Sayur Bening Bayam (Indonesian Spinach, Carrot & Tomato Soup

I recently took on a client who’s into competitive body building. She needs a diet that’s high in protein, and seriously low on carbs, fat, calories and sodium. She’s also a self-employed, time-stressed, overworked single mom with zero time to cook.  This dish is the perfect lunch for her busy schedule.

Sayur Bening Bayam (Indonesian Spinach, Carrot & Tomato Soup)

Serves 4

2/3T coconut oil
1 1/3 medium shallots, chopped
1C chicken stock, low-sodium
1C beef stock, low-sodium
2C water, more if needed
2″ piece ginger root, peeled, sliced in planks, crushed
2/3lb carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
2/3lb tomato, coarsely chopped
2/3lb spinach, fresh, washed, chopped
1 1/3t fish sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2/3lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, poached, shredded*


In a good-size stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add shallots, cook until softened (aka “sweat” the shallots), about 4 minutes. Add the broths, water, ginger, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low, simmer until fragrant, about 6 minutes.

Add the carrots and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the ginger planks, add tomatoes, return to a simmer. Add spinach, chicken. Remove from heat when the spinach is bright green. Stir in the fish sauce, taste. Add salt and pepper, taste, adjust.

Calories: 223, satfat: 3.37, sodium: 293, carbs: 24.94, protein: 23.04

*Note: the chicken is not part of the original recipe, added here to increase the protein.

Recipe, adapted from one posted by:
Photograph, courtesy

2 thoughts on “Sayur Bening Bayam (Indonesian Spinach, Carrot & Tomato Soup

  1. This sounds delicious. I can’t wait to make it for my family. Am a little confused by the suggested quantities of carrots, tomato, spinach and chicken though. ( I am an American living in the UK, so have learned through experience to double check various ‘interpretations’ of recipe ingredients and instructions. For example, a British pint is 4 ounces larger than a U.S. pint (20oz versus 16oz) which can make a difference to some recipes.) Anyway, in this recipe, I am wondering if ‘2/3lb carrots’ means 2/3 of a pound, i.e. 10.5 oz. or does it mean between 2 to 3 pounds of carrots (so between 32-48 ounces of carrot). Neither seems quite right and I get that for soup the exact quantities probably doesn’t matter, but still am confused. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi, Phyllis:

    I used “American” measurements here. 2/3lb carrots = two thirds of a pound of carrots. But keep in mind, this is soup we’re making so some flexibility is expected. As my culinary school teacher would say “learn to make it right the first time, then improvise like crazy”. Thanks for your comments and interest in my site.


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