There’s nothing more comforting than a piping-hot bowl of soup on a cold winter evening. When the temperatures begin to drop, staying inside and cooking a homemade meal is more alluring than venturing outside.
If you follow the keto diet you might wonder which soup recipes are compatible with your low carb lifestyle. For those chilly evenings when you want to enjoy your favorite soup recipes, but aren’t sure if it fits within the parameters of keto, we’ve prepared this quick guide for you (and supplied a few drool-worthy keto recipes, of course).
No matter if you’re curling up fireside in a cabin or next to your space heater in your city apartment, here’s how to make a keto-friendly soup on a cold evening.
What to Look for in a Keto Soup
When looking for keto recipes online, remember this: Many low carb recipes will fit perfectly into a keto meal plan, but will not be marketed as a low carb meal. Just because a recipe doesn’t explicitly contain the word “keto” in the title doesn’t mean it’s off-limits. To limit any confusion, follow these guidelines.
Look at the Macros
When looking at any recipe for the keto diet — not just soup recipes — your first step should be to look at the nutrition facts. On keto, a good rule of thumb is for roughly 70 percent of your calories to come from fat, 20–25 percent from protein, and only 5 percent from carbohydrates.
Most individuals on a keto diet will consume less than 30 grams of net carbs per day. As a reminder, net carbs are the total amount of carbohydrates you consume minus the amount of dietary fiber you consume (in grams). If you see a recipe that contains 15 grams of net carbs in one serving, know that you might use up half your carb allotment for the day.
Avoid Soups Thickened With Flour
Secondly, avoid soups thickened with flour or cornstarch. Even gluten-free ingredients, like tapioca flour or cassava flour, may contain more carbohydrates and are best avoided. These ingredients are commonly found in chowders or bisques. Potato soup, corn chowder, tomato soup, and New England clam chowder are common offenders.
There are several ways to thicken a soup without these particular ingredients, which you’ll learn about further down this post.
If a Core Ingredient Isn’t Keto-Friendly, Approach With Caution
While this rule might not hold true for all recipes, it’s a good thing to keep in mind.
If a core ingredient (read: an ingredient that appears in the title) isn’t keto-friendly, you should be very wary of the recipe. For example, legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables are avoided on keto due to their carb content. Therefore, recipes like potato soup, black bean soup, split pea soup, or wild rice soup probably aren’t the best idea.
There are, however, always exceptions to the rule. With the keto diet growing in popularity, many faux recipes using low carb alternatives to grains and starch are becoming more mainstream.
How to Make Your Favorite Soup Recipe Lower in Carbohydrates
A single search for “keto recipes” on the internet should teach you this: Virtually any recipe can be made keto-friendly. All it takes is a few smart tweaks in ingredients. If you are determined to make your family favorite soup recipe lower in carbohydrates, try these strategies:
- Replace milk with coconut milk or heavy cream: Wherever you see milk in a soup recipe, simply swap it out for a high-fat alternative like coconut milk, coconut cream, or heavy cream.
- Use a keto-friendly thickening agent: Rather than thicken a bisque or chowder with regular white flour, try this technique. Boil cauliflower florets into chicken stock until fork-tender. Allow to cool slightly, then blend the broth and cauliflower together, and voila! You created an easy keto chowder base.
- Swap out a higher-carb ingredient for a lower carb alternative: You can easily substitute daikon radishes and cauliflower florets for potatoes, bacon bits for croutons or soup crackers, or crunchy celery for sweet corn in a variety of recipes. Or, if you can’t think of a suitable swap, you can…
- Leave ingredients out altogether: If your favorite recipe contains a high-carb ingredient, just skip it. Create a beanless chili, leave the tortilla chips and corn out of a chicken tortilla soup, and leave out the potatoes in Italian wedding soup.
5 Low Carb Soup Recipes to Try This Week
Without any swap-outs or alterations, these soup recipes fit perfectly into the keto diet. These recipes can be made directly on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. To cut down on the total cook time, consider preparing them in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
Keto Broccoli Cheese Soup
Made with Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth, this keto-friendly recipe is topped with crunchy bacon and filled with gooey, cheesy goodness. Unlike other broccoli cheese soups, there’s no sign of flour or cornstarch insight.
Hearty Cabbage Soup
The next time you’re craving take-out comfort food, give this recipe a try. With just 6 grams of carbs and 21 grams of total fat per serving size, this hearty cabbage soup fits perfectly within any low carb diet. The fusion of fresh garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil give it a similar taste to an Asian stir-fry.
Smoky Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower is a versatile (and low carb) vegetables, so it comes as no surprise that this smoky cauliflower soup is keto-friendly. Made with fennel, cauliflower, thick-cut bacon, chicken broth, and veggies, it contains just 2 grams of total carbohydrates.
Chili Verde Tomatillo Soup
Unlike tortilla chips or other high-carb toppings found in taco soup or keto chicken tortilla soup, this recipe uses pumpkin seeds as a crunchy topping. Containing 22 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, and just 8 grams of net carbs, it’s the perfect soup when you’re craving something spicy.
Hearty Tomato Basil Soup
With creamy soups like a tomato bisque, you need to approach each recipe with caution and double-check the ingredients list. This recipe contains just herbs, chicken bone broth, heavy cream, and diced tomatoes for a gluten-free take on the classic tomato soup recipe, with just 11 carbs per serving.
One Final Keto Soup Recipe: Bone Broth
There’s one more keto soup recipe we just have to mention: Bone broth.
Chicken bone broth and beef bone broth contain naturally occurring collagen and amino acids, and are suitable for a keto lifestyle. You can either make bone broth at home, or purchase bone broth online. You can either try bone broth in one of the five recipes listed above, in your recreated version of your family favorite recipe, or sipped straight from a mug, all on its own.
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