Now that cooler days are here again, I’ve dusted off my soup pot and am back at the stove simmering up some new recipes.
Quick-cooking, easily digestible, and protein-rich, mung dal (split and hulled mung beans) is among my favorite legumes for fall soups. Its mellow, nutty flavor is the perfect canvas for autumn ingredients and warming spices, and the split mung dissolve into their cooking broth creating a creamy, hearty texture that’s very satisfying.
I make different versions of mung dal quite often during the fall and winter months. For this iteration I added sweet potato and apple for hearty texture and earthy sweetness, fresh ginger for its wonderful bite, turmeric for mellow earthiness and its characteristic golden hue, and ground coriander seeds for bright, herbaceous pungency. Ginger and coriander are wonderful for digestion, making them perfect additions to any legume dish.
The dal is fantastic with a swoop of plain coconut milk yogurt (Anita’s Yogurt is my favorite local brand, made in Brooklyn) swirled into each bowl and a scattering of chives and raw pumpkin seeds or roasted squash seeds. I like to make a big pot and freeze the leftovers for quick and easy lunches and dinners; sometimes I’ll saute kale or chard and add the cooked greens to my bowl, too.
Also an announcement – I’m excited to be hosting two cooking workshops in NYC this fall! Catch the details here. If you’re in the area I would love to see you there!
Happy cooking ~~~
Serves 4 to 6
Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 cup mung dal (split and hulled mung beans), rinsed and drained
5 cups water or broth / stock
1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored and diced (about 1 cup)
1 dried bay leaf
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg’s)
garnishes: plain coconut milk yogurt or Greek yogurt, raw or toasted pumpkin or squash seeds, sliced chives
Heat coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot (I used my 4-quart cast French oven). Add onion and celery and cook on medium-low until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute more. Then add sweet potato, turmeric, coriander, 1 teaspoon of salt (if you are using a broth that has salt in it you may need less) and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat vegetables and cook until spices are toasted, about 1 minute.
Add mung dal, water, apple, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until dal has broken down and sweet potato is tender, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat.
At this point I like to partially blend the soup with my immersion blender to create a heartier texture and break down some of the sweet potato and apple chunks, but it’s also great served as-is. (You could also add about 1/3 of the soup to a regular blender and pulse a few times, then add back to the pot.)
Add cider vinegar and season soup with salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle into warmed bowls and add garnishes of your choice.