Learn how to make spinach soup, Indian style. Palak soup is a staple of Indian cuisine. It’s nutrient-dense, sublimely savory and perfect for chilly nights.
I’ve been adding recipes to my low carb cooking blog since 2010. And in all that time, I can’t believe I’ve only tried my hand at a few Indian dishes.
But beyond these recipes, the closest I’ve come to India in my cooking is adding ghee (clarified butter) to dishes.
What’s so special about ghee?
Now if you’ve never used ghee before or in fact have never even heard of it, I suggest you get to know it.
The flavor of ghee is much richer in my opinion than regular butter. Ghee is butter that’s been heated gently. This heating causes the milk solids to separate.
More accurately, the milk solids separate from the liquidy brown butter. After the butter completely melts, these milk solids migrate to the bottom of the cooking pan. [SOURCE]
Next, any foam left over is taken off the surface. This leaves just the liquid.
What does removing the milk solids do? It gives the clarified butter a higher smoke point. Thus, if you have recipes that require baking in the oven at temperatures of 375 or higher, you’ll want to replace regular butter with ghee.
And actually, ghee goes a step further than clarified butter. With ghee, the butter is simmered until the moisture is 100% evaporated. And
I apologize for going on a rant about ghee. But it’s the perfect ingredient for sauteeing, even in this palak soup (Indian spinach soup).
My intention was merely to introduce you to it in case you never have used it.
Making Palak Soup for a Paleo Keto Diet
To make this soup suitable for a paleo keto diet, there’s no dairy used with the exception of ghee. Ghee is the only dairy product acceptable for paleo because it has nearly all the inflammatory milk proteins removed.
Although not typical in Indian spinach soup, I like to add optional pork rinds on top. Why do I use pork rinds? It’s a great substitute for breadcrumbs. In fact, I use it in several recipes, including this one for making bread with almost zero grams of carbs.
What else do you need to make Indian-style spinach soup?
- coconut cream and milk
- cumin powder
- ginger powder
- Ghee (or olive oil if you can’t have dairy)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
And for the topping, you can add additional coconut cream and milk. The pork rinds for the breading alternative are also optional.
How to make this easy fresh spinach soup
Using a small blender, mince the garlic, onion and spinach separately. Set aside. (photos 1-3)
Next, you’ll want to heat a casserole dish or deep pan with oil. I prefer using ghee instead of oil for this recipe.
Sautee the onions until they appear translucent (you can sort of see through them). At this point, you’ll want to add the garlic and continue sauteeing.
You’ll know when to stop when you can really smell the savory, aroma.
The next step is adding the spinach, cumin and garlic powder (photos 4 & 5). Sautee away! Continue until the spinach wilts.
From there, over low heat, pour the coconut cream. The next step is adding the bay leaf (photo 6).
Simmer for up to 10 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally. Then, add the coconut milk and simmer for a couple more minutes.
It’s time to now remove the bayleaf. You can use tongs if you have trouble removing it with your stirrer.
Just a couple more steps and you’re done….
The next thing you’ll need to do is grab an immersion blender (aka hand blender) to puree the spinach (photo 7 & 8). Continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes. (photo 9)
Finally, transfer the ingredients to a bowl, and drizzle with the optional toppings. Then enjoy the tasty soup!
Other Indian Dishes
Make sure to blow on the hot soup before tasting. You don’t want to burn your tongue!
How did your Palak Soup turn out? Indian cooking is fun. I intend to make more dishes from the subcontinent.
My family might not love the fact that the Indian dishes I’ll cook in the future will be beef-free, but there’s chicken tandoori to satisfy them.
I also want to try another Indian staple in the future that features spinach and garlic: palak paneer.
It might be a bit of an adjustment for your family to get used to all the rich spices of Indian cuisine if they’re not used to it. However, over time, they’ll most likely grow to like it.
And if you really love how versatile spinach is, you can try my other recipes that feature it. This includes Coconut Creamed Spinach with Pork Crackling.
Moreover, if you love ghee as much as I do, try adding it to your morning tea.
The great thing about making Indian food is that most dishes are easy to make (once you get used to the different ingredients) and very healthy.
Kitchen Accessories Used
The following were used in the recipe:
Palak Soup – Indian Spinach Soup (Dairy-Free)
- 1 pound fresh spinach or 500 g
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream or 40 ml
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium yellow onion ½ cup
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 piece dried bayleaf
- olive oil or ghee for sautéing
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- pork rinds crushed, for topping – optional
- coconut cream/milk for topping – optional
- Using a mini blender, mince garlic, onion and spinach separately. Set aside.
- Heat Dutch oven with oil (opt for butter or ghee) and sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic, sauté until fragrant. Add spinach, cumin and ginger powder. Continue to sauté until spinach is wilted.
- Over low heat, pour coconut cream then add bayleaf. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut milk and simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Remove bayleaf. Using a hand blender (immersion blender), purée spinach then continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with extra cream and top with crushed pork rinds if desired. Enjoy.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 190 [carbohydrates] => 10 [protein] => 5 [fat] => 16 [saturated_fat] => 14 [cholesterol] => 0 [sodium] => 99 [potassium] => 845 [fiber] => 3 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 10635 [vitamin_c] => 35.7 [calcium] => 134 [iron] => 5.3 [serving_unit] => cup )
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