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Aloo Palak Soup

Aloo Palak is a robust vegan Indian side dish with classic Indian flavors. With just a few changes, Aloo Palak can make a great Indian soup too!

Aloo Palak in a white bowl.

What is Aloo Palak?

Aloo Palak is an Indian side dish made with primarily potatoes, spinach and onion. The onion is sautéed until soft, potatoes are added then the spices and aromatics. Spinach is added last, often with tomatoes. Everything is cooked until soft.

For a brighter color, you can cook it with the lid off. I like to cook with the lid on as it helps the potatoes cook better.

Some people like it on the dry side and will cook with the lid off to help the water from the vegetables escape. If you want a gravy consistency, just leave the lid on.

How to make Aloo Palak Soup

Aloo Palak Ingredients on a white background.

With a few changes to this classic recipe, I have come up with a robust Aloo Palak soup that is perfect with Naan or even Irish Soda Bread.

The recipe starts off the same. Fry onions, then potatoes, spices and chillies, and spinach. The difference is that I used tomato puree instead of chopped tomatoes and added vegetable broth. I processed half of it in a food processor then added it back to the pan to simmer and thicken.

This soup was hearty enough for me to have as a dinner entree with a side of crusty bread.

If you love spinach too, may I suggest trying a spinach curry known as Palak Paneer? For a dive into Middle Eastern cuisine, Spinach Fatayer is really easy to make thanks to a shortcut with pre-made biscuit dough.

Ingredient for Aloo Palak soup in a pot.
Aloo Palak soup in a pot.

Pro Tips For This Soup

  • If you want to make this a low fat recipe, use just 3 tablespoons of oil in the beginning to cook the onion until soft. Add the spices, ginger, garlic, chillies and cook for 1-2 more minutes stirring constantly. Then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer covered until potatoes are soft. Take out half of the solids with a slotted spoon and process that in the food processor or blender. Add back to the soup and bring back to a simmer for 10 more minutes covered.
  • For a creamier soup use starchy potatoes like Idaho or Russets. You may also substitute 1 cup of cream or half & half for 1 cup of broth.
  • If you are like us where one of us wants meat in our soup and the other loves vegetarian soup, divide the soup in half and add shredded chicken to the other.
  • For a more firmer ‘bite’ use waxy potatoes such as New potatoes.
  • For an in-between option, Yukon Gold is the gold standard. I went with New potatoes because I bought a 50lb bag of them. Next time, I will use the Yukon Gold, if I can find them.

If you are making your own broth, you will need to check out this post on How to Make Broth. It also gives you clues as to when homemade broth is a must or if you can get away with store bought broth.

Aloo Palak soup in a white bowl.

What I Love Most About This Soup

In addition to being satisfying and delicious, it’s healthy, vegan and almost clean eating. What I mean by clean eating is that most of the ingredients are raw, un-processed ingredients that are healthy.

This soup is also easy to make. It’s not a quick soup but no special skills are required. Just sauté, process, simmer.

Tips For Clean Eating

I used canned chillies because I like them and I can easily get them all year round. Simply substitute fresh chillies of your choice for a clean eating version.

Good tomatoes are hard to find where I am. I almost always use canned tomatoes. They are a different variety than the usual, tasteless tomatoes that are selected for shipping long distances rather than taste. If you have access to good tomatoes or are just a clean eating fan, feel free to substitute fresh for canned.

If all you know is boxed, canned and frozen, clean eating can be daunting. You will have to use raw ingredients you have never cooked before, such as veggies you have never tried. I’m looking at you parsnip.

I use a lot more raw, unprocessed ingredients than I used to. I still enjoy a good short cut here and there. Especially when it comes to dough.

Do you have any tips on clean eating? Have you ever heard that term before? It’s they way everyone cooked before 1945.

Aloo palak on a spoon.

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Aloo Palak in a white bowl.

Aloo Palak Soup

Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Aloo Palak is a robust vegan Indian side dish with classic Indian flavors. With just a few changes, Aloo Palak can make a great Indian soup too!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooking oil (canola, corn, safflower etc)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • Gold Yukon potatoes, peeled and chopped (750g or 5 cups)
  • 1 Tbs chili powder of choice (I like a medium heat pepper such as Aleppo or Gochugaru)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbs minced ginger
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 7 oz can of mild diced green chilies
  • 11 oz can of tomato puree (310g)
  • 10 oz fresh spinach, chopped (280g)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat, add oil and onions. Cook until soft, stirring frequently.
  2. Add potatoes, stir occasionally, cook for 10-15 minutes until the the potatoes develop some golden crust.
  3. Add spices, ginger, garlic and chilies. Stir constantly for one minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, 2 cups of broth and spinach. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Take out up to half of the solids with a slotted spoon and puree in a food processor or blender. Add back to pot, add water and simmer for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  6. Garnish as desired.

Optional Garnishes

Fried onions, creme fraiche, sour cream, Mexican crema

Notes

  • Chili powder is pulverized chilies with no added spices. Chili powder blend or chili seasoning mix is common in the spice aisle in U.S. markets. You will want to seek out your favorite chili powder or make your own. To make your own simply take dried chilies, commonly found in the Mexican aisle in U.S. markets, and take the stems and seeds out. Process in a food processor. Keep in a mason jar in the fridge or dehydrate further in dehydrator.
  • You can use chicken broth instead of veggie broth. It won't be vegan or vegetarian though.
  • If the potatoes start to burn, turn the heat down and stir more often.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 887mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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Aloo Palak Soup

Hannah

Monday 2nd of December 2019

Yum! All the spices mixed so well in this simple yet flavorful soup. And it tasted amazing with your butter naan recipe :)

Tina

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

I love that soup. It is spicy though. If you want to make it creamy, you can substitute some of the broth for milk or cream. Glad you liked it. It really is amazing with naan.

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