Mung bean soup is an easy, tasty, and wholesome recipe you can make in one pot for a flavorful and high-protein weeknight dinner or meal prep.

Whole mung beans are versatile, don’t require soaking, and cook in just 30 to 40 minutes.

Mung bean soup is the perfect recipe for trying something new yet with the comforting and familiar flavor that mung beans provide.

Mung bean soup with yogurt and pickled red cabbage

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet. It’s low in cholesterol and saturated fats and high in protein and fiber.

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What is Mung Bean Soup?

Mung bean soup in a white bowl with a silver spoon

This mung bean soup recipe is made with whole mung beans and is based on our readers’ favorite curry lentil soup.

It’s one of our favorite one-pot recipes, and you can make it with simple ingredients in about 45 minutes.

Whole mung beans are a nutritious legume, have a gorgeous green color, and are slightly larger than lentils.

Their flavor resembles green or brown lentils, although milder and nuttier. You can cook them from dry, without previous soaking, in about 30 to 40 minutes.

whole dry mung beans on a plate

Like your other favorite legume-based, high-protein vegetarian meals – think of lentil vegetable soup, Moroccan lentil soup, and lentil curry – mung bean soup provides you with wholesome plant protein and is excellent for those looking to eat less meat.

As we research and develop these recipes for you, we fall more and more in love with these gorgeous, less-known plants used in traditional world cuisines.

It’s a privilege for us to do this kind of work; we appreciate it daily.

Recipes like this mung bean soup, as well as others like chana dal, Turkish lentil soup, Harira soup, and Navratan korma, can make you travel to faraway places and enrich your life and diet with the colors, flavors, and wisdom of distant people.

Ingredients & Substitutions for Mung Bean Soup

mung bean soup ingredients

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Mung beans

Mung beans are a versatile and nutritious legume from East and South Asia.

They also go by Green Gram, Munggo, and Monggo and are popular in India, China, and the Philippines.

Mung beans come mostly in two forms: whole mung beans (used for this recipe) and split mung beans (used for moong dal).

You can find whole mung beans in larger supermarkets, health food stores, Asian grocery stores, or online.

Substitute dry green, brown, or black lentils for mung beans.

Flavor base

  • Extra virgin olive oil: substitute regular olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Yellow onion: substitute white onion, shallots, or red onion.
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Spices

  • Curry powder
  • Ground cumin (optional)
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red pepper flakes

Other spices that work well in this recipe are ground coriander, bay leaves, and garam masala.

Vegetable broth

You can use regular vegetable broth or reduced-sodium vegetable broth.

Canned tomatoes

We recommend canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes for mung bean soup.

You can substitute tomato puree or passata.

Potatoes

Potatoes add creaminess to this soup and make it more earthy and fulfilling. They are delicious with mung beans, so we recommend adding some peeled and diced.

Substitute sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, diced zucchini, butternut squash, or pumpkin for potatoes.

Salt and Black Pepper

Season with sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Lemon juice

A squeeze of lemon juice stirred in or squeezed on top before serving the soup is an excellent way to add freshness and acidity to this warm dish.

Acidity balances out the spices and boosts the flavor of the dish.

Substitute lime for lemon juice.

Serves well with

Mung bean soup serves well with:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • A dollop of Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt.
  • Pita bread, naan, roti, or chapati.

Optional Ingredients

  • Spinach: to add even more flavor, vitamins, and overall nutrition to mung bean soup. Substitute Tuscan or curly kale, bok choi, or chard for spinach.
  • Coconut milk: For extra creaminess and a more mellow, round flavor, add 1 can (15-ounce/400 grams) of coconut milk or light coconut milk with the vegetable broth. Reduce the vegetable broth by 1 cup.
Mung bean soup with pickled cabbage, cilantro, and a dollop of yogurt with hand holding a spoon

How to make Mung Bean Soup

US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.

Add chopped onion and sliced carrots and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.

carrots and onions in a blue casserole and hands holding a wooden spoon

Add grated ginger and grated garlic, curry powder, turmeric powder, ground cumin, and red pepper flakes, and sauté for one more minute or until you smell their fragrant aroma.

vegetables and spice mix in a blue Dutch oven

Pour in vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, rinsed mung beans, then season with salt and black pepper.

Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, crack the top open, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Mung beans and canned tomatoes with broth in a blue casserole

In the meantime, peel and cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks.

Add them to the other ingredients and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes and the mung beans are tender.

Taste and adjust for salt before serving. Add more broth if you like a thinner soup.

Tip: Optionally, add the spinach 5 minutes before the soup is cooked. Stir them in until they wilt.

Mung beans and potatoes in a soup with hand holding a wooden spoon

Serving Suggestions

Mung bean soup is a nutritious and fulfilling meal that doesn’t require much else on the side.

