October 9, 2014

Hearty Bottle Gourd Soup

Bottle gourd is another neglected vegetable just like ash gourd. Also known as churakka, lauki, sorakkaai in different Indian languages, it is very popular in Indian cuisine. Just like ash gourd, it is simple in taste and comes loaded with nutritious and medicinal properties and is a highly recommended vegetable by Ayurveda. Besides, it reduces fatigue and keeps you fresh, it is rich in thiamin, vitamin C, zinc, iron and magnesium.  Also, bottle gourd fights constipation as it is fiber rich, and bottle gourd juice being alkaline helps with acidity, indigestion and ulcers. Just like ash gourd, it is low in calorie and has high water content  which makes it very diabetic friendly. Today's recipe is yet another simple hearty soup that is great for the fall weather. 

For Soup:
  • Bottle gourd - 1 small or 1/2 medium. 
  • Fresh ginger root - 1 tbsp
  • Green chilly - 2-3
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Fresh homemade coconut milk (recipe here) - 1 cup
For optional Garnishing:
  • Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs
  • Garlic - 2-3 cloves (sliced thin)
  • Red onion - 1/4 cup (chopped) 
  • Lemon juice - 1-2 Tbs 
  • Chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) - 2-3 Tbs 
  • Peel and cut the bottle gourd into cubes. You need about 3 cups of cubes. 
  • Add them along with chopped ginger, green chilly and turmeric powder to a soup pot and cook covered (let it cook in its own water - no need to add water) on low medium heat. 
  • Let it cool and puree it completely or just mash and pass thru soup strainer depending on preference. 
  • Add coconut milk and simmer on heat it on low heat. 
  • Optional garnishing : Heat coconut oil on medium heat and saute garlic and onion till slightly brown and add to the soup.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
  • This makes 2 servings. Enjoy!! 

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