Mung Bean Soup

Mung Bean Soup

I weighed myself twice last weekend. I usually don’t care about my weight, as I had never been over a hundred pounds my entire life. In fact, the only reason I even had a bathroom scale was for a bet back in 2012. Since then, the scale had been pushed against my cats’ litter box, forgotten.

I confidently stepped on the scale, thinking I should probably be about a hundred and six pounds. Imagine my surprise when the scale’s pointer rested somewhere between 110 and 120. I was a hundred and fourteen pounds. How did that happen? Suddenly, everything seemed clearer. My reflection on the mirror seemed to magnify on the tiny bulge around my waist. I looked at my profile and if I weren’t celebrating Shark Week, I would probably think I were pregnant. I had unconsciously let myself go. And while 114 pounds is barely something to be alarmed about, I was concerned for my gradual lumpiness. The weight did not bother me; how it was distributed on my body did. Because they were not distributed equally–they were all gathered around my belly.

So later that day, I dragged Ricky with me to Sprouts for a “fruits and veggies shopping spree” as an attempt to cleanse my diet and be healthier. I spent $88 on an assortment of fresh items, and while my bank account felt depleted (rent day and everything), I felt healthier the second I stepped out of the store and loaded the bags into Ricky’s car.

One of my finds was a thing of mung beans. Back in the Cebu, we called them monggos. I guess another term for them here would be mongo beans. My grandma added them into soups with fish, malunggay/kamungay (moringa leaves), meats, or just by themselves.

Mung Bean Recipe

I immediately Googled recipes for mung beans and found one by Pinch of Yum. Reasonable number of ingredients and fairly easy recipe.

I made a few changes to the original recipe and have listed the ingredients and steps below:


  • mung beans (2 cups)
  • vegetable broth (4 cups)
  • coconut oil (1 tablespoon)
  • onion (1/4 cup, minced)
  • garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • coconut milk (1 eight-ounce can)
  • spinach (1 cup, chopped; optional)
  • saltpepper

Put two cups of mung beans into a bowl with water. Let those beans soak for two hours. You can skip this step, but I like to do this out of habit (grandma did it) and it helps the beans soften up.

Mung Bean Recipe

Fill a pot with four cups of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. This 32-ounce thing of broth was approximately four and a half cups, which is fine. The original recipe called for six.

Mung Bean Recipe

Add the beans in and let it simmer for thirty minutes. Check on the beans occasionally as the pot tends to dry out. Add more water as needed to reach or maintain a thick consistency.

Mung Bean Recipe

I ran out of extra virgin olive oil a week ago, which is not a problem. I used coconut oil instead to sauté the minced onion and garlic. This smells soooo good. But be careful not to fry the onions and garlic. Just do this for about three minutes before adding it to the beans. Let simmer for a while.

Mung Bean Recipe

Stir the coconut milk  slowly into the mung bean pot. Add the chopped spinach in last, if you want to. I was going to add spinach to this since malunggay is unavailable in California, but I also did not want to spend more money on a bag of spinach that will just go bad since all I need are a few leaves.

This will look very liquid-y for a while, but once the heat dissipates, the soup will thicken.

Once the soup reaches your desired consistency, you can take it off the heat and serve over rice or by itself. Being Asian, I had to have rice.

Mung Bean Recipe

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Let me know if you try this recipe and how it turned out. 🙂


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