Serve it with a generous squeeze of lemon or lime juice, optionally fresh cilantro, and a side of bread such as naan, roti, or pita bread.

Mung bean soup in a white bowl with hand holding a silver spoon

Optionally, you can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt and something pickled, such as quick pickled red onions, red cabbage, or jalapeños.

The cold yogurt and tangy pickles soften the warmth of the spices.

Mung bean soup with pickled cabbage, cilantro, and a dollop of yogurt with hand holding a spoon

Variations

Curry lentil soup

curry lentil soup with garlic, turmeric and lime wedges

Curry lentil soup is the recipe that inspired our mung bean soup. Our readers love this recipe because it’s easy to make, fulfilling, and incredibly flavorful.

You can make it with the same ingredients by swapping the dry lentils for mung beans.

Check out our curry lentil soup recipe.

Tips

COOKING TIME: depending on how old the mung beans are, they might require more or less cooking time. In our experience, mung beans cook in about 30 to 40 minutes.

We advise tasting them at the 30-minute mark and adjusting the cooking time from there.

THICKNESS: soups can be more or less soupy, based on your tastes. We like them on the thick side, but you feel free to add more broth if you want a thinner soup.

Also, remember that the longer the soup simmers, the more broth it will need.

SPICES: our recipes are medium spices so that most people can enjoy them. Feel free to add more or less spices based on your preferences.

Also, remember that if your spices have been sitting in your pantry for a long time, they might have lost some of their aroma. In this case, you’ll need to add more spices.

Mung bean soup and how to store it

Storage & Make Ahead

Make ahead: mung bean soup is excellent for meal prep as it keeps well in the fridge and freezer.

Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezer: Let the soup cool down completely, transfer it to a freezer-friendly container, and freeze it for up to 3 months.

Thaw & Reheat: defrost mung bean soup in the fridge over several hours or in the microwave with a soup-thawing function. Warm in a saucepan with a splash of water for 5 minutes or in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.

More Bean Soup Recipes

More One-Pot Recipes

Mung bean soup with pickled cabbage and hand holding a silver spoon

Mung Bean Soup

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 4 votes
Mung bean soup is an easy, tasty, and wholesome recipe you can make in one pot for a flavorful and high-protein weeknight dinner or meal prep.
Whole mung beans are versatile, don’t require soaking, and cook in just 30 to 40 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 carrots cut into discs
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin optional
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes add more or less to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or more if needed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup mung beans whole, dry, uncooked
  • 1 pound potatoes peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 2 twists black pepper
  • 1 lemon the juice. Optional: top with fresh cilantro, Greek or non-dairy yogurt, pickled cabbage or pickled red onion.

Instructions 

  • Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large pot, add 1 large onion (chopped) and 2 carrots (sliced into discs) and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes.
    carrots and onions in a blue casserole and hands holding a wooden spoon
  • Add 3 cloves garlic, 1 inch ginger (both grated), 2 teaspoons curry powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and sauté 1 more minute until fragrant.
    vegetables and spice mix in a blue Dutch oven
  • Add 6 cups vegetable broth, 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes, 1 cup mung beans (rinsed), 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 twists black pepper.
    Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then crack the top open, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
    Mung beans and canned tomatoes with broth in a blue casserole
  • Add 1 pound potatoes peeled and cut into bite-size chunks, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes and mung beans are tender. Stir occasionally.
    Mung beans and potatoes in a soup with hand holding a wooden spoon
  • Taste and adjust for salt and spices.
    Optionally, you can add 5 ounces/150 grams of spinach 5 minutes before the soup is done simmering.
    Mung bean soup with a silver spoon and fresh cilantro

MAKE IT A MEAL

  • You can top with a squeeze of lemon, cilantro, yogurt, and pickled red onion or cabbage. Serve with naan or pita bread.
    Mung bean soup with pickled cabbage and a hand holding a silver spoon

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of mung bean soup out of 4 without bread and toppings.
STORAGE & MAKE AHEAD
Make ahead: curry lentil soup is an excellent recipe for meal prep, as its flavor gets better a day after it’s cooked. Also, it keeps well for days.
Refrigerator: let the soup cool down, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: this recipe is perfect for freezing. Let it cool down completely, transfer it to a freezer-friendly container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw: defrost curry lentil soup in the fridge over several hours or in the microwave with a thawing function.
Reheat: warm the soup in the microwave for a couple of minutes or in a saucepan. Add a dash of water if necessary.
ALSO ON THIS PAGE

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcal, Carbohydrates: 74g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 1635mg, Dietary Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 5429IU, Vitamin B6: 1mg, Vitamin C: 54mg, Vitamin E: 3mg, Vitamin K: 22µg, Calcium: 154mg, Folate: 362µg, Iron: 7mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 156mg, Zinc: 2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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