February 6, 2010

Secretly Decadent Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

spinach and mung bean soup 2
A little twist on an old Gujarati classic
Iron-rich foods are essential for vegetarians who without it, may feel constantly lethargic, tired and run-down. I speak not from formal education in food nutrition, but from experience. We all need iron in our diets to keep us strong like Popeye (Popeye, if you’re reading this, I have an inkling that you will LOVE it!) Since having iron-deficiency problems, spinach has been my number one best friend. Although I’ve been eating mung bean soup since I was a child, I was never really a fan of it (perhaps because it was a staple in the house and I probably got bored with it). I eat mung beans now because I finally realised how good they are for my health. So here is an iron-packed soup that is both rich in vitamins and flavour, that even I, (a former arch enemy of the cute lil mung bean) enjoy to the max!
Growing up, I never had mung bean soup pureed; the beans were simply served whole in a spicy broth. I found that pureeing the beans gives the soup a luxurious, velvety texture which is SO addictive! The addition of cream is totally optional so don’t feel compelled to add it if you don’t want to. The perfect partners for this soup have to be hot, buttered chapattis and steaming basmati rice.
Who says healthy food has to be boring food? Go on, trick your mind into thinking you’re eating a bowl full of liquid heaven!
Luxurious Spinach and Mung Bean Soup
(Serves 3-4 as a starter)


1/3 cup mung beans, washed, soaked and boiled with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda until tender, then drained
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 green chilli
1 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander seed powder
2 ½ cups water
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
Salt to taste
Juice of ½ a large lemon (around 4 tbsp)
¼ cup double cream (omit for a vegan recipe)

1. Heat the sunflower and mustard oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds (wait for them to pop), then add the cumin seeds and asafoetida.
2. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry until aromatic. Add the tomato puree, turmeric, coriander seed powder and water. Bring to the boil.
3. Add the mung beans, spinach, salt and lemon juice and allow to boil for three to four minutes. Add the chopped coriander.
4. Blend until roughly pureed (I used an immersion blender but you can use whatever blender you have).
5. Return to the pan and bring to a low simmer and add the cream. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning. Garnish with more chopped coriander if you like.


NOTE: If you have a pressure cooker then you can simply add the raw mung beans to the spicy broth mixture (minus the fresh coriander leaves- add that after it's cooked) at step three, pressure cook and blend once cooled.

spinach and mung bean soup 3

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47 responses to “Secretly Decadent Spinach and Mung Bean Soup”

  1. Peggy says:

    this looks great! perfect for the cold winter season!

  2. The Princess says:

    I like this recipe. Great way of getting kids to eat spinach as well.


  3. Ju (The Little Teochew) says:

    It sure looks yummy! And because it is "secretly decadent", oooh, I love it even more. 😉 Gorgeous presentation, dearie! 🙂

  4. Divina Pe says:

    Love the color of that soup. I used to hate mung beans too and we also serve them whole with some canned mackerel which is a Filipino soup and always serve with rice. This version is something more interesting for me to try. 🙂

  5. A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine says:

    Thats really divine…The last time I had this soup, when i was all drenched in cold..it gave me such relaxing, soothing flavor which was absolutely needed at that time..as I was not able to eat any spicy stuff…its sure is a hit & packed with all the nutrients..

  6. Kanchan says:

    Never knew about this soup, looks totally delicious and healthy !

    Will give it a try soon 🙂

  7. meeso says:

    Spinach is just such an awesome veggie… I feel sorry for all the kids who grew up being forced to eat it with vinegar, all sloppy and soggy… My daughter never understands why other kids don't like spinach 😛 Soup looks divine!

  8. Sharmilee! :) says:

    Sure a yummy treat, lovely clicks!

  9. ruchikacooks says:

    Looks delicious and healthy..

  10. jayasri says:

    That's quite a write up you give, which makes the dish more interesting, Looks delicious, and definitely healthy…

  11. Parita says:

    Healthy and unique combo! Love the effect of cream in the last pic!

  12. Devi Meyyappan says:

    Wooow!.. thats a totally healthy soup! and totally new to me:).. perfect clicks!!.. looks very tempting!

  13. indosungod says:

    No way, this can't be health food 😉 looking the way it does all creamy and delicious.

  14. artipatel88 says:

    The soup looks absolutely delicious, great idea adding spinach too! Topping up on that Iron is super for us! You will sure be on your way to chef-stardom soon! xXx

  15. Priya says:

    Thats a beautiful, filling and hearty green soup, looks tremendous Sanjana..

  16. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    Looks very tempting and refreshing.

  17. Stacy says:

    Yum! I was just given mung beans so I have to try! How serendipitous!

  18. Anncoo says:

    Oh…what a comforting soup! Can't wait to try those. Nice clicks too!

