6 Healthy soups to boost your immune system (recipes included)
05/25/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
6 Healthy soups to boost your immune system (recipes included)

There are few things cozier than a pot of soup simmering on the stove. Plus, soup is one of the most hassle-free dishes you can make. Just toss the ingredients into a pot and let them cook for a few minutes so that the flavors develop.

Soups make great immune-boosting foods, too. Certain recipes call for health-promoting ingredients, like garlic, ginger and turmeric. Get cooking and whip up these delicious, heartwarming soups:

Garlic mushroom soup

Garlic and mushrooms are great for boosting immune health. For starters, garlic has powerful compounds that help your immune system ward off foreign invaders. On the other hand, mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, a nutrient critical for immune function. Here’s a recipe that features both of these immune-boosting foods:

Brighteon.TV

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce dried mixed mushrooms (e.g., shiitake, porcini)
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, peeled and crushed
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon powder or 1 cube
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the dried mushrooms in a bowl. Leave them to soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof pan and add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the mushrooms and their water to the pan. Add the vegetable bouillon powder or cube.
  4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 2 hours. Serve with crusty bread.

Bone broth borscht

This red-pink soup features two immune-boosting ingredients: bone broth and beets. Bone broth is made from boiling animal bones and connective tissue. It’s often used as a base for soups and gravies, but some people drink it on its own. Beets are a great source of nutrients critical for immune health, such as iron and vitamin C.

Ingredients:

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 beets, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1–2 quarts of beef bone broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Preparation:

  1. In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until warm but not hot.
  2. Add the onion, celery, fennel and carrots. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 2–3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for another 1–2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a saucepan, then add the bone broth and beets. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Once the vegetables are tender, add the juice of 1/4 lemon and the remaining olive oil.

Green detox soup

Detoxing allows you to cleanse and rejuvenate your body. Examples of foods for detox include spinach, parsley and cilantro. This recipe for green detox soup features all three, plus other immune-boosting ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 handfuls fresh spinach and kale
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 chopped leek
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups shelled sweet peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Wash and chop the broccoli, zucchini, spinach, kale and sweet peas. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until warm.
  3. Add leeks. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add broccoli, zucchini and kale. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Stir.
  6. Add spinach and sweet peas. Simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  7. Pour the soup into a blender along with lemon juice, cilantro and parsley. Puree until smooth.
  8. Serve in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with more cilantro.

Coconut, ginger and turmeric soup

Ginger and turmeric are incredible superfoods by themselves. When used together in a dish, these two create a mildly spicy but refreshing sensation that’s perfect for clearing the lungs and sinuses.

Ingredients:

  • 1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 or 1 lemon
  • 1 quart homemade bone broth
  • 1 3/4 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons raw virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric or a knob of fresh turmeric, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • A small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Put all the ingredients except for the cilantro and coconut oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Simmer for 5–10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Finish with cilantro and coconut oil. Serve.

Roasted cauliflower and fennel soup

Roasted vegetables give this soup a smoky, savory flavor. Plus, vegetables like garlic, onion, spinach and fennel are loaded with immune-boosting nutrients, such as fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, fronds set aside
  • 1 small to medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium head of garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup cooked grains, for serving
  • Olive oil
  • Fennel fronds, as desired

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oven to 415 F. Toss fennel with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on a baking sheet. Do the same for the cauliflower florets but on a separate baking sheet.
  2. Take a square piece of aluminum foil and drizzle it with olive oil. Place the garlic head on the foil. Wrap it securely around the garlic head.
  3. Roast the fennel for 20–25 minutes, the cauliflower for 30–35 minutes and the garlic for 30 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat if the vegetables aren’t done roasting yet.
  6. Once the vegetables are done roasting, add them to the pot with the broth. Let the garlic cool for a bit, then squeeze the cloves out of the skin directly into the pot.
  7. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in spinach. Let cool for 5–10 minutes.
  8. Puree with a stick blender or a regular blender. Serve with the cooked grains and the fennel fronds.

Chicken zoodle soup

Zoodles, or zucchini noodles, is a gluten-free pasta substitute. Using zoodles for your soups or pasta allows you to eat more vegetables while also ditching store-bought noodles, which are often made from refined grains.

Ingredients:

  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 10 1/2 ounces zucchini noodles
  • 3 1/2 ounces chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 ounces diced carrots
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons homemade poultry seasoning (sage, thyme and parsley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. To a pressure cooker, add the breasts, onion, carrots, celery, broth and seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Close the lid and seal the vent. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Quick-release the steam.
  3. Remove the chicken from the soup. Shred it using two forks, then return it to the soup.
  4. Add the zucchini noodles to the soup and let sit until soft, around 5–10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Soups make great accompaniments to meat and fish dishes, roasted vegetables and salad bowls. Using the right ingredients, you can even make immune-boosting soups for better protection against illnesses.

Sources:

MindBodyGreen.com

URMC.Rochester.edu

HSPH.Harvard.edu

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