Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spinach Lentil Soup ~ Palak Moong Soup

Spinach is a kind of wonder food, and you may find it surprising to know that it has some amazing and unusual health benefits. By eating spinach you can protect yourself against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer and arthritis among other things. I have always associated carrots as being beneficial for good eyesight, so it came as somewhat of a surprise to me, to learn that spinach and other greens like kale and broccoli contain Lutein, something that protects against eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration and cataract. Of course spinach is also a great source of iron, folate, magnesium,potassium and fiber making this a very difficult to ignore vegetable, and a must have in any healthy diet.

I try and include this wonder food as often as possible in our diet. In addition to a variety of curries, I also make a lot of soups with spinach in them, one of which is this spinach lentil soup. The combination of lentils and spinach makes this well balanced and the lentils add a touch of creaminess to this soup that makes the need for cream redundant. This soup tastes good with or without the garnish and its vibrant color makes it an inviting addition to the dinner table :-)

Before moving on to the recipe, a gentle reminder to my readers, if any more of you have planned to send in soup entries for the soup event, the last day for it is just around the corner, so request you all to send those in soon.


Spinach Lentil Soup ~ Palak Moong soup | Veg Inspirations

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Spinach Lentil Soup
1 onion cut fine
1/2 cup split mung lentil (yellow moong dhal)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 dry red chillies (or to taste)
9 oz /(225 gms)/ 1 pkt of spinach leaves cut into halves or quarters (see notes)

Optional garnish
Few drops of lemon juice per serving
crushed black pepper
croutons

Rinse and drain mung lentil (dhal). Place mung lentil either in a microwave safe container or a shallow glass dish, add sufficient water to up to 1/2 an inch above the lentils. Place in microwave and cook on high in two minute increments until the lentils are soft and mushy. Stir and add water in between as required.


Alternatively place lentils in a heavy bottomed pan with enough water and cook on stove top until soft and mushy, stirring frequently and adding water as required. Or place the lentils in a container with sufficient water, place in pressure cooker and cook until soft, usually for me that is about 2 to 3 whistles. (This time I used the microwave)

Keep lentils aside, retain water if any too.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds and when it splutters add dry red chillies.

Stir the dry red chillies a couple of times, then add onions and saute until onions are transparent.

Now add spinach, salt to taste and sprinkle a little water, keep the pan covered with a lid and allow spinach to cook. This takes a few minutes. Remove from heat and allow the spinach to cool to room temperature.

Place the spinach and onion in a blender and blend/ grind into a puree.

Remove and keep in a large bowl.

Puree the half the cooked lentils in the same blender and add to the pureed spinach.

Mash balance of lentils and add to pureed spinach+ pureed lentil mixture.

The copyright of this content belongs to Veginspirations.com

Place soup in heavy bottomed pan and place on low heat until the soup is hot. Serve hot with garnish of choice and some crusty bread or vegetable sandwich.

Serves 2 to 3

Notes

I mashed half the lentils and pureed half the lentils because I wanted the soup to have some texture. You can just as easily puree the entire cooked lentils for a more smoother feel to the soup.

I garnished my soup with lemon juice, crushed pepper and croutons, but even without the garnishes this soup tastes good.

In case you have very tender spinach leaves you can add them whole, cook them and then puree them, you do not need to cut it in that case.

This soup is off to the Healthy Inspirations Event- Soups going on here.....

34 comments :

Asha said...

Spinach makes it yum, so healthy.

Preeti Kashyap said...

I love this soup! so very healthy! I make it in a similar way too.

myspicykitchen said...

I try to add spinach in most of my food, even though it is not called for in a recipe.. :)

Delicious soup! I had planned to send 2 entries for the soup event and might end up sending only one...

I thought of making one soup today but it has started snowing/sleet here... perfect weather for a bowl of soup, but not so perfect natural light for a beautiful click.. :(

Shama Nagarajan said...

delicious hot soup

Silpa said...

That'a healthy soup n my fav one...

simply.food said...

The colour is amazingly green and fresh.Very healthy too.

Vaishali said...

Sounds incredibly delicious, Usha. Spinach certainly is a wonder food and it's so utterly delicious-- I could eat it every day!

Deepa G Joshi said...

hey Usha, thanks so much for such great info on spinach..love the thick and healthy soup here..I too try to use spinach as much as possible in our meals..

www.foodlyrics.com

Mangala Bhat said...

Nice one !

Devasena Hariharan said...

healthy one Usha! you make a lot of soups, really lovely...

Laavanya said...

I'm always on the lookout for tasty soup recipes and I've been seeing a lot of them. Love this combination and is definitely very healthy like so many of your recipes.

Priya said...

Love this green and eyecatching soup..looks fantastic and needless to say how healthy they are..

Renuka Bedre - Rao said...

such a delicious soup..lovely pic!

AMA's AnythingVegetarian said...

I never used to like spinach in childhood das.Now I love it.It is defly a healthy soup.

Padma said...

Lovely soup. Looks so nice in color and also healthy.

Nandini said...

Healthy soup n lovely color!

Gita said...

I too try to include spinach at least once a week in my meals....your soup looks very delicious Usha...love the vibrant green color :)

Ruchikacooks said...

Soup once a week is on my menu but havent made them as per plans :D

Spinach soup looks yummy Usha. Good tips on adding dal to it.

www.ruchikacooks.com

Vaishali Sharma said...

Looks absolutely delicious and healthy!

AshKuku said...

That's a healthy bowl for sure..... Yummy too with its lovely color & texture..... Well presented & captured too.... On the whole, TOTALLY YUM!!!!!

Ash....
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

sowmya.s said...

looks delicious..the soup i sent you is almost similar with spinach and green mung beans..though a slightly different recipe..will try your version sometime..

Subhashini said...

Hi
Thanks for your such a nice comments in my blog.I saw some of your posts very nice.
i ll be keep coming
Regards
Subhashini

Parita said...

So refreshing!

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Nice & Healthy..

AnuSriram said...

Soup looks comforting and delicious! Healthier too.. Nice entry!

Cham said...

Wonderful healthy soup! I just posted mine for u!

Anupama said...

It just looks so rich and healthy. I wouldn't mind having a whole big bowl of it anytime.

Soma said...

A bowlful of health and color.
Soma(www.ecurry.com)

Pavithra said...

wow looks yumm and gorgeous....

Karine said...

I heart spinach and you have a great spinach soup recipe!

Rachel said...

A bowl of healthy goodness.

Meena said...

Love the soup...so healthful and a lovely yummmmy green!!

BTW, Many Thanks for the reply on my blog about ragi oats cracked wheat idli - I ended up using fine texture cracked wheat and did not powder that but I did follow all your steps of the recipe...the finished product came out nice...thought I would let you know! That was one neat recipe!

Akal's Saappadu said...

spinach and mung dhaal, sounds filling and comfortable!! nice soup!!!

Nupur said...

Very healthy soup, I make this often with Red lentils..

you can link it my event

Soup It Up

Cheers
UK Rasoi

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