Warm Up with Healthy & Hearty Low Carb Soups
How to Make Rich, Delicious Soups Without the Carbs
When the wind is blowing, snow is falling, and temperatures dip, we often find ourselves craving the warmth and comfort of a flavourful bowl of hot soup. This time of year we love to experiment with new keto-friendly soup recipes, and discover clever ways to create healthier low-carb versions of classic family favourite soups for better nutrition.
It’s time to break out the soup pot and get cooking! The cold days of fall and winter are perfect for filling the house with the rich and comforting aromas of a big batch of hot soup simmering on the stove. Of course, not just any soup will do. It’s got to be something hearty, robust, and filling. Fortunately, there are plenty of incredible recipes for amazing soups that are low in carbs, high in protein, and packed with nutritional value. We’ve gathered up some of the finest low carb soup recipes that are ideal for the low carb lifestyle, along with a few helpful tips on how to kick the carbs out of traditional family favourite soups. On that note, let’s get right to it!
Where Do Carbs Commonly Hide in Soups?
You might be surprised at how many carbs could be hiding in a regular bowl of hot soup. However, once you learn to spot them, you’ll quickly discover that it’s amazingly easy to substitute these ingredients for healthier low carb options. Here are some of the most common carb culprits lurking beneath the surface of your soup bowl.
Potatoes – Sure, it’s easy to spot chunks of potato in a stew, but what if they’re hiding in a blended soup? It’s a wise move to check ingredient labels closely on pre-made blended soups to make sure that carb-heavy potatoes aren’t sneaking their way in.
Noodles – Regular styles of noodles add unnecessary carbs to an otherwise very healthy and nutritious soup. The good news is there are plenty of low carb noodle options you can choose from to get the same taste experience with better nutrition.
Rice – Many types of soups will contain rice, adding extra carbs and taking up space that could be used for other healthier ingredients that can do the same job. Low carb rice substitutes and more veggies are easy to swap in to any soup that calls for rice.
Flours & Thickeners – Sometimes soups will have hidden carbs in them that help to thicken the broth and provide a heartier texture. Flour and cornstarch are often at fault here, but there are alternatives that can produce the same effect without adding carbs to the soup.
Sugars – In certain recipes, small amounts of sugar may be added to elevate the flavours or produce a different taste experience, but this also means that carb counts go up. Be sure to scan ingredient labels and check for sugar content before you dig in.
Toppings & Dippers – Crackers and toasted breads are wonderful accompaniments for a hot bowl of soup, but these are naturally very high in carbs. Opt for low carb crackers and keto-friendly bread if you are craving this kind of soup experience. Otherwise, it’s best to skip them.
Beans & Legumes – Lentils, chickpeas, and beans are popular ingredients in many soups, but they can also add up to increase the carb counts, too. Be careful when buying or making soups that contain these ingredients, and always check the nutrition facts label to be sure.
Now that you know what to look for when scanning for hidden carbs, let’s move on to some handy tips and tricks you can use to make delectable and healthy low carb soups!
Tips for Making Healthier & More Nutritious Soups
Good Broth Makes the Best Soups – Soups taste best when you pay attention to each and every ingredient you use, and that includes something as seemingly simple as the broth you select as a base. Premium bone broth will bring rich flavour and plenty of nutritional value to your soup right from the start. Bone broth is high in vitamins and minerals you need for a healthy body, and contains other nutrients like collagen and amino acids to promote healthy skin, muscles, and bones.
Make Smart Substitutions in Your Favourite Soup Recipes – When thinking about alternative ingredients to put in place of the high-carb ones we called out earlier, consider vegetable-based options like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles. These will fulfil the texture role that things like regular noodles and rice provide, but will also infuse extra nutritional value and more flavour into your soup. To replace potato in blended soups, cauliflower, turnip or parsnip can do a great job and bring carb counts down. Thickeners like flour and cornstarch can be substituted with products like xantham gum to get the same consistency with no added carbs.
Boost Pre-Made Soups with More Veggies and Protein – Even if you don’t have the time to make a whole batch of homemade soup from scratch, pre-made soups can act as a fast and easy base that you can bolster with additional ingredients to make a heartier and more nutritious meal. Adding cooked proteins like shredded chicken, stewing beef, or shrimp along with a variety of diced vegetables takes just a few minutes and can really turn a basic soup into something spectacular.
The time has now come for the really good stuff! We’ve compiled this exceptional batch of recipes that take these tips to heart and deliver some epic flavours and top-notch nutrition to your table. Here we go!
Delicious and Hearty Low Carb Soup Recipes
What else could we possibly start this list off with? It had to be chicken soup. The gold standard soup for making you feel better when you’ve got a cold just got taken to the next level. Loaded with veggies, tender chicken, and the perfect blend of seasonings, this low carb version of traditional chicken soup is always a winner.
Full of rich and savoury flavours, this soup is like a big warm hug you can eat. It’s also pretty quick to make, and can be ready to serve in less than 30 minutes. Cheddar cheese and broccoli accentuate each other in this hearty soup, and are complemented nicely by garlic, onion, chili powder and nutmeg.
This recipe definitely doesn’t skimp on the vegetables, that’s for sure! In what is perhaps the most colourful beef stew we’ve ever seen, you’ll find big chunks of summer squash, zucchini, red pepper, and tomatoes, alongside lean ground beef and vibrant cilantro. Top your bowl with a dollop of sour cream if you like!
We absolutely love the Instant Pot and how easy it makes cooking up a wide range of delicious dishes, including hearty soups. This smooth and creamy soup blends cheese, sour cream, onion, and plenty of cauliflower along with the salty and smoky flavours of crisp bacon. It’s superbly delicious and extremely nutritious.
You won’t have to search for the protein in this recipe! The whole family will love this savoury meatball soup, and you’ll love how healthy it is thanks to the pile of vegetables that goes into it. Carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onions come together with big, hefty meatballs in a rich and creamy soup that will satisfy even the biggest appetites.
If you love soups made with noodles, you’ll absolutely adore soups made with zoodles! Spiraled zucchini noodles add way more nutritional value than regular noodles with zero carbs to worry about. Combine that with bold Italian sausage, flavourful tomatoes, and classic Italian seasonings and you’ve got a fantastic soup for lunches and dinners.
We’re closing this list out strong! Irish stew is the perfect meal to warm your heart and soul after a long, cold day. And a pint of Guinness isn’t so bad in that regard, either! This recipe combines both to create the best Irish stew you’ll ever stick your spoon into. Equally delicious with either beef or lamb, this slow simmered stew is well worth the wait, and will definitely become a family favourite.
Sit Down and Savour Some Hot and Hearty Low Carb Soups
These recipes are certainly deserving of a spot on your next low carb meal plan, but don’t hesitate to add in your own healthy soup creations, too! Making your own version of classic soups is actually quite easy, and when you use some of the tips we’ve provided here, you can be sure that they’ll also be quite healthy. Now, go stay warm this winter and get your soup on!