Warming, comforting and hearty: homemade Keto chicken soup is like a hug in a bowl! This easy low carb and Paleo recipe is packed with chicken, vegetables, fresh herbs and plenty of flavour.
There’s nothing quite as good as wholesome chicken soup. This is my low-carb version, still loaded with veggies and flavour but low in net carbs. Chicken soup is the best if you’re feeling a bit run-down and need something nourishing, to balance and restore.
This low-carb chicken soup is great for a quick and easy dinner or to put in a soup flask and take to work. It freezes really well so feel free to make up a big batch and pop it in the freezer in individual Tupperware containers. Then you’ll have some yumminess on stand-by for when you’re busy and need something nourishing and comforting on the fly!
There are many chicken soup recipes out there using generous portions of cream and cheese. This may be perfectly low carb, but personally, I just don’t want to eat cream and cheese in every dish. I like my chicken soup fresh and pure, and I want to be able to taste and see the different ingredients!
Are carrots keto-friendly?
I often get people worrying about the sugar content in carrot and some complain that carrots are not Keto. Here’s the thing: most soups (and many sauces) start with a mirepoix, which is a classic French flavour base from diced vegetables – two parts chopped onion, one part carrot and one part celery.
It is true that root vegetables such as carrots, parsnip and even onions and leeks are relatively high in carbs. However, it all depends on how much you use per portion. As long as you keep your carb content low, ANY vegetable can be part of a low carb and a Keto diet.
Personally, I loathe to leave out carrots when I make soup because they add a wonderfully rich flavour. For this chicken soup, I have calculated the nutrition on the basis on four GENEROUS main course servings and the net carb count is 7.6 grams per serve.
How to make Keto chicken soup – step by step:
1.) Chop your vegetables!
2.) Heat 1 tbsp of butter or olive oil in a non stick soup pot over a medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, leek and celery with chopped thyme and about 2/3rds of the parsley for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the stock, bay leaves, season and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 15 minutes.
3.) Shred your chicken. Remove the bay leaves from the soup.
Add the chicken to the soup, then halve the mixture and pulse it with a stick blender or in a food processor. This way you thicken the soup and add extra flavour.
If you don’t like the idea of blending chicken meat, simply blend half the soup with only the vegetables.
4.) Almost there! Now we add the other (un-blended) soup half back into the pot, along with the cavolo nero or kale and simmer another minute until the greens soften.
Last, mix the lemon juice with olive oil and swirl into the soup and top with fresh parsley. To make it even more delicious I like to swirl through a little butter at the end before serving!
The importance of good chicken stock
There are so many ways to make delicious Keto chicken soup that if I were to list all variations I have tried it would make for a VERY long post.
However, one essential fact always remains: The secret to a really tasty soup is to use good chicken stock. The more concentrated it is, the more flavoursome the soup. Whether you’re making your own or even if you’re using store bought, I like to get about double the amount needed for the recipe and boil it down first to the amount required. This is entirely optional of course but just adds extra flavour.
I’m sure you’ve heard people wax lyrical about the benefits of bone broth – it’s full of vitamins, minerals and gut-healing collagen. You CAN buy it ready-made, but it tends to be incredibly expensive. I tend to roast a chicken at least twice a month and I always keep the bones and make bone broth from them. You can also go to your butcher and get chicken carcasses – you might even get them free!
How to make bone broth at home
It’s so simple! All you need is a bit of time: Cover 2-3 pounds of chicken bones with water. Add pepper, salt, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, an onion and optional herbs (such as thyme or parsley). For more flavour you can also add a carrot and a couple of stalks of celery. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-12 hours. Remove the bones and vegetables.
I firmly believe in the superiority of good stock. However, I know that life is busy and sometimes something has to give. You CAN make chicken soup with decent stock cubes and it will still taste good!!!
Tasty low carb chicken soup variations
I used leftover cooked roast chicken (crispy skin and all it’s deliciousness included) but you could easily cook up some chicken breasts or thighs and use them instead.
Most vegetables feel at home in Keto chicken soup. Small broccoli or cauliflower florets, peppers, courgettes / zucchini and even spinach leaves all work well. You basically can’t get it wrong!
Let’s move on to the spices: For a fresh kick, try adding chopped lemongrass stalks into the broth or grate some lemon zest into your soup.
If you’re a fan of all things Italian, add basil, rosemary, marjoram and oregano to the seasoning mix and grate over parmesan cheese before serving.
To go full-out Mexican, replace the carrots with bell peppers and add spices such as chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano and cumin. Serve with a handful of freshly chopped coriander / cilantro.
In deepest, darkest winter I sometimes add a bit of ginger and couple of cloves to the broth, which adds richness and depth of flavour. I love the taste, but it is not for everyone, so only use if you’re sure you like cloves!
Low Carb Add-ins
If you used to like your Keto chicken soup with pasta or noodles, you can replace them with shiratake or kelp noodles. It’s also possible to sub with spaghetti squash, if you can source it where you are. It is a surprisingly good alternative to noodles. Just make sure you cook the spaghetti squash separately and don’t add it in until right before serving. Otherwise it will get soggy.
Loved your chicken soup with potatoes? You could try to give celery root a go. It is low in carbs, has a mealy texture just potatoes and tastes similar to parsnip.
More delicious comfort food recipes:
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The Best Low Carb Keto Chicken Soup
Make this flavourful chicken soup from scratch in 40 minutes! It is great for a quick and easy dinner or to put in a soup flask and take to work. Only 7.6 grams of net carbs per generous serving.
- 1 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 small yellow onion finely diced (87g)
- 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped (122g)
- 1 small leek chopped (67g)
- 3 medium stalks celery chopped (120g)
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves chopped
- 8 g fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1.5 litres chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste (dependant on how salty your stock is)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 300 g cooked chicken 300g
- 1 cup chopped cavolo nero or kale 50g
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh parsley
- Heat 1 tbsp of butter or olive oil in a non stick soup pot and sauté on a medium heat the onion, carrots, leek and celery with chopped thyme and about 2/3rds of the parsley for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add the stock, bay leaves, season and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook with lid on for 15 minutes.
- Add the cooked chicken. Remove half mixture and bay leaves and pulse with stick blender. This thickens the soup and adds flavour.
- Add the rest of soup back into the pan along with the greens and simmer until they soften (about 1 minute.)
- Mix the lemon juice with olive oil and swirl into the soup and top with fresh parsley. Adjust seasoning to taste and enjoy. To make it even more delicious I like to swirl through a little butter at the end before serving too!
I've calculated 4 GENEROUS and filling main course portions. You could easily stretch this soup to 5 or even 6 people.
Net carbs: 7.6g per serve
Storage: Fridge for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
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