15 July, 2009

Palak/Spinach Soup: Have You Had Your Greens Today?

palak-soup4

Palak/Spinach Soup

Who says we can’t slurp steaming hot bowl of soup in middle of summer? If you are living in a place where this shining, burning sun decides to take a hike (literally) and leaves behind grey clouds, cold breeze and never stopping rain then you have no choice but switch from cold salads, pastas, chilled drinks to hot soups, warm breads and spicy curries!



I know you don’t want to read more of my moaning and sulking about weather and trust me; even I am not interested in discussing it any more in my blog! So let’s not waste any more time on bitching about weather and instead we’ll talk about, what else, food!


So we had this Palak/Spinach Soup for dinner few days back. My FIL loves this Palak/Spinach Soup and this is the only soup he orders whenever we dine at restaurants. I wanted to try making this at home since long time but never got chance to make it till now. While shopping at Asian grocery for Indian vegetables, I found them selling very fresh bunches of Indian spinach. And the best thing was they were selling 4 big bunches for just one pound!!! Now who in their right mind could refuse such wonderful offer! So I came back with this 4 unusually big bunches of Palak/spinach that occupied almost one full rack in my fridge. So I had to cook something soon with spinach or else lose all those precious space in fridge. Suddenly I remembered my FIL’s favourite soup in this whole world and decided to give it a try right away.


After few minutes of web surfing for Palak/Spinach Soup I decided to check Mallika Badrinath’s 100 Vegetarian Soup Recipes and voila, there it was! It looked simple and quick as the author used pressure cooker to make this soup. The recipe for white sauce, which is used in thickening the soup, is something that I had never tried and I decided to give it a try. While the spinach was cooking in pressure cooker, I quickly prepared this white sauce and all in all it took less time than the usual soups that I prepare from scratch. This nutritious green soup packed with iron, fibres and vitamins is all I needed to lift my spirit at the end of long and tiring day.


I have made few changes to the original recipe. I have added few whole spices like cinnamon and cloves to enhance its flavour. My mom always used some vitamin C rich foods like tomato and lemon juice while cooking green leafy vegetables. The main reason for this is the presence of chemical called oxalic acid, which binds with iron and calcium and reduces the absorption of these minerals. So to improve iron and calcium absorption by our body, all these green leafy vegetables should be eaten with Vitamin C rich foods likes orange juice, tomatoes and other citrus fruits. And that’s the reason for adding some freshly squeezed lime/lemon juice, which otherwise is missing in the original recipe. So shall we have some delicious and creamy Palak/Spinach Soup along with some freshly baked Breads or Garlic Baguette? This is my entry for Shanti's Lovely Winter Recipes.

palak-soup5
Palak/Spinach


Palak/Spinach Soup
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20-25 mins
Serves: 3-5
Recipe Source: Mallika Badrinath’s 100 Veg Soup Recipes
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Serving Suggestion: As a starter or meal with some breads/salad
Ingredients:
2 bunches of fresh Palak/Spinach
1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
¾ inch Ginger, peeled
1-2 Green Chillies, slit (Adjust acc to taste)
1 tsp Sugar
1 inch Cinnamon
2 Cloves
2-3 tbsp Lime/Lemon Juice (Optional and adjust according to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp Oil/Butter

For White Sauce:
¾-1 cup Milk (at room temperature)
1 heaped tbsp Maida/All Purpose Flour (I used ½ tbsp)
½-1 tbsp Butter

For Garnish:
Fresh Cream
Few Croutons

Special Utensils:
Pressure Cooker
Blender/Mixer
Strainer

palak-soup3
Palak/Spinach Soup

Method:
Remove spinach leaves from its stalk and give it a good rinse. Keep it aside till needed.
Heat a tsp of oil/butter in a pressure cooker and add thinly sliced onions. Sauté for a minute or two till it turns translucent.
Mix in slit green chillies, cloves and cinnamon and stir for few seconds.
Now add washed spinach leaves and sugar and stir till leaves start to wilt, about 2 minutes.
Add 4 cups water and whole ginger and mix them well. Cover the lid of pressure cooker and place its weight.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 whistle, about 7-10 mins. Let the pressure release completely before you open the lid.

Preparing White Sauce:
While the spinach is cooking, you can proceed to make White Sauce for the soup.
Heat a pan and add butter to it. When butter is melted, add Maida/all purpose flour.
Stir this Maida on medium to low heat till it changes its shade from white to very light golden, about 1-2 minute. It is important that the raw taste of Maida disappears and hence stir it on a low to medium heat without burning it.
Remove pan from fire and mix in milk. Give it a good stir with s help of a small whisk and bring the pan back into gas fire. Keep stirring continuously till the sauce starts to thicken, about 3-4 minutes. Make sure that the sauce is lump free.
Switch off the gas and keep this White Sauce aside till needed.

palak-soup2
Palak/Spinach Soup

Proceed to make Soup:
Discard ginger, green chillies and whole spices from cooked spinach.
Drain water from cooked spinach and reserve it for later.
Transfer cooked spinach into a blender or mixer jar and let it cool slightly. Blend this spinach to smooth puree adding little reserved water at time.
Transfer this spinach puree along with reserved water to a pan and cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
Once the sop comes to gentle boil, add white sauce little at a time and mix well.
Mix in salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook soup on medium flame till it starts to thicken, about 4-5 minutes.
Transfer to bowl and drizzle some fresh cream on top and add few bread croutons and serve hot with any bread or salad of your choice. We had our Palak/Spinach Soup with Garlic Baguette and licked our soup bowl clean!

