Mungbean soup

Posted on April 11, 2007

Here’s one of my favourite vegetarian soup recipes, one that really packs a punch as far as protein is concerned.

These aren’t the regular type of green pea that that the English like to eat with dinner, they’re the type you can buy from Chinese and Indian shops (or from China or India, if that’s where you are).

You can often find them in the health food section or buried in some nonsensical isle in your a supermarket, but you’re going to be paying much more for that. Any Indian supermarket will have these peas and a wide variety of other types.

Typically I use about two cups of peas will make enough soup to feed myself and keep some in the fridge for the next couple of days. As for how much water to use, the way I usually tell it is the water should be about one and a half times higher than the peas. It’s not so important, because I can always add more water if the soup gets a little dry. I usually get it wrong to begin with and check it when I remember to or smell something burning. ;)

After bringing them to the boil, put the lid on the pot and let them simmer on the lowest possible heat your stove is capable of. A pressure cooker will do a nice job of this. Simmer for about an hour, until the peas start to fall apart when you mix them with the ladle.

When the peas are ready, add salt and olive oil to taste, or whatever you like. You can also fry some spices in olive oil, very briefly (olive oil doesn’t like to be fried), adding herbs to taste.

For a more elaborate soup, throw in a chopped tomato, carrot and shallots at the beginning. Experiment. If you want to get really elaborate (in my mind it’s just not worth it) you could fry eggplant or bitter melon and throw that in at the end with the spices.

The best thing about this soup is that it is very easy to make and is a very filling and nutritious vegetarian meal. This dish with a little rice and a few steamed vegetables will keep anyone happy at dinner time.

Here’s a link to information about the Mungbean…