. An operative sentence caught my attention: “They need no pre-soaking [and] cook quickly…” In short, mung beans are akin to split peas and lentils: quick from stove to suppertime and perfect for dinner procrastinators. I checked the refrigerator and pantry for carrots, celery, onions, and garlic (check, check, check, and check) and set to work making a soup based on one of my favorite French lentil soup recipes.

mung bean 1

Some things are best left unsaid. Particularly to husbands. Even more so to hungry husbands. For example, “We’re having mung bean soup for dinner.” I kept my silence and the soup was sipped and savored (under an uncorrected assumption that said soup was lentil) without incident. Enjoy!

Yield: 8 servings

Mung Bean Soup (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Mung Bean Soup (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • Rosemary Mung Bean (or Lentil) Soup
  • Makes about 8 generous servings

No need to seek out mung beans for this recipe; an equal amount of lentils will do. But if you have some mung beans lurking in the cupboard, do give them a try

  • 1-1/2 tbsp extra–virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups water
  • 1-1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups dried mung beans or lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1 28–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, undrained
  • 1-2 tsp Balsamic vinegar (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan over medium–high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; cook and stir until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add water, salt, and beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until beans are very tender, about 50 minutes. Add the tomatoes and juices; simmer 5 minutes longer.
  3. Transfer 3 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more water by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls.

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Food Safety Training

Wednesday 21st of September 2011

Did some stuff too with mung beans. My brother also made his very own recipe using it. I, out of boredom, planted that stuff and make sure that it blooms. :p


Tuesday 13th of September 2011

looks very healthy and lovely shpuld give a try!!!

Zesty Cook

Tuesday 13th of September 2011

Hi there Camilla! I've been a lurker for a while and thought I'd stop by and say hi. Love your photos and all of your recipes. Question since you mentioned the immersion you use yours often? I'm trying to decide if it's worth investing in if I already have a regular blender.


Monday 12th of September 2011

Thanks for visiting, Jacqui! :)

Jacqui MacNeill (Escents Aromatherapy Bath and Body)

Monday 12th of September 2011

Sounds like a delicious, super-healthy recipe! I will have to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

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