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Ground almonds (almond meal or almond flour) can be used as a substitute for potatoes or flour in thickening soups. Not only is it a healthier option, but it is also lower in carbohydrates and of course gluten-free. Always check the ingredients if you have bought this ready-made; some companies might mix in other nuts such as peanuts.

The problem with making soups low in carbohydrate is that they are often too runny and arrowroot powder doesn’t mix well with dairy products, so adding cream in the end would be a tad problematic. That is why this recipe really caught my eye. It looked odd at first, making a soup with no liquids added before blending. I had little hope that this would turn out well when I saw the mush that was happening in my pot, but it turned out find (more than fine) in the end. You should give it a try if you enjoy chicken.

The recipe was originally from a book called 400 soups. I used much more chicken and omitted some ingredients that I didn’t have or didn’t like. For my version, you will need:

– 2 boneless chicken thighs, cubed and with fatty parts trimmed off

– 1 chili pepper, chopped roughly

– 1 onion, chopped

– 3/4 cup ground almond

– 1 teaspoon minced ginger

– 3 tablespoons butter

– chopped fresh coriander, to taste (keep some whole leaves for garnish)

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon ground pepper

– 400ml water

– cream, to taste

In a deep skillet, melt the butter and add onions, chili and ginger. Cook for a few minutes without browning. Add the cubed chicken and ground almonds and stir until the chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and coriander. Mix thoroughly and switch the heat off. Transfer your mixture to a blender. You might be feeling that it looks far too dry to blend at this point, but it will work trust me…

Blend for about one minute on high until the mixture is homogeneous. Add your water and continue to blend. Transfer your soup back to the skillet and heat until boiling for 1-2 minutes. Turn down the heat and add cream (this may be omitted if you prefer).

Taste to check whether it needs more salt or pepper. I decided to add more of both to mine. Garnish with more fresh coriander.

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