Garlicky Green Mung Bean Soup

23 Oct

“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”

My husband rides the overcrowded DC metro to and from work each day. Once or twice a year he brings home the cold and flu virus. Since we are together in sickness and health, it’s inevitable that I get sick every time he is just about recovering. The truth in our house is that I am a horrible patient. I do not accept the invasion of germs without grumbling and moping. I also become really finicky about food and refuse to eat anything short of hearty comfort food.

We recently just encountered a round of flu and to survive the week it was essential to have nourishing and cozy meals each day. This soup was developed to satiate a craving for green lentil soup. I did not have French green lentils in my pantry so I worked with green mung beans that I always have on hand. The addition of garlic, cumin, cinnamon and a bay leaf gives this soup a rustic and earthy flavor. Topping it off with fried onions and serving it with crusty bread or toasted pita crafts a meal that you will enjoy, both in sickness and in health!

Garlicky Green Mung Bean Soup
Serves: 4 people
Time: Active time: 15 minutes   Inactive time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
Soup
1 cup green mung beans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 bay leaf
½ cinnamon stick
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Method:
1) Put the lentils into a medium sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a rapid boil and boil the lentils for 10 minutes. The lentils will start to change color.  Drain them and set aside.
2)  In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the butter on medium heat.  Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and let it cook for 1-2 minutes till you get their aroma.
3) Add the diced onion and cook till translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until the raw garlic smell dissipates.
4) Add the cumin and turmeric and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add the lentils, water and broth and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
5) While the lentils are cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. Add the sliced onion (for garnish) and cook stirringly frequently till the onions are golden brown. Do not let them burn. Remove them and place on a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.
6) Once the lentils are soft, remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Use an immersion bender or potato masher to achieve a soup consistency that consists of half ground mung beans (See picture above). You do not want to over-puree this soup. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
7) Pour the soup into bowls and top each bowl with the fried onions and cilantro. Enjoy with warm crusty bread or toasted pita.

One Response to “Garlicky Green Mung Bean Soup”

  1. Allison November 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    This sounds fantastic!

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