You’ll love this creamy Irish leek sans potato soup recipe! It’s high protein keto and low-carb, with pea protein isolate making each bowl a nutritious and delicious meal with unbeatable macros!
This keto Irish soup is velvety and rich without any cream: it gets all thick and luscious thanks to the leek and zucchini, sautéed in Irish butter until golden and then gently simmered in broth.
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Making Irish potato soup keto
The classic Irish potato leek soup is deliciously comforting, but it’s carb content makes it impossible to properly enjoy (as in, eat as much as I want it) on a keto or low-carb diet.
Fortunately, this is an easy to solve problem: zucchini by itself might not look like a great substitute for potato, but it matched this keto “potato” leek soup so perfectly that I would say it’s even better than the original!
The zucchini is sautéed in Irish butter to develop flavor, and then slowly simmered until tender soft and turned into a velvety purée. The soup gets deliciously rich, without any need for cream. Or potatoes!
Stopping eating potatoes made me realize how many wonderful, tasty veggies exist out there that I never looked at twice – because I was too busy eating potatoes.
Believe it or not, I had never even tried cooking with turnips and radishes before starting eating keto!
Carbs in zucchini vs potatoes
Potatoes are not a keto friendly vegetable. They have a high starch content, which accounts for the carbs: There are 21.6 grams of net carbs in 100 grams of potatoes.
This means that eating just one small potato would already put most keto dieters over their daily carb limit for remaining in ketosis.
Compare that with a zucchini: 100 grams of zucchini contains just 2.7 grams of net carbs – EIGHT times less than the same amount of potatoes!
It’s easy to see why zucchini is one of the best vegetables for a keto or low-carb diet!
Pea protein isolate in soup
You know me, if I can add protein powder to anything, I will. And this soup is the perfect way to showcase how easy it is to improve the macros of something that is basically hot puréed salad.
Because of the pea taste, pea protein is not my favorite protein shakes. But it is hands down the best protein powder to add to savory recipes!
Be it for for making keto bread and tortillas or even as a thickener for keto sauces, pea protein isolate is a terrific keto friendly ingredient and the protein powder that behaves most like flour. A total opposite from whey protein, which tends to dry out everything it touches.
Honestly, I don’t know how it took me so long to figure how great pea protein is for soup. Now that I know I can have hot savory protein shakes, brace yourself for many more of my “muscle” soup recipes haha! 👩🍳💪
This easy keto soup recipe requires very few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen:
- Leek, zucchini and onion
- Irish butter
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt, white pepper, thyme and bay leaf
- Pea protein isolate powder
How to make
These are the steps for making the LikeHotKeto Irish leek and
potato zucchini soup, also in high protein version:
Start by chopping the veggies: Instead of just roughly chopping them in chunks, as they will be puréed anyway, I suggest you cut them in smaller pieces. They will soften faster and get more flavorful as you sauté.
Sautéing in butter adds a new dimension of flavor to the soup, and takes only a few minutes more than just dumping the veggies together with the broth. It’s so worth it!
Sauté the onions and the leek together in butter until they are soft and have just started browning. This process will bring out the sweet flavor in them.
Then add the zucchini and continue sautéing until it’s golden.
Add the your preferred broth: the traditional Irish leek and potato soup is usually made with chicken broth, but you can use vegetable broth too if you like.
Then add the spices: thyme, bay leaf and white pepper. Leave the salt for last, as you might not even need it, depending on the saltiness of the broth used.
If making the high protein keto soup, you’ll need to add more broth to get the soup to have the same consistency, as the pea protein isolate thickens the soup considerably.
Put the lid on the pan and let the veggies simmer in the broth until they are very soft.
Now, just purée the soup! As you can see I used a stick blender, made of metal and not a plastic one so there’s no issue in just puréeing the soup inside the hot pan.
Add pea protein isolate if you want to transform this light soup from a side or appetizer into a whole nutritious meal!
This is a side by side comparison of the keto leek and zucchini soup by itself (left photo) and with the addition of 4 scoops of pea protein isolate (right photo):
As you can see, the color of the soup doesn’t change much. It gets slightly less green and a bit more yellow. It will also taste like peas of course!
As I mentioned, you’ll need more broth for the pea protein soup. The base soup takes 2 cups of broth, and the pea protein version with 4 scoops has a total of 4 cups of broth to achieve the same creamy texture.
If adding a different amount of pea protein isolate, calculate 1/2 cup of broth per 30 gram/1 oz scoop of protein.
If needed, after puréeing, you can still add more broth to adjust the soup texture, if you prefer a thinner soup.
The best blender for soup
This high protein keto Irish soup has a wonderful thick and creamy texture, because it’s puréed until there’s not one chunk of veggies left behind.
To get a really smooth, clump free protein soup, you’ll need to use a blender or food processor. You can get a fine creamy soup with either, but I 100% recommend using an immersion blender (aka a stick blender).
If all you have is a jar blender, or maybe a food processor, you can totally use it, following these safety tips. But if you make soup often, please consider getting an immersion blender. Using a jar blender is a lot more work! Let me tell you why…
My soup disaster
Once my immersion blender was in the dishwasher and I had some hot keto soup that needed puréeing. So, instead of just turning off the stove and literally sticking the stick blender into the pan and done, this is what happened:
I set up my heavy blender, and try to transfer the soup from the saucepan into the glass jar. The pan doesn’t have a pouring lip, I can’t control the soup flow and it starts going everywhere…
I stop to wipe soup from the sides of the saucepan, the outside of the blender jar and the counter.
Then I use a ladle to scoop up the remaining soup little by little into the blender jar.
I close the blender lid and start blending the soup. It seems to be doing fine, until the lid shoots straight up and an explosion of soup splashes against the bottom of my cabinets and the wall. I proceed to wipe everything out. Again.
I continue blending, this time without the lid. The soup is finally puréed and creamy. It grew cold, though. So I transfer it back to the pan to warm it up before serving… I don’t feel like eating soup anymore!
How to purée soup in a blender
Learn from my mistake – to avoid going through a soup explosion disaster, here are some safety tips to cream soup in a regular blender:
- Wait for hot soup to cool down for a few minutes – never add boiling soup into a blender!
- Fill the blender just up to half capacity. One third full is even better.
- Put the lid on the blender without the center cap – the hole must be open to allow for release of pressure.
- Hold a folded cloth towel on top of the lid.
- Blend the soup (Finally!)
- Transfer puréed soup into a different container, and repeat steps with the remaining soup.
Storage and freezing
The keto leek and zucchini soup can be stored (after cooled) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
You can also freeze the soup: separate it into single portions, or whatever amount you want to serve, into freezer safe airtight containers. This pea protein soup will keep good frozen for up to 2 months.
Thaw the soup by leaving it in the fridge overnight, then heat it in a saucepan before serving. Or, simply warm it in the microwave for a few minutes! Remember to stop and stir the soup often so the soup will heat evenly.
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