Spinach and Bottle gourd Soup

Spinach and Bottle gourd Soup

Spinach is truly a wonder food. And I wont start mentioning all the goodness it has, as Iam sure you already know about it. My endeavour is always to find ways of having more and more vegetables in the diet. And of the easy and delicious ways is to make more soups. This year Iam trying to haveĀ  a bowl of soup everyday.

As I have said many times before, soups could be a diet food and they can be counterproductive if you splurge with lots of cream, cheese or fat. I love indulging once a while. But these soups for daily diet are lean, full of nutrients from the vegetables and will help you to build strength and maintain a good gut.

Bottle Gourd

You are familiar with spinach so that needs no introduction. Bottle Gourd is a vegetable that I have inherited from my life in India. Its also called ‘Dudhi’ or ‘lauki’. In other parts of the world its known by different names as well.

Its part of the cucumber family. We used to avoid eating it or rather dread the days when my Mum would make this for lunch or dinner. Now all grown up as adults I realised this is such a wonder food.

Bottle Gourd mentioned in ayurveda is full of vitamins A,B,C,K,E. It is great for people who have diabetes. With high water content its a super choice for weight watchers. In hot countries like India, this is one of the favourite choice in summers. Here in the UK, we get this in Asian stores. However with its growing popularity, we now see it often in ASDA, TESCO as well.

Spinach and Bottle Gourd combination

I learnt this from my mum, she adds bottle gourd to spinach soup. It gives its a great body and texture. Plus all the nutrients that we now know about. Bottle gourd cooks fast as it has high water content like a cucumber. So it will cook with the spinach fast.

I used a pressure cooker to make this as it saves energy and time and its super quick. You can use just any casserole or a soup saucepan which has a lid. Let’s dive it to the recipe and learn how to make spinach soup. And with some additions.

Ingredients

  • 500 gms spinach washed and cut OR baby spinach
  • 1 small bottle gourd or half of a medium or large. Cut in medium pieces
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 medium garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste
  • Red chilli flakes
  • Cumin poweder
  • Coriander powder
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon
  • Milk (optional)
  • For garnishing yogurt or cream, mixed seeds, croutons, dash of olive oil

Method

  • In a saucepan or pressure cooker, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add chilli flakes and then chopped garlic. Saute for a minutes. Now add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Now add cumin and coriander powder and mix well. Add tomato paste. Add very little water and loosen it. Cook till the rawness of tomato is gone.
  • Now add spinach and bottle gourd. Mix well. Season with salt. Once the spinach has withered, add a cup of water. You can alter this later, so just add less at this stage. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the bottle gourd is soft and mushy.
  • Remove from heat. Let it cool. Blitz with a blender.
  • If its too thick you can thin it down by adding some more water. A trick which my Mom highly recommends is to use milk to thin it down. It gives it a great texture and flavour. The colours may get a bit lighter though.
  • Serve hot with some garnishings of croutons, swirl of yogurt and some mixed seeds. A dash of olive oil or truffle oil is also a good touch of elegance.

While pictures of spinach soup look very unattractive, this recipe of spinach soup absolutely delivers on flavours, health and nutrition. Adding the bottle gourd is great but if you don’t have it or don’t like just omit and carry on with the recipe as usual.

Get some leafy veggies in your diet with this soup. Would love to hear if you try it and if you liked it.

Until next time, eat healthy!

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