Mallugirl’s Summer Express ~ Spinach Soup with Tofu and Idly Croutons

spinach soup
spinach soup with tofu and idly croutons

I’ve been lazy about blogging for a couple of weeks now, busy with company, kids’ activities, getting ready for daughter’s summer camp and vacation. Of course I’m cooking, so there are lots of things sitting here in draft mode, waiting for me to turn them into something resembling a post. One was this soup.

Every Sunday night I make a soup for the work week. Usually they’re boring, just seasoning and frozen veggies or whatever I have laying about in the fridge. Occasionally they turn out special, and this was the case with last week’s concoction. I had some tofu which I threw in, and some leftover idlies which I toasted into croutons. It was nutritious, tasty, and quite possibly the easiest soup I have ever made — so I saved it to post later.

Then I chanced upon Mallugirl’s Summer Express. Hooray, the spinach soup was perfect! It has everything the Summer Express asks for: “It should be a balanced meal, having a bit of the different food groups: vegetables/fruits, grains or carbs, and animal or vegetable protein.” It can be made in 30 minutes or less, *including* clean up!

Spinach Soup with Tofu and Idly Croutons
complete meal in under 30 minutes

Heat 1 tsp oil in a small saucepan (or spray it with Pam). Add 1/2 tsp each cumin and mustard seed, few curry leaves, and a dried red chile. When they sizzle and pop, add 1/2 lb fresh spinach — baby leaves can be left whole, or tear larger leaves. Sprinkle water and stir well for 1-2 min until wilted. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 TB of your favorite spice blend. I don’t have to tell you which I used πŸ˜‰

Stir to blend, then add some diced tofu (I used Nasoya Firm Lite) and a cup of water. Add salt to taste and let it simmer just 5-10 minutes to blend flavors.

For idly croutons:

While soup is simmering, spray a nonstick pan with Pam and heat on med-high. Slice a few leftover idlies lenghwise, lay in the pan with a weight of some sort (lid from a smaller pan works well) and brown until nearly dry. Crumble and sprinkle over hot soup.


This is my dream breakfast — hot flavorful soup with a little something crunchy on top. Use any veggie you like in place of spinach. For the crunchy topping, any leftover bread, toasted in the oven or browned on the stove would work too. It’s a recipe for the imagination — sky’s the limit!

Thanks for the neat idea, Shaheen — I’m looking forward to reading the round up!



  1. Tee said

    looks really good & healthy! idli croutons is a great idea!

    Hi Tee, glad you liked it, thanks! πŸ™‚

  2. mallugirl said

    wow linda.. never thot of idlis as croutons, but i am sure with their spongy texture, they would be perfect..great entry. thanks!

    Hey S, I’m glad you liked this! I was so excited when I realised I had something for your event. Great idea, again! And yea, the idlies made great croutons… who knew! πŸ™‚

  3. Fantastic concoction! Idli croutons is a unique idea..

    Thank you Poonam — it was an experiment that turned out, happily, pretty well! πŸ™‚

  4. neroli said

    Linda, you are a girl after my own heart—only a much better writer/photographer/cook!
    I do love a soup at breakfast time, and there’s idlis in the freezer…
    I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow πŸ™‚

    Hi Neroli, you’re a great writer for sure — and the photos I’ve seen at your blog are lovely! If you try the soup, I hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

  5. Suganya said

    I have seen idly sandwich. idly croutons.. wow!

    Idly sandwich is sounding pretty good, Suganya! πŸ™‚

  6. sra said

    Idly croutons are very creative, Linda!

    Glad you liked them, Sra πŸ™‚

  7. sra said

    Linda, a question – I know you mentioned crumbling the croutons – were they crackly, like bread croutons, or dry?
    It’s such a coincidence – often when I comment on your posts, there’s one of yours waiting for me to discover!

    πŸ™‚ Sra, they were very crunchy and hard enough to break into pieces before adding to the soup — after sitting there awhile, they absorbed the liquid. They were probably a little softer than bread croutons owing to the nature of the ingredients, I would guess. Maybe dried out in the oven they would be harder? πŸ™‚

  8. Jyothsna said

    My mom always used to fry left over idlis, but we never thought of croutons!

    I bet they’re yummy fried, Jyothsna πŸ™‚

  9. indosungod said

    Lovely Soup! Wow Idly Croutons, what a fantastic idea. East meets West in a whole new way!

    I still have to try you and your mom’s idly upma, ISG πŸ™‚

  10. Asha said

    That is brilliant!! Idly croutons!!!! Whoa!!!!:)

    Glad you liked ’em, Asha! πŸ™‚

  11. RP said

    Idli croutons! You are a genius! πŸ™‚

    Hardly a genius, but thanks RP! Glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  12. Mishmash! said

    I read the title twice to see if i really saw idly croutons there πŸ™‚ You re adventurous for sure…..:) I must try your idea once πŸ™‚


    This made me laugh, Shn — I had to read it twice too before I dared post it. Who ever heard of an idly crouton! πŸ˜‰

  13. Nupur said

    The ildi croutons are brilliant! Ah, that clear soup with crunchy croutons would be such a treat. I’m going to make this soon.

    Thanks, Nupur — I am sure you will think of a brilliant way to spice up this simple soup! πŸ™‚

  14. Richa said

    wow! i can feel the crisp idli croutons dunked in that wonderful soup πŸ™‚

    Dunking them would be a great idea Richa! Next time I’m going to try that πŸ™‚

  15. sharmi said

    waw what a medley !! idly croutons is the highlight!! the bowl looks so good.

    Thank you Sharmi — I’m glad you liked it πŸ™‚

  16. Coffee said

    And I here-by crown you the queen of innovation !!!!!
    How in the world did you think of such a combo??? and a wonderful one that too! Fanstatic Linda!

    Thank you Coffee — so glad you enjoyed! I couldn’t tell you how I thought of it, just saw that big bag of leftover idlis already getting stale-ish in the fridge — next thing I knew they were in a frying pan πŸ˜‰

  17. bhags said

    You changed the song…:)

    The idli croutons is a fantastic idea, the combo is out of the world Linda.
    Soup and idli, never would have thot of making anything together with them…

    I did change it bhags… I love Frankie πŸ™‚

    Glad you enjoyed the soup! πŸ™‚

  18. sia said

    i double checked if there is some typo with idly croutons… nope IT IS idly croutons… amazing recipe linda and i am bowled over as usual πŸ˜€

    I should try a real typo just for fun sometime, Supriya πŸ˜‰ Thanks! πŸ™‚

  19. sandeepa said

    Linda, would like know about your soups for the work week. Post them some time. This one is a pretty good one too

    Hi Sandeepa — they really are pretty boring, but one of these days I’ll put one up. I like to take soup to work — helps me keep down the cravings for so much good take-out in the neighborhood πŸ˜‰

  20. bhags said

    this is made from yours…:)

    Ohhh… I’m going to check it out right now bhags! πŸ™‚

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