This week is National Vegetarian Week and we have been enjoying new and wonderful vegetarian recipes including Sally’s new recipes for Moroccan Vegetable Stew and Vegetable Fajitas that we have added to the main Steenbergs website.
Meanwhile, I have developed an organic vegan mung bean soup. It is really versatile as you can reduce the water used and make it into a dhal with a thicker consistency, then eat with boiled rice for a healthy and balanced vegan main course. The inspiration for this has morphed significantly from a recipe in an old Madhur Jaffrey cookbook that I find lurking on our bookshelves, Far Eastern Cookery, and hails from the Philippines, Mongo Guisado. The original is a seafood soup using meat stock, but this version adds some extra flavours and uses tofu and vegetable stock.
Axel’s Mung Bean & Tofu Soup
185g / 6½oz organic mung beans
900ml /1½pts organic vegetable bouillon
3tbsp organic sunflower oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1tsp freshly grated ginger
115g / 4oz tofu
Freshly ground organic black pepper, to taste
½ tsp Steenbergs organic vegetable curry powder
Begin by placing the dry mung beans in a bowl, then check through them picking out any that look black or off. Cover them in water with 2cm (1 inch) of excess water and leave overnight, or do in the morning for the evening. When ready, place the soaked mung beans in a colander or sieve, drain then run fresh water over them to wash off any dirt.
Put the mung beans in a pan and cover with water some 2cm (1 inch) in excess and bring the water to the boil. Boil at a roiling boil for about 2 minutes, then take off the heat, skim off any scum then cover with a lid and leave to soak for 1 hour. Drain and wash with running water as before.
Return to the pan, then cover with the vegetable stock, either homemade or you can use purchased vegetable bouillon powder adding about 1 tablespoon to the 900 ml (1½pts) of freshly drawn water. Bring to the boil, cover with lid and simmer for 1 – 1½ hours until tender. Blend with a hand blender or in a food processor until coarsely blended – you can blend it really smooth if you wish, but I prefer a coarser texture. Return to a low heat or put into a warmed oven at 90C/200F.
Heat a wok then add the organic sunflower oil until it starts just to smoke when you should turn down the heat. Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry until translucent. Add the vegetable curry powder and stir into the mix.
Add the tofu pieces and stir fry for 3 minutes until cooked through. Season with some freshly ground black pepper, but do not add salt as there is already plenty in the vegetable stock.
Mix the tofu stir fry into the mung bean dhal and serve.
We like to eat ours either relatively runny as a soup with bread or thicker as a main course with boiled rice. To make the thicker consistency, either boil the mung beans for longer to reduce the liquid content or start with 800ml/1¼ pints of stock, but watch over the mung beans to ensure they do not dry through before they get mushy; if they do get dry, top up with a little extra water.