Nothing says “comfort food” to an American palate like homemade chicken soup. Whether it’s the healing elixir that helps you recover from a cold or simply a warm winter meal, chicken soup is a near-universal favorite. And for those of us too busy to cook a new meal from scratch every night, it’s also a really convenient way to enjoy leftovers. After all, soup is always better the second day, right?
But now that you’re on a ketogenic diet, your grandmother’s chicken soup recipe is off the table. No potatoes, no corn, and no chicken noodle soup either. Instead, you have to come up with a low-carb chicken soup that will leave you feeling satisfied, without all the extra carbs. That’s where we come in. We’ve incorporated some creative solutions to help you make the most delicious keto soup you’ll ever taste, every ingredient in line with your low-carb, high fat (LCHF) meal plan.
One of the hardest high-carb foods to cut is potatoes, especially in a hearty chicken soup. It’s one of the things that makes a brothy soup a filling main course meal. Instead of potatoes, we’ve chosen a secret ingredient that’s low-carb and keto-friendly: celery root.
If you’ve never seen a celery root before, it kind of looks like a hairy softball. Related to regular celery, but not the same plant, celery root (also called celeriac) is an amazingly versatile root vegetable that’s allowed (in the right serving size) on the keto diet.
Because it has a decent amount of dietary fiber and a pretty high water content, celery root only has about four net carbs per 1/2 cup. Sure, it’s not zero, but it’s low enough that you can enjoy it as one of the many vegetables in your keto chicken soup.
Creamy Chicken Soup
The recipe we’re sharing today fits perfectly in line with a keto diet because we’ve added some additional high fat ingredients that aren’t found in your average bowl. Cream cheese and heavy cream are among the final ingredients added to the pot once the heat is turned off, lending themselves to the texture and thickness of the final product. Trust us, these additions are incredibly delicious.
If you’re lactose-intolerant, it’s fine to opt for lactose-free ingredients or altogether non-dairy versions. Green Valley Creamery makes great lactose-free dairy options, while Aroy-D makes delicious full-fat coconut milk and Kite Hill offers really great almond-based cream cheese.
We’ve also opted for a more grown-up, spicy version of this American classic, using fresh ginger and jalapeno to pump up the heat. The creamy elements will allow you to enjoy those flavors without too much burn. But you can also opt to leave the seeds out of the jalapeno for a milder version of this soup.
If you simply must have noodles with your chicken soup, the most keto-friendly option is to go for zoodles. Zoodles are spiralized zucchini that take the shape of spaghetti or linguine, sans the carbs. They’re also a great gluten-free alternative. We don’t include them in this recipe, but if you do want to add them, go for it. We recommend very gently blanching them, separate from the soup, thoroughly draining them of water, and then pouring the soup over them in a large bowl. This will prevent over-cooking them.
These days, the faster the cook time, the more appealing the method. We absolutely love Instant Pot recipes here at Kettle & Fire and encourage you to experiment with this awesome way of cooking, not only because it saves you time, but because it can accomplish some really amazing things in that super short cook time. (Check out our Instant Pot bone broth recipe for an example!)
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t worry, it’s still possible to make this savory, easy recipe on a stove top. You’ll need a large pot on medium heat. You’ll follow the instructions as listed below, browning the chicken briefly before adding in the veggies and broth, but your cook times will go a bit longer, closer to an hour or more. Cook the chicken for at least 30 minutes before adding in the remaining vegetables, and give those at least 15 to 20 minutes after that.
For a faster cook on the stove top, you could opt to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from your local grocer. Shred it while the other ingredients cook, and add it to the mix just before serving to avoid overcooking it.
Instant Pot Spicy Creamy Keto Chicken Soup
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound chicken thigh (or chicken breast)
- 1/2 onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (peeled and pressed)
- 2 inches of ginger (peeled and minced)
- 2 cups Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth
- 1 celery root/celeriac (cubed)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 2 large carrots (chopped)
- 3 ribs celery (chopped)
- 3 oz. oyster mushrooms (chopped)
- 1 jalapeno (minced (keep seeds for added spice or discard for mild))
- 4 Tbsp. cream cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-5 scallions (finely chopped)
- 1/4 avocado
Set the Instant Pot to high pressure at 10 minutes.
When the pot is hot, add olive oil and chicken thighs.
Brown the chicken and add onion, garlic, and ginger, stirring until aromatic (about 2 minutes).
Add chicken broth and celery root and close lid.
Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and allow steam to release naturally for another 10 minutes.
Remove chicken, shred using a fork, and then place back into cooker.
Add in remaining vegetables, except the optional scallions, and replace the Instant Pot lid.
Set the timer to ZERO by pressing the “pressure cook” button and then pressing the “-” sign until it reaches “0.”
Use the quick release valve to release the pressure.
Remove lid and stir in heavy cream and cream cheese.
Top with optional toppings and serve piping hot.
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