With the arrival of cold weather, winter is a great time to stay at home, avoid the elements, and enjoy a warming bowl of hot soup. But with winter often comes more sedentary days, as many exercise options are off-limits, and people turn to comfort food to get them through the long months.
Staying fit and healthy during winter can be a challenge, even for those on a low-carb diet. But a simple addition to your diet can turn your favorite soup recipes into a fat-burning boost.
Cooking With MCT Oil
MCT oil is a plant-based oil made with medium-chain triglycerides from coconut and palm oil. Due to their unique properties and size, consuming MCT oils in the absence of carbohydrates helps prompt the fat-burning state of ketosis, making it perfect for keto dieters. Even for those not on the ketogenic diet, MCT oil has many health benefits.
Supplement companies purify and sell MCT oil in liquid form, allowing for a wide range of uses. The oil does not change the taste of whatever liquid you add it to, making it ideal for both cooking and baking applications. Remember that every cooking oil has a unique smoke point; MCT oil smokes at 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
The flavorless oil works well in various recipes with liquid components, including smoothies, salad dressings, and soups. As a general rule of thumb, use one or two tablespoons of the supplement when you make a soup from scratch and mix in MCT oil. For recipe inspiration, take a look at these healthy soup recipes that will warm your body and soul on a cold winter day.
5 Hot Soup with MCT Oil Recipes
1. Creamy Asparagus Soup
Packed with healthy asparagus, a great source of folic acid and vitamins A, B6, and C, this rich soup only requires a few ingredients. Simply saute asparagus in two tablespoons of MCT oil with seasoning until golden, then cook in vegetable broth until tender. From there, use a blender to puree the soup and stir in the heavy cream. The process will result in a smooth, creamy, keto-friendly soup that you can season with parsley, dill, or any herb you prefer.
2. Thai Coconut and Chicken Soup
This hearty Asian-influenced and keto-friendly soup makes a perfect light meal. The recipe has a coconut milk base, which you combine with chicken broth and cubed chicken.
Starting with two tablespoons of MCT oil at medium heat, add ginger and diced shitake mushrooms before combining with the broth and coconut milk. Finally, add the chicken and simmer until the chicken cooks through. If you wish, add fish sauce to taste while cooking. You can add lime juice for a slightly sour kick, herbs for garnish, or a drizzle of chili oil for spice when the soup is done.
3. Loaded Tomato Soup
Is there anything more soothing than a rich and creamy tomato soup? This loaded tomato soup recipe is a heartier take on the homestyle classic, and adding MCT oil into the mix gives the recipe an extra health kick.
You’ll need fresh or canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, onions, carrots or celery, and seasoning to make the base. After sauteing the onions and carrots, add the tomatoes, broth, salt, and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend them with basil, then give the soup some richness with cream. If you’re looking for a vegan variation, raw cashews added to the simmering tomatoes will give you the same texture once blended.
This soup makes a perfect canvas—you can add croutons for crunch, more diced tomatoes for texture, or cheese for added richness.
4. Sausage, Butternut Squash, and Kale Soup
With only six ingredients, this flavorful keto-friendly recipe couldn’t be simpler. Take a package of Italian turkey sausage links without casing and crumble in a pan, and cook for about eight minutes. Add chicken or vegetable broth, a medium butternut squash cut into cubes, and one to two tablespoons of MCT oil and bring to a boil.
As the soup cooks, gradually add in the kale, letting it wilt before adding more. Reduce the heat and then simmer for 20 minutes, then add parmesan cheese on top before serving.
5. Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Smooth, creamy soups hit the spot on a cold winter day. To make cream of cauliflower soup, start by heating one to two tablespoons of MCT oil in a large pot. Next, add the diced yellow onion and cook for about six minutes. Add a minced clove of garlic, followed a minute later by six cups of the broth of your choice, three sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf, and a large head of cauliflower cut into florets. Continue to cook for up to 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is nice and tender.
After removing the herbs, blend the soup and mix with a quarter cup of cream or milk. You’ll have a savory, keto-friendly, and vegetable-forward soup you can garnish as you like.
Savory Fat-burning Soups for Winter Weather
These five soups all call for oil, and MCT oil makes a perfect healthy substitute to keep your body working at its peak. In the upcoming winter months, try out these tried and true soup recipes with a little MCT oil for health perks.