Low Carb, Low Acid Soup?
November 22, 2019 11:46 PM   Subscribe

I want to make some hearty soup as the weather gets cold. But I'm doing low carb, and my partner has to do low acid. So that means no tomatoes, no citrus, no spiciness, no garlic or onions. Help!
posted by egeanin to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A creamy mushroom soup? Most recipes you find will probably have garlic and onion in, but if you use a decent chicken stock, a mix of fresh and dried mushroom, and plenty of herbs it should still be pretty tasty.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:14 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mom's turkey soup she does with the carcass after Thanksgiving is mushroom barley turkey soup. Because it uses roasted bones it's pretty deep in flavor without a lot of additional aromatics, and we use dried shiitake mushrooms for more flavor and a nice texture. The secret is that any leftover gravy (and we make a LOT) gets tossed into the soup, so if you make a roux to begin with to mimic the gravy, roast your bones and maybe even toast your barley before tossing it in at the end you shouldn't need much in the way of onion and garlic. Maybe add some extra carrot for sweetness and a bunch of thyme.
posted by Mizu at 12:26 AM on November 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

The flavor has to come from somewhere, and you have ruled out sweet, spicy, and anything fermented (it's acidic). I can think of two solutions.

One is a a fatty meat based stock. The other is Japanese umami based stocks, specifically kombu (veg) and dashi (fish).

You could add texture with root vegetables such as celery root or turnips. The cabbage family, including roasted broccoli and cauliflower, would also be helpful. Leafy cabbages such as chard and kale also work well in soups.

So I'd take those two ideas and combine them in as many ways so as not to get tired of the same types of soups.

Two concrete suggestions though:

There's a chicken soup that my Russian roommates seemed to all make, which is just stock from pan seared chicken (dark meat is better) with dill. Again, add root veg as you like.

Second, I might also try making Tonkotsu ramen stock. Usually the stock is made with leeks and some garlic I think, but these are not actually in the soup. This may or may not be against your requirements. Add in roasted pork belly and a boiled egg, and you have a ton of flavor.

Also there aren't rules about having to use noodles, again root vegetables can play the same role. So any noodle based soup, I would consider starting from there and making subsitutions.
posted by cotterpin at 12:29 AM on November 23, 2019

Miso! I just chuck a bag of frozen vegetables in a pot, add a stock cube or equivalent, cover with boiling water, then once it's done simmering for 20 minutes or so, take it off the stove. Put a spoonful or two of shiro miso in a small bowl, add twice that of the soup stock and stir into a smooth slurry before adding to the soup pot and stirring through. Mild, hearty, works with any vegetables that need using up - I usually go for a soup or stir fry mix.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 1:42 AM on November 23, 2019 [3 favorites]

Can you do dried onions? If so, you might want to check out Vegeta. It makes for a wonderful broth that you can use as a base for various soups.
posted by alex1965 at 8:04 AM on November 23, 2019

Carrot + pumpkin + chicken stock + pepper + stick blender makes a hearty soup that's good with a blob of full fat plain yoghurt to serve.
posted by flabdablet at 8:36 AM on November 23, 2019

Is dairy fair game? This is my base recipe for broccoli-cheese soup, obviously you'll want to skip the alliums and if you're not using homemade stock check the ingredients because a lot of stocks and broths and soup bases have aromatics and/or citric acid in them.

I DO recommend making your own stock, I make it easy on myself by using frozen chicken wings (and the Instant Pot, but stovetop if that's all you've got). You can get it much richer and delicious yourself than what will come in a box with no onion in it.

The really important thing to do for the soup recipe is divide your broccoli and cook or steam about half of it to mush so it'll contribute to the body of the soup, but roast the other half - cut down into smallish and roughly equal floret bits - in a very hot oven (I use an air fryer) just tossed in oil. You want it to get lots of delicious caramelization on it, and then you can chop that however fine you like and add it to the soup for roasty goodness.

Mild chili powder is just dehydrated sweet red pepper, as is smoked non-hot grocery store paprika, both are good flavor-builders. Liquid smoke is literally smoky water, so that can help. Fresh sweet peppers browned in oil build flavor, as does celery, mushrooms, and browned meat. Fennel seed is what makes Italian sausage taste like Italian sausage. All of those can help pop the flavor when you're skipping acid and alliums. Sumac is a ground dried berry that has a lemony herbal flavor. It's getting easier and easier to find hing (also called asafoetida) with other Southeast Asian ingredients in grocery stores and Asian markets, and that is commonly used in the cuisines of people who do not eat alliums for religious reasons - it's a little pungent in the container, and you only use a tiny pinch, but it's a useful ingredient for cooks with FODMAP restrictions or allergies.

Here's a beef stew that doesn't use a tomato base, skip the alliums. If you don't know the low carb trick of using radishes in place of potato, this is a great time to get on board because they're delicious. I pad my keto stews with quartered zucchini slices, a few frozen green beans chopped up, asparagus if it's around, lots of mushrooms.

A similar soup you could riff off of is this creamy meatball soup. Again, skip what you can't use, and veg it up some more if you want to - this seems like a good one for kale or spinach, diced cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms etc.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:27 PM on November 23, 2019

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