Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mung Bean Soup (Vegan)

 This classic Filipino recipe will vary from chef to chef and is a great use of spices and fresh herbs.  Traditionally, this dish will feature pork or shrimp and could be added easily if you fancy a bit of meat in your meals.

Mung beans are rich in protein, fiber, iron, folic acid, and magnesium making them an excellent addition to any vegetarian diet.  Coconut milk isn't necessarily healthy but immensely adds to the flavor offering a sweet contrast to the cayenne pepper.
2 cups dry mung beans (this will be a thick soup, for a more thin version use 1.5 cups)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cordiander powder
1/8 tsp cumin powder
1/2 bunch (about 5-6 handfuls) fresh spinach
1/2 tsp pepper
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
fresh herbs (I used 1 small handful of garlic chives and 1 small handful of cilantro)
salt to taste
*if you're using a food processor, which I recommend, you may chop the onion and garlic into large pieces.  Otherwise I would suggest you mince or chop finely.

Thoroughly wash the mung beans and boil until soft (about 40 or so minutes).  Drain any remaining water and add to the food processor.  While your mung beans are cooking, heat a bit of olive oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic over medium high heat until browned a bit (about 7-8 minutes) and add to the food processor.  Add coconut milk, spices and herbs and begin to blend.  Begin to add spinach until the color is of a desired hue (I used 1/2 bunch but have used a full bunch in the past).  Once fully processed, place back on the stove and cook at medium low for about 10-15 minutes or until flavors are fully blended.  Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with fresh bread.

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