Reminder for RCI: Udupi & Managlorean Cuisine

After exploring many states and regions around our beloved motherland, this month I am honoured to take you all to my native land to sample and devour one of the finest cuisines. The RCI for the month of July’09 is RCI-Udupi & Mangalorean Cuisine! Let's explore the hidden gems of beautiful temple town of Udupi and gorgeous coastal city of Mangalore all this month.

Deadline: 31st July, 2009

Please go through the guidelines and include all the required information in your post and also in your e-mail while sending your entry. Don't forget to add Your Name, Your Blog Name, Name of the Dish, Type of Dish and Perm Link of the entry along with the gorgeous Photo of final dish.

Click Here or on the logo to find out more information on this event.

31 comments :

  1. what a healthy soup for dinner!!!
    looks lovely n yummy..I just love this one..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this and I too order spinach soup anywhere I go except during the Monsoons!

    I did not have my greens today, Sia and I would love to have that bowl on this rainy day!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this and I too order spinach soup anywhere I go except during the Monsoons!

    I did not have my greens today, Sia and I would love to have that bowl on this rainy day!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Soup looks creamy. A nice way to include greens in our diet. I don't usually add white sauce to the palak soup. Next time shall try ur way.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks extremely tempting and way too healthy.

    I should say your photography skill is remarkable. Keep it going.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thats yum Sia!..beautiful design on the top..:P

    ReplyDelete
  7. Soup looks delicious Sia. Love the addition of roux in the soup, will give this a try soon, I think my son might like it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sia, that soup looks beautiful. You know what appealed to em the most. It's the pattern you made with the sauce on the soup.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi, I refer the same author for very many dishes.Your soup islovely and comforting. Cooking greens with vit C is new. Thanks for the info.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Slurrrrrp! my MIL makes it the same way too. Just love it:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Sia ! I guess this is my first time here .I love the palak soup. And looking at your soup I am longing already.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Whatever the weather,we're game for soup anytime; and if it hapens to look like yours, it's even better :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'd love to try this cold, not sure if that'd work but it's worth the shot, right?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Soups are one of my fav and that looks delicious.. and healthy...

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a gorgeous bowl of soup, would love to taste that !

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow thats my favourite soup... fantastic click as always.. wish to have a bowl sia..

    ReplyDelete
  17. That looks so green and good! Sounds like an excellent recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hmmm... this is a slightly different version from what i prepare...... http://sumscuisine.blogspot.com/2009/03/palak-soup.html
    I use corn flour instead of maida, generally...
    Will try this version too and check out the actualy difference in taste......

    ReplyDelete
  19. yes i had bok choy today :D i love that book too, even though i haven't tried anything from it yet.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thats a lovely greeny soup Sia! The last pic is totally drool worthy and good styling. I use corn flour to make the white sauce. Even though it might become lumpy when mixed with milk with few press and mix with a spoon will get it all together. Just to keep the healthy soup eal healthy :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Sia,

    I happened to come across your page while seraching recipes for monsoon. and must say you've got the most gorgeous blog. cooking is my hobby and will definitely try your recipes and let you know the results.

    keep rocking your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Beautiful Creamy pattern on the top. My hubby loves white sauce.. this is definitely a new way to have spinach soup.
    Soma(www.ecurry.com)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your soup looks wonderful...its all rainy and cloudy here too and my son loves spinach, will make this soon...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Looks delicious...lovely pic as always..

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a healthy soup & looks delicious ....
    I liked your blog , very good ...

    ReplyDelete
  27. Healthy soup, love the creamy white sauce on the top!

    ReplyDelete
  28. just saw spinach soup on Nupur's site too... I'm craving it now:) love the pic Supriya!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Soup looks delicious & healthy Sia. Love the decoration ..nice clicks


    Trupti
    Fashion Deals For Less
    Recipe Center

    ReplyDelete
  30. I tried this spinach soup recipe & we all liked it. I have posted about it here.
    http://www.savi-ruchi.com/2013/12/spinach-soup-palak-soup-healthy-soup.html

    Thanks for the recipe Sia!

    ReplyDelete

Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and valuable feedbacks. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

I hope you have found what you are looking for today. Feel free to leave any questions or queries you have on the recipes posted here. If you have any recipe requests, please drop a line at Ask Sia page. I will try to respond to all your queries as soon as possible to best of my knowledge.

I welcome all your valuable inputs and constructive criticism as long as it is meant to help and improve the blog. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude, abusive, written with the intent to advertise, contain profanity or considered spam.

Please note that any comments with separate link back to your blog, website or blog events will not be published. Your blog/website is hyper-linked when you sign in to your account to leave the comment and hence leaving separate links in the comment is unnecessary. Thank you for understanding!

I hope that you will stop by again to read my ramblings, learn new recipes and share your ideas. Have a good look around and enjoy your time here. Thank you once again!