Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whole Mung Bean soup

Today I went to the Farmers Market at the UN Plaza, then I went to Safeway on Webster and remembered that Jai Ho, the Indian grocery store was right next door. I had been looking all over for Asafoetida, and couldn't find it, so off I went to get it there.

I started looking around, finding big (cheap!) bags of all the spices I had just paid a fortune for at Rainbow and Whole Foods (grrr). Looking at the dried beans, I saw whole mung beans. I had bought those before, and never cooked them, finally had to throw them away. Since I'm in such an adventurous cooking mood, I decided to buy them again!

I've decided to keep my beans and other bulk in jars, easier to manage!
As you can see, mung beans are green little beans/lentils that comes in a great variety of ways. I bought the whole ones, but can buy them split, sprouted, you can make them sprout yourselves, the possibilities are pretty much endless. I just adore that green, and love how tiny they are!

They are tiny too!
Normally you need to soak them overnight, but I didn't today. I found several soup and dhal recipes using them, and mixing and matching them, I decided to make my own. So this is a creation of mine, I looked at recipes to know how to deal with my little green friends, but the rest was whatever I had in my fridge!

That's actually the leftovers *blush* I forgot to take a picture of my bowl. I was HUNGRY!

Whole Mung Bean Soup
4 servings,  5P+/serving (not counting the veggies)

1 cup whole mung beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
2 cups water (more if needed)
3 cups (more or less) chicken or vegetable broth
3 big leaf kale, rib removed, chopped
1 small leek, thinly sliced
1 small french shallot thinly sliced
1 medium daikon, thinly sliced (halved first if large)
3 sl canadian bacon (can easily be skipped)
1 TBSP lemon juice
Salt pepper
Optional: Chopped fresh tomato (Didn't have them, but woulda been good!)*

  1. Put the rinsed and drained beans in a Dutch oven, or a soup pot, add 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring frequently so the beans won't stick, until most beans have burst out of their hull and the water is absorbed. If you run out of water before the beans are tender, add some a little at a time.
  2. When the beans are almost ready, heat up a pan, spray with oil (or cooking spray) and sauteed the shallot and leek until tender. Add Daikon and sauteed until just starting to get translucent. 
  3. Reserve 2-3 TBSP of the broth and pour the rest in the beans, add leek mixture and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reheat the newly emptied pan, add kale, pour the 2-3 TBSP broth and cover for a minute to steam the kale. Add Kale to the soup pot. Simmer soup for 10-12 minutes
  5. Add Canadian bacon in the last minute of cooking (I sauteed it a little in the pan first), heat up and turn off the fire. Add lemon juice and tomatoes (if using), stir and serve.

You could easily change the vegetables, spice this up with cumin, coriander, chili powder would be good in there. I didn't push it too much because I had never tasted those beans. I didn't know what to expect. it was delicious!

Happy Cooking!!

*Added Note: We had the leftovers today and added a spicy Jalapeno sausage (TJ), and a diced fresh tomato (at the end) and the spiciness of the sausage definitively added to this already delicious soup. So spice away!

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