I don’t know about you, but I ate a little too much recently. In the days after Thanksgiving, I enjoyed a good deal of healthy turkey pho, yes; but all weekend long, I still consumed a lot more sweets than I generally do.

This soup, inspired by the Indian healing tradition of Ayurveda, is the perfect “detox” meal after a weekend of gluttony.

In Ayurveda, recipes for mung bean stew like this one are recommended for restoring the health of the digestive tract. This soup takes advantage of nourishing homemade turkey stock as well as seasonally available butternut squash, but it is easily adapted to accommodate chicken or vegetable stock, as well as many other vegetables.

This stew is nice and spicy, but you can tone it down to suit your taste buds, if necessary. The coconut milk is optional, but if you are using it, make sure to use whole coconut milk, not the more processed “lite” variety (remember that coconut is a healthy fat with lots of health benefits). If you are not using the coconut milk, I suggest garnishing each serving with a dollop of plain organic yogurt.

Mung Bean Stew with Squash and Coconut Milk

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

* 1 cup split and hulled mung beans
* 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil or organic ghee (Indian clarified butter)
* 1 onion, peeled and diced
* 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
* 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
* 1 Serrano or other hot chile pepper (seeded for a less spicy stew)
* 6 cups homemade turkey, chicken or vegetable stock or water
* 2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash (or peeled and diced white or sweet potato)
* 1-2 large carrot, chopped
* 2 cups Swiss chard or collard greens, tough stems removed, and then chopped
* 2-3 teaspoons jaggery or brown sugar
* 2-3 teaspoons garam masala
* 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
* 1 can of organic unsweetened whole coconut milk- optional
* 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste (the amount of salt needed will depend on how salty your stock is)

Directions:

1. Run cold water over mung beans in a colander. Drain and set aside.

2. Warm coconut oil or ghee in a large pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chile pepper and saute until fragrant. Add stock or water.

3. Add the mung beans and the squash, then add the rest of the vegetables and the spices. Stir well to combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, and adding more liquid if it becomes too thick. Remove from heat when everything is soft and cooked through.

5. Add optional coconut milk and stir well to combine and heat through. Add salt, taste, and adjust seasonings before serving.