Learn how to make spinach soup - Indian style. Palak soup is a staple of Indian cuisine that's nutrient-dense, sublimely savory, and perfect for chilly nights.
Why you'll love it
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.
My chicken cabbage curry came out great. I may even try cooking it in the Instant Pot next time. But beyond these recipes, the closest I've come to India in my cooking is adding ghee (clarified butter) to dishes!
I 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.
If you really love how versatile spinach is, you can try my other recipes that feature it, like coconut creamed spinach with pork crackling.
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.
This spinach soup palak isn't just keto-friendly, it's gluten-free and sugar-free too. It's a fantastically flavorful soup to serve anyone with food intolerances. Here's what I used when I made it.
Chopped spinach leaves are the base and main ingredient in this spinach soup. It's in both the original recipe and the keto-friendly version.
Coconut cream and coconut milk
In a dairy-free recipe, use coconut milk and coconut cream. I used canned coconut milk, not the carton. Canned coconut milk has cream in it.
Fresh garlic has an incredible aroma as you saute it. Use fresh garlic cloves instead of garlic powder.
Any type of chopped onion will taste amazing in this recipe. Use red onion if you want a bold flavor.
The spices in this soup give it so much flavor. I used a combination of cumin powder, ginger powder, and a bay leaf.
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.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Use an immersion blender or food processor for a smooth puree.
- Use canned coconut cream, not the coconut milk that comes in a carton. Canned has more fat.
- Yogurt can work in the soup. Substitute your favorite type of full-fat heavy cream or yogurt for the coconut cream if you can handle dairy.
All the detailed instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here's a bit more information about how to cook this delicious soup.
Blend the garlic, onion, and spinach
Using a small blender, mince the garlic, onion, and spinach, keeping them separate. Set aside.
Saute the onions and garlic
Next, you'll want to heat a casserole dish or deep pan with oil. I prefer using ghee instead of oil for this recipe.
Saute 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.
Add spinach and spices
The next step is adding the spinach, cumin, and garlic powder. Saute away! Continue until the spinach wilts.
From there, over low heat, pour the coconut cream. The next step is adding the bay leaf.
Simmer with coconut milk and cream
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 bay leaf. You can use tongs if you have trouble removing it with your stirrer.
Blend and puree
The next thing you'll need to do is grab an immersion blender (aka hand blender) to puree the spinach. Continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes after it's pureed.
Serve the spinach soup
Finally, transfer the ingredients to a few serving bowls, and drizzle with the optional toppings. Then enjoy the tasty soup.
️ Serving suggestions
This is the perfect soup to serve on a cold day when you just want to warm up. Serve it with your favorite keto crusty bread. Dip it into the soup or let it dry out and crumble croutons on top.
Garnish spinach soup with fresh parsley leaves.
There are a lot of different ways you can make this keto spinach soup. If you make any changes, please let me know in the comments!
- Thicken the soup. Instead of flour, add ½ a teaspoon of xanthan gum.
- Sweeten the soup. Some recipes call for sugar, so use your favorite sugar substitute to add a touch of sweetness.
- Be authentic. Instead of a typical bay leaf, use an Indian bay leaf for a richer and bolder flavor.
Here are some questions people often ask about making low-carb spinach soup. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
I prefer the nutty flavor of ghee over regular butter in some cases. It is a type of clarified butter, which means it has been heated gently, causing the milk solids to separate from the liquid butter.
It gives the clarified butter a higher smoke point. Thus, if you have recipes that require baking in the oven at temperatures of 375 degrees or higher, you'll want to replace regular butter with ghee.
Plus, removing milk solids gives ghee a longer shelf life than regular butter and makes it more tolerable for those with lactose sensitivities.
Spinach fortifies this healthy soup with essential vitamins, minerals, iron, and antioxidants. You can use frozen spinach, but it won't have the same texture. I suggest letting it thaw overnight and then removing as much moisture as you can before adding it to the soup.
Adjust salt - add more or use less. Additional coconut cream will also make it taste slightly sweeter.
Keep leftover spinach soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
If you enjoyed this keto Indian spinach soup, here are more keto lunch ideas and soup recipes you should make next. They are all perfect for any time of day.
- Keto Egg Drop Soup is an authentic Chinese recipe that is the perfect starter for any Asian meal.
- Unstuffed Cabbage Soup is a keto soup recipe that you will want to make over and over again.
- Keto French Onion Soup is extra cheesy and flavorful and tastes authentic without the extra carbs.
- Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Soup with Sausage is a rich soup full of tasty cheese and hearty flavors!
- Instant Pot Low-Carb Taco Soup tastes even better with a dollop of sour cream.
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.
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published January 21, 2019. Last updated July 28, 2022, with new images and additional recipe information.