Bottle Gourd/ Lauki Detox Soup
Hi again! Today I bring to you a very special yet simple recipe which will not only help you lose weight but will also help your liver to detox the heavy foods you ate over the weekend or during a festival season.
I recall my mother preparing this lauki/dudhi soup known as “Lauki Shorba” in India for our lunches or dinners, especially after major festivals like Diwali. Since we consumed a lot of fried foods and sweets during Diwali, this soup helped to restore balance and aid digestion after the excesses of the festival.
What is Detox?
Detox or detoxification is the process of neutralizing and removing poisonous or unwanted materials that have entered our bodies. The liver is the predominant detox mechanism, and the bile helps clear fatty residues, chemical intakes, and medicinal wastes. Since our daily intake and accumulation of these materials pile up, the body slows down, resulting in lower energy levels. Therefore, giving the body enough time to detox is as important as brushing our teeth.
To aid the detox process, it’s essential to opt for simple nourishing foods after a festival. Intermittent fasting along with nutrition dense rich foods can be really helpful during this time.
Foods such as garlic, gentle fermented foods, cruciferous vegetables, turmeric, and fresh fruits, are highly useful when planning a detox. Simple healthy soups, nutritious salads and a reduction in refined sugar further aid the process.
This Lauki/dudhi/bottlegourd soup is one of the best ways to start this process.
Why Lauki/Dudhi/Bottle Gourd?
Lauki is a highly nutritious vegetable with many health benefits. It is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber that can help improve digestion, support weight loss, and boost overall health. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of Lauki:
Low in calories: Lauki is a low-calorie vegetable, making it an excellent choice for people looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Rich in dietary fiber: Lauki is high in dietary fiber, which helps improve digestion and promotes feelings of fullness, which can help control appetite and prevent overeating.
High in vitamins and minerals: Lauki is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and iron.
Promotes hydration: Lauki is rich in water content, which helps keep the body hydrated and supports healthy skin and hair.
Helps regulate blood sugar: Lauki contains compounds that may help regulate blood sugar levels, making it a good choice for people with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
Supports heart health: Lauki is rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease.
Boosts immune function: Lauki contains compounds that help strengthen the immune system and promote overall health.
Along with Lauki, this soup has other ingredients like garlic and onion which also aid in the detox process.
How to make Lauki/Bottle Gourd soup:
To start with, heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and add cumin seeds. Cumin seeds give a nice warm and earthy flavor to this soup.
Once the seeds have spluttered, add chili pepper, onions and garlic and saute it. If you want a milder soup, you can totally skip the chili pepper. But if you want a spicier soup you can add more chilies as per your taste.
Cook till fragrant and soft. The onions and garlic should be translucent not browned.
Once cooked, add diced bottle gourd and cook for 10-15 minutes. You will see bottle gourd has changed color to slightly brown and is soft once cooked.
Once the bottle gourd is cooked, add cilantro and mix well. Cilantro is a real game changer in this soup when added before blending. It makes the soup super delicious and healthy.
Switch off the flame and let it cool. Yes, patience is the key!
Once cooled, transfer the bottle gourd mixture to a blend and blend till smooth.
Strain this mixture with a strainer for a smoother consistency of soup. I used a steel strainer with bigger holes to just get the cumin seeds and other fibers out of the soup.
Now boil the soup with 1 cup of water and chicken bouillon. Alternatively, you can also use chicken or vegetable stock. I have a used bouillon cube as I did not have chicken stock on hand.
The chicken bouillon or the chicken stock really adds to the flavor of this soup. You can also use vegetable stock or bouillon instead to make it a vegetarian/vegan soup.
Finally season the soup with salt and pepper and boil it.
Switch off the flame and garnish with cilantro and cream.
Recipe tips to make the Lauki/ Bottle Gourd soup taste best every time you make it:
Substitute the vegetable or chicken stock bouillon with bone broth for added protein and nutrients.
You can replace the diced bottle gourd with zucchini or cauliflower for variety.
Add in some chopped spinach or kale for added fiber and nutrients.
You can also use coconut oil instead of olive oil for a coconut-ty flavor
For an extra kick of flavor, add in some grated ginger or turmeric.
Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped almonds for added crunch and texture.
If you prefer a thicker soup, add in some heavy cream or coconut cream to the blended mixture before boiling.
Add in some cooked chicken or shrimp for a complete meal.
Here are some Frequently asked questions and answers regarding Lauki/ Bottle gourd soup:
Q: Is this soup keto-friendly?
A: Yes, this soup is keto friendly as 100g of bottle gourd has only 3.39g of carbs. It has higher fiber and water content making it a perfect vegetable for consumption on a keto diet.
Q: Can I make this soup ahead of time?
A: Yes, this soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Just be sure to reheat it slowly on the stovetop to prevent separation or curdling.
Q: Can I adjust the spiciness of the soup?
A: Yes, you can adjust the spiciness of the soup by adding more or less chili pepper or omitting it altogether if you prefer a milder flavor.
Q: Can I use a different type of oil instead of olive oil?
A: Yes, you can use any healthy oil of your choice such as coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee.
Q: Can I use a different type of vegetable instead of bottle gourd?
A: Yes, you can substitute the bottle gourd with low-carb vegetables like zucchini, cauliflower, or broccoli.
Q: Can I make this soup vegan-friendly?
A: Yes, you can make this soup vegan-friendly by using vegetable broth instead of chicken or bone broth, and omitting any animal products like chicken or shrimp.
Q: Can I add more protein to the soup?
A: Yes, you can add more protein to the soup by adding in some cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
Serving suggestions for Lauki/Bottle Gourd soup
here are some serving suggestions for your delicious soup:
For faster weight loss results, serve the soup as a light lunch or dinner on its own.
Pair the soup with a small salad or roasted vegetables for a more substantial meal.
Serve the soup as a starter before a main course.
Top the soup with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for added creaminess and tang.
Sprinkle some fresh chopped herbs or grated Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor.
Add some crunch by serving the soup with some crackers or croutons.
Other Recipes to try
Did you like Bottle Gourd Soup/Lauki soup? You might want to try other recipes here as well:
- Hemp Tabbouleh
- Golden Milk/Turmeric Latte
- Garlic Butter Mushrooms
- Indian Beef Chilli
- Saag paneer/Paalak Paneer
Lauki/Bottle Gourd soup
- 1 tbsp cilantro/coriander
- Add olive oil into the pot and heat it.
- Splutter the cumin seeds and fry for a 30 seconds.
- Add chili pepper, onions, and minced garlic and sauté it.
- Add diced bottle-gourd and cook it for 10 to 15 minutes or till tender.
- Add cilantro and mix well.
- When done, switch off the flame and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer the soup to the blender and blend until smooth.
- Strain the mixture with the help of a strainer in another pot.
- Boil the soup and add chicken stock bouillon.
- Season with black pepper and salt and mix well.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve!