League of Kitchens cooking instructor Damira Inatullaeva learned to make this delectable mung bean soup recipe from her Tajik mother-in-law, who makes it without meat (traditional mashhurda includes beef or lamb) and also uses dried apricots for a flavorful twist. Don't let the list of simple ingredients fool you—this is one of the most complex and delicious vegetarian soups we've ever tasted. The fresh herbs, pepper, and labneh at the finish take it over the top.

February 2022

Gallery

Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Recipe Summary

total:
1 hr 30 mins
active:
1 hr 15 mins
Servings:
6
Advertisement

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 9 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer.

    Advertisement
  • Place mung beans in a small saucepan; add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer about 6 minutes to remove any small particles and dirt. Drain beans in a colander, and transfer to a fine wire-mesh strainer. Rinse under cool water. Set aside.

  • Place rice in a separate fine wire-mesh strainer, and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Set aside.

  • Pour oil into a large saucepan; heat over medium-high until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrot starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are well coated and sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the hot water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot water, rinsed beans, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt, and return to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

  • If beans are barely covered with water, add 1/2 cup hot water. Cover and cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until beans have fully softened and are starting to break apart, 10 to 25 minutes, adding hot water, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed so that water barely covers beans.

  • Add rice, 2 cups cilantro, 1 1/2 cups dill, 2 1/2 cups hot water, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to bean mixture. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to make sure nothing sticks on bottom of pan, until rice is soft and tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

  • Check water level in bean mixture; add 1/2 cup to 1 cup hot water, if needed, until mixture resembles a thick soup but not quite a stew. Add apricots, and cook over low, stirring often, until apricots have softened but are not completely broken down, about 5 minutes. Cover pan, and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes for flavors to meld.

  • Uncover soup. Remove and discard bay leaves. Ladle soup evenly into 6 bowls, and mound about 1 tablespoon cilantro and about 2 teaspoons dill into middle of each bowl. Dollop servings with yogurt, and sprinkle with pepper.

Make Ahead

This soup is best served the day it's made; to reheat, add a little water, and cook very gently to avoid overcooking the apricots.

Note

Find Turkish apricots and baldo rice at kalustyans.com.

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied, lightly peppery white: Rousset Crozes-Hermitage

Advertisement