Vegetarian Mung Bean Soup

February 1, 2015

Every month in 2016 I’ll share four recipes as part of Dr. John Douillard’s 3-Season Diet Challenge. My intention is to help you discover the glow we can feel – inside-out – when we eat with the rhythm of the seasons. Each new harvest brings us into balance with the sun, snow, warmth, cold and other changes in the natural world and in our bodies. Starting with this recipe, I invite you to join me in savoring this month’s flavors while experiencing the personal transformation that can come from this ancient Ayurvedic approach to food! (Find more  3-Season Diet recipes in the categories to the left (under “Recipes”) or in the search bar above.) Enjoy!
3 Season Diet Challenge with John Douillard

This was one of the original recipes on my blog in 2011 (now updated), when I first moved to Ithaca and was enthralled with the food culture in this corner of the world. I couldn’t wait to visit the iconic eatery, Moosewood Restaurant, which I learned about in college while experimenting with a vegetarian diet. At the time, one of my best friends, Katie, had suggested I dig into their recipe collection for ideas. Plus, she was forever making Moosewood’s famous brownies … enough to lure me in.

Though being a vegetarian only lasted seven years, my appreciation for Moosewood has persevered through all my culinary adventures. The collective of eighteen owners began the restaurant in the early 1970’s, with the intention of serving fresh food from Finger Lakes farms (and their own gardens) to downtown customers. Chefs like Wynnie Stein were ahead of their time, imagining a business that would not only provide income, but make their community and land healthier and happier.  Their creative, rejuvenating and delicious recipes struck the heartstrings of everyone who walked through the door, sparking a global community of fans, thirteen cookbooks, and James Beard Awards. The restaurant continues to be a hub for meeting over drinks and homemade food in a cozy and casual atmosphere.

This recipe was inspired by Moosewood’s Vegetarian Gypsy Soup, which highlights a medley of vegetables and spices to warm the soul and delight your taste buds. You can double the recipe and freeze extra soup for a cold winter’s eve when you don’t feel like tackling a meal. Bon appetit!Emma Frisch Vegetarian Mung Bean Soup Ingredient

Emma Frisch Vegetarian Mung Bean Soup Recipe

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Vegetarian Mung Bean Soup

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This soup is spectacular served with gluten-free bread or crumbled rice cakes.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


  • 1 cup, mung beans pre-cooked
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee (sub with light olive oil)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock*
  • 1 cup coconut milk, whole or lite
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cups chard leaves, shredded (sub with kale)


  1. Pre-cook 1 cup of mung beans by combining in a pot with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes, until beans are tender. Drain and set aside. (You can cook the mung beans simultaneously as you prepare the soup).
  2. In a medium soup pot, melt the butter or ghee on medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and carrots, cover with a lid, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the potato, vegetable stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer.
  5. In a small pan, add the ground cumin, yellow curry powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and paprika. Toast the spices over low heat until they fill the kitchen with their aroma. Add the spices to the soup with the sea salt and ginger, and continue to simmer, covered.
  6. When the potatoes are fork tender (after about 15-20 minutes), add the chard (or kale) leaves and mung beans. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, and remove from heat.


*When buying vegetable stock, make sure the carton contains no unfamiliar words in the ingredient-list. Stick to vegetable names you can recognize. If you don’t have vegetable stock, you can substitute for 3 cups of water + 1.5 teaspoons vegetable bouillon (concentrated stock). I like to use the brand Better Than Bouillon. You can substitute the vegetable stock in this recipe for homemade turkey stock. The same process can be applied for making chicken, pork or beef stock as well.

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