The Best Greek Soup You've Never Had

This is the best Greek soup you've never had.  And you'll probably never have it at a Greek restaurant. It's made in homes all over the Peloponnese area of Greece and anywhere that Greek immigrants from those parts have landed. My father's side of my Greek family is from Sparta. My father and his sisters ate this simple soup growing up, and it was one of those sisters, my Aunt Polly, who taught me to cook and enjoy this nutritious soup. I call it medicine in a bowl. It's documented that the humble mung bean is one of the best plant-based sources of protein and so, so much more.

Traditionally dressed with fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

Greek Mung Bean Soup (medicine in a bowl)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups washed mung beans (no soaking required)
10 cups water

Into a hot pot, pour in the oil and all of the other ingredients except the beans and water.
Cook the onions until softened.
Stir in the mung beans and water.
Bring to a boil and cook for 45 minutes to one hour. Ideally, you want the beans to crack (or split) and release all of their creamy starch. This should look as if it's partly pureed and partly not.

Ladle into individual bowls and dress each serving with plenty of fresh lemon juice and a generous helping of good extra-virgin olive oil. Bread and Feta cheese on the side are optional.

As it sits, the soup will thicken even more as the bean release more starch. You'll need to stir in more water if you're reheating or serving the soup later in the day.

Hot and creamy with substance and more flavor than you might imagine from so few ingredients. This soup is easy to prepare, it's inexpensive and it's ready in almost no time. The nutritional value will surprise you, and when you add the lemon and olive oil, you be sure that your doctor and dietician would approve. It's medical supplementation at its tastiest!


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