First rinse the spinach leaves very well in water a few times. Then drain all the water.
Chop the spinach leaves and keep aside. If the stems are tender, you can use these too.
Sautéing and cooking spinach soup mixture
Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add the bay leaf and sauté for 2 to 3 seconds
Now add the chopped garlic and sauté till the garlic is light browned or browned. Don't burn the garlic.
Sauté the garlic on a low heat. Add chopped onions and sauté till the onions are softened.
Add the chopped spinach. Stir and season with black pepper and salt.
Now add the besan or gram flour. Mix well.
Pour 2 cups water and mix again.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add ground cumin and stir well.
Switch off the heat and let the soup mixture cool a bit.
Making spinach soup
When the soup mixture's heat has reduced or has become warm, then blend with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth.
Remove the bay leaf while blending.
Check the seasonings and add some more salt or pepper if required.
If the soup looks thick, then add about ¼ cup water and stir.
Keep the well blended soup back on the stove for simmering for 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve spinach soup hot sprinkled with some freshly crushed black pepper and coconut cream.
Use tender, fresh spinach. You can also use baby spinach or frozen spinach. For frozen spinach thaw the leaves first. Once the leaves are thawed press and squeeze all of the water from the leaves.
If the stems are tender, you can use these. But if they are fibrous or stringy, then discard the stems and use the leaves only.
For the oil you can use any neutral tasting oil and even olive oil. For a vegetarian spinach soup, you can add butter.
This is a thin light soup. To thicken the soup you need to add some form of starch in it. Add some chopped potatoes - about ¼ to ⅓ cup to the soup mixture. First add potatoes and water. Cook until potatoes are almost done. Then add the spinach leaves and simmer until the leaves are wilted. You can also add some carrots to the soup but with carrots, the soup will have a sweet taste.
This recipe is for two servings. But can be easily scaled up to make a big batch.
The soup stays good for 1 to 2 days in the fridge. You can also freeze for a few weeks without the coconut cream.
A topping of bread croutons also tastes good with this palak soup.