  19. s says:

    lovely lovely lovely soup…and i just adore the bowl!

  20. AshKuku says:

    Yummy drooling pics of the soup….. Lovable captures…. Neatly & nicely presented to let us taste the preparation…. YUMMILICIOUS & persuasively delightful!!!!!


  21. Rohini says:

    Mmmm… Gorgeous pics n even more gorgeous soup!!! I'm lovin' it! 🙂

  22. Trix says:

    Your photo looks fantastic! It's true, pureeing something is such a good way to thicken it without adding cream or calories. I'd love this soup for sure.

  23. Gulmohar says:

    whoa…what a tempting soup…very nice presentation too 🙂

  24. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Sanjana or should I say "Monica" 😉 (LOL)
    Loved this soup..Perfect for a cold weather…Also I too have iron deficiency and hence include spinach in my food quite a lot!
    Gr8 clicks!

  25. Sukanya says:

    The soup looks so comforting!!!! Wonderful clicks

  26. Vanillastrawberryspringfields says:

    Here's some gold dust for u….and yeah we sure do love to hear from all but this is gold dust to me too…..hopped by here to congratulate u for winning those dang cute cookies cutters for ur amazing lamington…mr.p was right …i think i'll nvr have to buy an indian cook book too…..u have a fantastic blog and would not want to miss any of ur elicious posts ….ofcrz have to add u to my reader in a bit(asap:-)) )
    Would love to hop by here again…..

  27. Vanillastrawberryspringfields says:

    Here's some more gold dust for ….me to love all the glittering dust specially when it comes to cookie dcoration….perfecto…
    First of all u did it way good babes with the lamingtons…arent u so excited w ur cute prize?
    Love those slivers of pistas…so green and perfect…do they come like that or did u flake 'em with a nut flaker or something-yay for kitchen tools …me too go gaga and weak in my knees with kitchen tools….jus have to add u to my reader in a bit or asap,whichever is ealier…cant afford to miss any delightfully elicious posts can i?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Very well presented, I am sure it tastes just as nice.

  29. sowmya.s says:

    love the colour and the picture is really tempting..delicious..

  30. The Princess says:

    Congratulations on making the top 9 at food buzz. You've done it again.


  31. Kathy Gori says:

    beautiful and congrats on the top nine again!! I make this spinach dish all the time, I'll have to try it this way.

  32. Vaishali Sharma says:

    You are most welcome to come! I would love to make a whole batch just for you 🙂

  33. Anonymous says:

    must be great – feel peckish just by looking at the photos.

    GR8 recipe sanju

    saint bapu

  34. MaryMoh says:

    I love mung bean soup. I cook it often. My parents say it's good for health. But I've never tried it with spinach. Looks delicious. Must give a try. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Tina says:

    Great clicks and presentation dear…Soup looks creamy and yummy..

  36. Pavithra says:

    Oh wow thats an awesome combo…looks so good.

  37. Oraphan says:

    Yum! Your soup looks and sounds oh so delicious! I haven't had mung beans for such a long time, thanks for the reminder. Yes, my body needs iron:)

  38. Anonymous says:

    I am hoping to use Yoghurt instead of cream- what do you think?

    saint Bapu

  39. 3 hungry tummies says:

    That is decadent indeed! Beautiful photos!

  40. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Helllooo Dear 🙂 I have some awards waiting for you at my blog. Please collect.

  41. Ushnish Ghosh says:

    Dear sanjana
    How are you?
    I am back on blog to read only and eat virtually, yet to set up some kind of kitchen ..I am in Milano these days…may be one weekend will land up in London…ha ha
    This recipe is great! But have to wait till I get back home
    Have a nice weekend and happy studying

  42. Preeti Kashyap says:

    Awesome click and I love the mung dal!

  43. Sanjana says:

    Thank you to everyone for such lovely comments! 🙂 You don't understand how much they make me smile!

    Of course yogurt can be used instead of the optional cream 🙂

  44. Anonymous says:

    this was disgusting. i made it tonight and couldn't even eat it.

  45. Sanjana says:

    Anonymous- So sorry you feel this way. Are you sure you followed my instructions correctly? I try to make them as simple as possible so even the most amateur of cooks can make them. Better luck next time.

  46. Mira says:

    I typed in ‘mung beans’ and ‘spinach’ and found not only dinner, but this fabulous website. Thank you!

  47. Austin says:

    I didn’t grow up with Mung beans, but after learning about the great nutritional properties of them I’ve been trying to come up with a lovely way to eat them thanks to your recipe I just have. Great recipe, easily made by someone not greatly familiar with the spices and their tastes and an excellent addition to my recipe pantry. Thanks for the great work.

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