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Cold and flu season is the time of year to keep your immune system in tip top shape. Including foods that activate your immune system to fight invaders can help keep you healthy.
I want to share with you my favorite therapeutic immune boosting soup recipe. Make it immediately when you or a family member feels run down. Each ingredient boosts immune health, and the bone broth base increases killer T cell activity to keep you healthy or help you recover quickly if you’re feeling run down. It’s fast, easy, delicious, comforting, customizable, and it WORKS. Makes enough for three meals.
Read more tips for fighting cold and flu here.
My anti-viral protocol is here.
Immune Soup (paleo, dairy free)
*3-4 cups bone broth (make it here or buy it here): chicken broth has been shown to increase killer T cell activity to boost your immune’s system ability to fight bacteria and viruses. Vegans or vegetarians can use vegetable or mushroom broth.
*5-10 cloves minced garlic: garlic’s sulfuric compounds make it effective against bacteria and infection. I always use as much as I can possibly tolerate.
*1-2 shredded carrots: high in beta carotene that converts to vitamin A. One of beta carotene’s jobs is to support the body’s mucus membranes, which line the respiratory and intestinal tracts, making it harder for bacteria to enter.
*1 small yellow onion, chopped: onions, like garlic, contain sulfur compounds along with quercetin, allicin and anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory effects that fight infection and bacteria.
*8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced: mushrooms are powerful immune builders and have been used to fight tumors in cancer treatment.
*3 tbsp minced fresh ginger root: eases nausea, is warming if you have the chills, and is anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
*3 cups spinach: high in iron and antioxidants. Supports white blood cell production.
*Juice of one lemon (optional): high in vitamin C
immune boosting spices: curry, turmeric, black pepper
Coat a dutch oven or stock pot with coconut oil (anti-bacterial and anti-viral) over medium-high heat. Add carrot, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook til a little soft, about 5 minutes. Cover with broth. Turn down to simmer, and cook about 15 minutes or until vegetables are as soft as you like. At this point you could also add cooked shredded chicken or shrimp. I’ll often poach a couple chicken breasts and shred them, or add leftover cooked chicken.
Add spinach and mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes until done. Add curry powder, turmeric (be careful as too much turmeric can make it bitter), and sea salt to taste. Remove from heat; add optional lemon juice. I also add a dash of tamari. Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve piping hot and enjoy.
Immune Boosting Soup
- Dutch oven
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 cups bone broth more on less depending on how thick you like it
- 5-10 cloves garlic however much you can handle. The more, the better!
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and woody stem part removed
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
- 3 cups torn spinach or use a bag of pre-washed
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken optional
- Coat a dutch oven or stock pot with coconut oil over medium-high heat.
- Add carrot, onion, garlic and ginger.
- Cook til a little soft, about 5 minutes. Cover with broth.
- Turn down to simmer, and cook about 15 minutes or until vegetables are as soft as you like.
- If using, add cooked shredded chicken or cooked shrimp.
- Add spinach and mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes until done.
- Add curry powder, turmeric, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat; add optional squeeze of lemon juice.
- Serve piping hot and enjoy.
Special Offer on High Quality Bone Broth
My friends over at Kettle & Fire are running an amazing offer with free broth and shipping. Get the deets here. Their organic chicken bone broth is the perfect complement to this soup and boosts immune health to boot!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.
Oh my goodness! This soup is FABULOUS!!!! My husband and I just made it tonight because we’re both feeling under the weather… WOW – Is it ever good!! It lifted our spirits because it is so delicious and it made the house smell wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! It has already earned a place in our regular rotation.
Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Thanks! I am going to make this. Looks so yummy!
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what to know to substitute for spinach. My friend is taking Coumadin medication.
Leafy greens don’t need to be avoided altogether on Coumadin, but you could choose a green lower in vitamin K, like swiss chard. Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/31226-green-leafy-vegetables-affect-coumadin/
I am definitely going to be trying this tomorrow and follow your site
Would adding leftover chicken or turkey negate the alkalizing effect of this soup?
No, that’s fine.
I’m wondering how much turmeric and curry powder to use? Thanks! This looks delicious!
Heather, I use as much as I can tolerate (I’m pretty brave, ha), which is usually more than a heaping teaspoon. If you’re not as brave, start with 1/2 teaspoon and add as much as you like to taste.
I prepared this soup for my family last night. They absolutely loved it. The warming properties of this soup work so well, especially on chilly nights. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Happy it was a hit!
I am making this today as soon as I go to the store for ingredients. I have a weakened immune system and doing everything I can to help boost it. Thanks for sharing.
I have made this soup lots of ways, chicken broth and left over chicken, beef broth and left over beef, added bacon and prawns. It tastes great every way and has made me enjoy eating broth. Thank you for this amazing recipe!!!
This soup looks amazing! I am trying to kick a cold that I’ve been flirting with and love all of these ingredients individually – can’t wait to combine and enjoy soon after making it. It’s quick and that caught my eye after a long day. Thank you for posting this recipe! Much appreciated in advance. 🙂
Can I keep the soup as healthy if I use a different kind of mushroom? I really don’t like the taste of shiitake.
Shiitake mushrooms offer potent immune benefits. Cordyceps and reishi do also, but you could use any mushrooms (though not all have immune boosting properties) or omit.
What do your recommend as a substitute for mushrooms? I can’t eat them or peppers.
Bethany, you could just leave the mushrooms out. There really isn’t a proper sub for them unfortunately.
This looks delicious. I am looking forward to trying it. I’m going to pin it.
With the garlic and onions would you not recommend this soup for SIBO?
You can make it and leave those out. You could use garlic oil and sub the spinach for chard. Everything else would be fine, but some SIBO people react to bone broth.
I just made this and am eating it now! This is so great for my sore throat. Will be sharing this with my friends and family!
Glad you enjoyed it Ashley; hope you feel better! Thanks for sharing 🙂