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.
Table of Contents
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.
Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO RECIPE HERE!
What is Mung Bean Soup?
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.
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
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
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.
- Extra virgin olive oil: substitute regular olive oil or avocado oil.
- Yellow onion: substitute white onion, shallots, or red onion.
- 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.
You can use regular vegetable broth or reduced-sodium vegetable broth.
We recommend canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes for mung bean soup.
You can substitute tomato puree or passata.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 bean soup is a nutritious and fulfilling meal that doesn’t require much else on the side.
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.
Curry lentil soup
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.
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.
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
For more soup ideas, check out our 20+ vegetarian soup recipe collection.
More One-Pot Recipes
- Lentil curry
- Chickpea curry
- Cauliflower curry
- Pea and potato curry
- Sweet potato curry
- Moroccan lentil soup
- Harira soup
For more one-pot recipe ideas, check out our easy 25 one-pot meal recipes.
Mung Bean Soup
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.