This keto version is a modern twist on a comforting classic
This isn’t your grandmother’s chicken noodle soup.
El Lago’s Darin “Boot” Clark has created a recipe he promises will nourish your body and soul while delivering a spicy flavor punch.
“It’s a real chicken soup for the soul,” Clark said. “I usually make it all year-round, once or twice a month. It’s an old-school recipe with dump measurements and it doesn’t have noodles, so it is good for people on the keto diet.”
Clark is an El Lago City Council member and a corporate recruiter for Burrow Global. He began following a keto diet two years ago on the advice of his cardiologist, and credits the low-carb diet with helping him to lose weight and improve his health, he said.
Low-carb diets generally limit foods like bread, pasta and sugar and emphasizes proteins and fats.
“I’ve lost 35 pounds on the diet and got my diabetes under control,” Clark said. “It has saved my life.”
The keto diet is perfect for Clark, who has been a fisherman and hunter since junior high school, he said.
“I try to eat as much wild game as I can,” he said. “I’m a conservation hunter, not a trophy hunter. Everything I kill is to eat and I’m proud to be able to provide for my family that way.”
Clark enjoys taking family and friends hunting, which he believes is a good, healthy diversion from TV and computer screens, and he even works as a hunting guide for several ranches around Texas, he said.
“I love waking up outside and hearing the Earth come to life,” he said. “That’s my church.”
Duck, quail, flounder, wild hogs and red stag all are favorites to hunt and eat, and they fill the three freezers at the home he shares with his wife Sandra, a yoga instructor, he said.
An adventurous eater, Clark also has tried alligator and frog, he said.
“If it’s a meat, I’ve probably had it,” he said.
Clark learned to cook from his parents, who both were accomplished cooks and would serve home-cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners. They cooked all kinds of food, with goulash being a family favorite.
He can trace his heritage to Holland and Germany and he recently discovered that his ancestors were one of seven families who founded Luxembourg.
“It’s a tiny country near Germany that is also a space city, just like Clear Lake, which is cool,” he said.
He’d love to visit one day, but in the meantime there’s plenty more hunting and fishing to do, he said.
Keto Chicken Soup for the Soul
1 box of chicken stock (32 ounces, low sodium)
1 box of chicken bone stock (32 ounces, low sodium)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ a red onion, chopped
½ a white onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
½ cup of okra, chopped
½ cup of celery, chopped
1 rotisserie chicken
Dusting of Willie Pete Chicken Seasoning
Dusting of Willie Pete Gunpowder Seasoning
Dusting of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
Pinch of garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne powder
Pour both the boxes of chicken stock into a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the bell pepper, onions, cilantro, okra and celery. While the vegetables are cooking, shred the rotisserie chicken using two forks. If you have more time, boil a chicken and shred it when cooked.
Add the cooked and shredded chicken to the broth and boil for 5 minutes. Add the two Willie Pete’s seasonings and the Tony Chachere seasoning. (Willie Pete is a Texas-based, veteran-owned brand. You can buy the seasoning online.) All seasoning is to taste. Recommended method is shaking until there is a light sheen on the surface of the soup.
Simmer the soup for 2 hours. Taste the soup and add garlic powder and cayenne powder and extra Willie Pete/Tony Chachere seasoning as necessary. Cook for 5-10 more minutes. Serve with croutons made from toasted keto bagels and a handful of grated cheese.