Imagine this scenario: you're a few weeks into your keto journey and things are going great. You know what it feels like to be in ketosis and can see the pounds falling away, and then bam! You get a cold!
Or take this one: you're at a similar point, but you woke up at 6am, went to the gym, managed to pack your keto-friendly lunch, but then you got stuck in traffic and only have 30 minutes when you're home to make dinner after a crazy day at work. You open the fridge and only see wilted kale and half an onion. There is no fiber in your being that wants to cook anything!
Do you know what would be perfect for both of these situations? A low-carb soup. Oh, sweet, convenient keto-friendly soup. But is soup something you can indulge in on keto? Well, yeah! Assuming you buy or make the right kind that doesn't have a lot of carbs, then you're in luck.
THE NO-BUY LIST OF SOUPS (THESE ARE NOT KETO-FRIENDLY SOUPS!)
I'm about to say something really silly, but soups are just broths with extra food in them. All the same keto rules for your regular foods apply here. That means no pasta. No bean-based soups. No carb-heavy foods, etc.
Here's a short-list of the most common types of not keto-friendly soups that you should just avoid altogether:
- Chicken Noodle
- Beef Noodle Soup
- Vegetables & Barley
- Chicken Gumbo
- Chicken & Wild Rice
- Cream of Potato
- Lentil Soup
Basically, any soup that has rice, pasta, (most) beans, or potatoes is a no-go. I know that knocks off a bunch, but believe me, there are still a lot of low carb soup recipes, I promise!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SEARCHING FOR KETO FRIENDLY SOUPS
Unfortunately, a lot of popular soup brands have high amounts of sodium, sugar, and preservatives. That's not the case across the board, but generally speaking, you'll always want to double-check the label, even when you are pretty sure it's a safe flavor like broccoli cheese.
Here are some tips for finding keto-friendly and low-carb soups:
Tip #1: Add up the total servings
Some low-carb soups can be sneaky sometimes. You may see a label and think, psh! 6g of carbs! That's money! But then you realize that that's per cup, and who eats just one cup of soup at a time? No one! Companies label by serving to make them seem healthier, so be careful.
Tip #2: Subtract fiber to get net carbs
Net carbs = total carbs - fibers. Your body can't digest the carbs from fibers, so they don't contribute to your carb count on keto. Use this metric instead of total carbs to get a better read on your carb count and advise what low-carb soup you can and can't eat.
Tip #3: Always check your labels
Canned soups are particularly susceptible to extra carbs and sodium. Check every label to build up a bank of trustworthy low-carb and keto-friendly soups, and then buy in bulk. That's the best way.
Tip #4: Stick to these flavors
This isn't a complete list, but here are some flavors of keto soups that should generally be more ideal for a keto diet:
- Broccoli cheese
- Mushroom-based soups
- "Creamy soups" in general
- Roasted chicken and veggie
- Bone broth soups
- Beef and cabbage
- Cauliflower soups
- Asparagus soups
- Spring soups with egg
- Vegetable beef soup (without potatoes)
Bonus Tip #5: Avoid cans when possible!
Canned soups are the most common culprits for extra carbs. By opting for boxed or other packaged keto soups, you'll put yourself in a better position from the get-go.
THE SECRET TO EATING KETO SOUPS
Here's the best way to make eating soup on keto better: look at canned or packaged soup as a starting point.
In other words, add stuff! Boil or saute up some spinach and throw it in chicken broth or top your soup with some avocado. Another kind of homemade keto soup is to take bone broth or heavy cream and "stretch" the soup a bit farther to dilute the carb content.
Whatever you can do to increase the fat and protein content while diminishing the carbs is fair game to make your own keto-friendly soups.
9 KETO-FRIENDLY SOUPS TO BUY
As promised, here are some of the best low-carb soups to buy for your pantry. Eating soup out of a can is a higher-carb game by nature, but we checked each and every one of these canned options to make sure they sit below 10 grams of net carbs per serving and included other options besides cans for you to check out.
Note: Remember that keto-friendly does not mean you can eat an unlimited amount of these soups. It simply means you can eat more of them relative to higher carb alternatives. Counting your carbs and what these add to your daily intake is the only way to make sure you stay in ketosis!
Low-Carb Soup #1: Kettle & Fire Spicy Cauliflower Soup
This keto soup has a premium price but does a fantastic job of staying low carb while retaining taste, and it's a little spicy for the more adventurous eaters out there!
6g net carbs per container
Low-Carb Soup #2: Progresso Broccoli Cheese with Bacon
This keto soup is the highest carb option on this list, but you can find it in most grocery stores. This would be a good option to dilute with cream or bone broth to spread those carbs out a bit.
20g net carbs per can
Low-Carb Soup #3: Progresso Classic French Onion
It's a simple keto soup, but that means it's a great option for veggie additions! Try putting some celery or roasted cauliflower in this one.
16g net carbs per can
Low-Carb Soup #4: Costco Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Broccoli cheddar is one of the ultimate comfort foods and Costco's option gets you a lot of food for its carbohydrate buck. Plus, with one trip to Costco, you'll have enough keto soups for a year! Or at least that's what always happens to me.
12g net carbs per cup (not available in a can)
Low-Carb Soup #5: Healthy Choice Country Vegetable
This keto-friendly soup is a bit high in carbs, but it's a solid option for when you're really craving a fully prepared vegetable soup from a can. This is another good option for diluting with bone broth, too!
17g net carbs per can
Low-Carb Soup #6: True Primal Beef & Vegetable
Also a bit pricer, this soup takes a strong stance against preservatives, gluten, etc. Clocking in at 11 carbs, it's definitely an easy keto soup to eat!
11g net carbs per pouch
Low-Carb Soup #7: Bariatric Choice High Protein Soup Mix
Some people aren't fans of soup mixes, but they taste just fine! This low-carb soup mix is pretty simple, so you'll need to add some veggies in to make it a complete meal.
4g net carbs per packet
Low-Carb Soup #8: Freeze Dried Miso Soup
A lot of people wonder “is miso soup keto?” Well, this recommendation is confirmation that the answer is yes! Fortunately miso soup carbs are also low, but that’s because it’s mostly broth. Add a hardboiled egg and some green onions to kick it up a notch.
2g net carbs per container
Low-Carb Soup #9: Progresso Traditional Chicken Enchilada
This is another canned keto soup that keeps its carbs pretty low. If you're looking for something super simple that will get you through a meal, this will work! You could even add some extra chicken on top to up the protein count.
16g net carbs per can
WHERE THE BEST KETO-FRIENDLY SOUP IS HIDING
Hint: it's not from a store — it's from your house! Yes, I’m talking about homemade soup and stocks. Making low-carb soup (at least simple keto soup recipes) is easy. Don't be afraid to make your own vegetable or meat-based stock — if you're looking for ways to reduce the sodium, sugar, and carb content of store-bought soups, then this is your answer. By knowing exactly what you're putting in, there is nowhere for those pesky carbs and preservatives to hide.
Here are 31 keto-friendly soup recipes from the team over at Bulletproof.com. If you're looking for inspiration, then look no further! They've got recipes for Lamb & Herb Bone Broth, Creamy Keto Chicken Soup, and much more.
Some people on keto even go as far as to make their own zucchini noodles for a tasty low-carb soup. While you don't have to go that far, you’ve got options when it comes to low-carb soup recipes.