Egyptian Spinach Soymilk Soup


I had never heard of Egyptian Spinach (aka Molokhiya or jute)–the prickly leaf related to the slimy okra plant–until a couple years ago. Molokhiya has a long history for its many nutritional benefits (i.e. several times the carotene, calcium, and vitamins of regular spinach) and it allegedly saved the life of an Egyptian King in 6000BC!
I was introduced to Molokhiya when my Japanese partner started using it as a thickener in her soymilk-based miso soup. If the idea of thick, hot soup in the summer doesn’t appeal to you, I assure you this recipe is very refreshing and energizing served cold, too.

1 bunch Egyptian Spinach
2 tablespoons white miso
600cc soymilk (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon konbu (kelp) dashi powder

1/8 kabocha pumpkin (steamed, chopped)
small bunch mushrooms (i.e. shiitake, enoki or shimeji)
salt (to taste)

In a large pot of water, parboil the Egyptian Spinach (just soften the tough stems, but not the leaves), drain, and chop coarsely.
Mix together the miso, soymilk, and konbu dashi powder in a pot and heat–but do not bring to boiling temperature.
Add pumpkin pieces, mushrooms, other seasonal vegetables, salt, etc. to taste

We include the pumpkin skins discarded in other recipes, so nothing goes to waste.

  1. Mimì 31 August 2010 at 11:25

    Soup very interesting, but where did you find spinach Egyptian .. I am not a little curious! 🙂
    Congratulations to your wife that you have provided the inspiration:)
    Why do not you also suggest some excellent recipe for Japanese cuisine .. I really like:)

  2. EleonoraNW3 31 August 2010 at 13:04

    Hi William, your recipe are always soo elegant and well described! I’ve never heard of Molokhiya before, and I was wondering wether it could be replaced, as I’m not sure I can find it here…but acting as a thickener it mayu be difficult to replace.
    I love the idea of reusing pumpkin skins!! Just like you, I never throw (almost) anything from the food I prepare.
    Well done!!! Looking forward for the next one 🙂

  3. TokyoVegan 31 August 2010 at 15:12

    Hi, Mimi and Eleonora.
    I’m sorry you guys can’t find the ingredients. Actually, I thought I once saw a recipe on VeganWiz using a very similar leaf (stems have small thorns), but it was not referred to as Egyptian Spinach or Molokhiya!
    I’m attaching a link to some Molokhiya photos in case you have a different name for it.
    It’s supposedly common in Middle Eastern grocery markets.

  4. Susi 31 August 2010 at 17:34

    I love this kind of soup! I’m gonna do it and if I don’t find the original ingredients of your recipe, I’ll find some similar.
    Thank you for the idea…never thougt to use soymilk in soups.

  5. Mimì 31 August 2010 at 18:31

    The leaf is different from the common spinach … I’d be curious to try it! Thanks at least I know .. 🙂 Now that I have a photo in the eastern markets I will find it easier 🙂

  6. Jasmiez 1 September 2010 at 08:12

    Looks almost like basil leaves, but it’s actually jute.
    Found a link on wikipedia
    I doubt we can find it in Italy, it may be easier to find seeds and grow it 🙂

  7. EleonoraNW3 1 September 2010 at 08:20

    That’s great William, thank you so much!

  8. Pizza pie 5 September 2010 at 07:55

    I think I will be able to find it here in Paris… there are several Japanese shops… nice idea to use soy milk in a soup!!! 🙂

  9. Lisa 7 October 2010 at 18:43

    Sounds delicious!! 🙂

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