Green Bean Soup

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

A classic cooling soup. Feathery fresh rue leaves (chou cao) aren’t easy to get—look for them at the herb stalls in Chinatown Complex market or in pots at plant nurseries—but they really make a difference to the taste of this sweet soup. Although rue smells cheesily pungent when fresh, it transforms in the soup, imparting a fresh, peachy aroma to it.


  • Whole green mung beans 200 g (7 oz)
  • Water 2 litres (64 fl oz / 8 cups)
  • Fresh rue (optional) 2 sprigs
  • Dried tangerine peel 2–3 pieces, or about half a tangerine’s worth
  • Finely crushed rock sugar 125 g ( oz) or to taste


  1. Pick the green beans over to get rid of any grit, then wash well and drain. Cover with ample lukewarm water and let soak for 4 hours.
  2. Drain beans well, then combine with 2 litres (64 fl oz / 8 cups) fresh water in a large pot. Slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat. (This will take a while, but will give the soup a better texture.)
  3. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer beans for 20–25 minutes, stirring gently occasionally, until beans are soft but still whole.
  4. Rinse rue and add to pot with tangerine peel and simmer uncovered for another 15–20 minutes or until beans are starting to break down. Turn off heat when the consistency is as coarse or smooth as you like it.
  5. Add rock sugar and stir until dissolved. Serve hot or cold.