I never think of soup as a purely winter staple and in fact, I find there is a soup (or two) for every season. Try this one for Springtime!
Ingredients list :
- Large shallot, 1
- Water, 1 L
- Pre-soaked Mung beans, 250g
- Knorr vegetable cube, 1
- Golden miso paste (Shiro Miso), 1 Tsp
- Umeboshi paste (pickled plums), 1 tsp
- Dash of almond or soya cream to serve
- Olive oil
I soak the Mung for 24h to 36h prior to using them in soups, stews or salad. Just rinse them and cover and put in a dark cool corner of the kitchen. If they sprout too quickly, you can reserve in the fridge under a cloth. Use them when the white tips are just appearing.
Chop the shallots finely and fry on medium heat in one Tbsp of olive oil. When they turn brown, add the soaked beans and the hot water – with the vegetable stock cube dissolved in it.
Boil for 15 minutes until the grain is soft.
Add the Shiro miso and Umeboshi paste and let those melt on low heat for a few minutes.
Note: Never let the miso or Umeboshi boil up for fear of loosing their health properties. They both promote an alkaline digestive environment and are therefore invaluable in any effort to acquiring better health. I find these ingredients at the Japanese centre in Lower Regents street W1 : Always buy from a reputable brand and check for added sugar.
Added and hidden sugar…This is my new bug-bear! Hear more on the Sugar as Toxin by a scientist called Robert Lustig, here.
This soup is a great springtime pick-me-up. The energy from the sprouting seeds is just what you need when Spring is a bit late to come and you want to feel attuned to the renewal of life all around… Or so it should be … Mung beans are also good at this time of year because they are meant to be very cooling and soothing for the internal organs.
Serve hot with wholemeal bread and a dash of almond cream. Add a little salt and pepper to taste but only if you need to. I don’t liquidize it but you could.
A crunchy stir-fry in springtime colours
|Teryaki salmon with sprouted Mung dahl
Because Spring is all about burgeoning seeds and the energy of plants, I want to harness this into my plate and so I have been experimenting with sprouted pulses.
Indian flavours are a great help to rediscover beans and pulses and recently I’ve been obsessed with Dhal
, this wonderfully spicy lentils stew served to us as a side dish at Dishoom in Upper St Martin’s Lane
. Looking around, I have come across this wonderful version using part lentils part green Mung beans and I have used sprouted beans to make it more fun.
Do not be wary: nothing is easier than this dish. I just suggest that a few days before, you rinse your lentils and Mung beans and reserve them in a light place in the kitchen, just shaken and wet inside a glass jar. Cover the jar with cheese-cloth and keep rinsing and draining the seeds once a day for a couple of days: after only 48h you should start spotting the clean whiteish root growing out! Use straight away or reserve in the refrigerator to stall the process until you are ready. I have used these in salads and stews for it is nutritionally beneficial and health-packed.
Sprouted seeds Dahl
Green Mung beans 1 cup or 150g
Green lentils 1 cup or 150g
Vegetable or Tamarind stock cube 1
Water 1Litre 500ml
Olive oil 2 Tbsp
Ground cumin, ginger and turmeric, 1 mixed Tbsp
Cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp
Bunch of parsley and coriander, chopped
Rinse the beans and lentils in fresh water (sprouted or not) and throw them in boiling water flavoured with the stock cube, a pinch of salt and a couple of bay leaves. Let it bubble for 10 min or so until the seeds are soft- If they are not sprouted, this will take longer!
Fry the chopped onion into a bit of olive oil. Chop the tomatoes and add them in.
When they are soft and reduced, purée them with a blender or just by hand and add a good squirt of tomato paste. Add olive oil and a bit of water if too dry.
Add the spices and herbs.
Check the seasoning, mix the drained pulses in and put back on the hob for a few minutes.
Serve very hot with the Seared Salmon Teryaki (recipe to come!).
GreenMung beans are excellent for the digestive system and are believed to have a calming and healing effect on our insides. Combined with the antibacterial properties of the traditional Indian spices such as cumin, ginger and Cayenne, they are especially beneficial.