The 25 Best Soups to Eat When You're Sick
Feeling under the weather? Try making one of these healthy soup recipes for when you're sick. Though no specific food will cure the cold or flu, there are several nutritious foods that can help your immune system stay fueled and ready to help you heal up quickly. These recipes feature plenty of nutrient-rich ingredients including vegetables, like spinach and carrots, and high-fiber whole grains, like barley and rice. Broth-based soups are helpful, as it's important to stay hydrated when you're not feeling well. Recipes like Baked Vegetable Soup and Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Kale are flavorful and comforting for days when you need an easy, delicious nutrition boost.
Classic Chicken Soup
Classic chicken noodle soup gets a healthy upgrade with low-sodium chicken broth, whole-wheat egg noodles and tons of vegetables. To get a homemade stock flavor using store-bought broth, we simmer bone-in chicken breasts in the broth before adding the rest of the soup ingredients. But you're short on time, feel free to use pre-cooked chicken and start the recipe at step 2.
Baked Vegetable Soup
Originally prepared in the wood-burning hearths of Italian homes, this peasant-style healthy vegetable soup recipe is simple to make in a modern oven. Brimming with artichokes, mushrooms, zucchini and leeks, this easy soup heats up the house as it becomes the perfect warming meal.
Bean & Barley Soup
This hearty bean and barley soup tastes like it has simmered for hours, but actually it's quite quick to throw together. Plus this recipe for healthy bean and barley soup freezes beautifully. If you have cooked barley on hand, omit the quick-cooking barley and stir in 1 1/2 cups cooked barley along with the broth in Step 2.
This vegetable-packed minestrone soup recipe is inspired by a popular Weight Watchers vegetable soup recipe. It makes a big pot of soup, so keep some in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and freeze the rest in single-serve portions. That way you always have an easy, delicious vegetable soup to start your meal or to eat for lunch. Think of this vegetable minestrone recipe as a starting point for other healthy soup variations, too: toss in leftover chopped cooked chicken or whole-wheat pasta or brown rice to make it more satisfying.
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Kale
This healthy, easy soup is loaded with vegetables, protein and fiber to keep you full and fueled. Serve this winter soup topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and a side of garlic toast.
Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup
Serve this zesty bean and barley soup garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
Spicy Vegetable Soup
Fresh basil adds a bright spark to this vinegary, vegetable-stuffed soup, full of the traditional flavors of the Mediterranean. Alternatively, pesto adds a nutty richness to the soup.
Southwestern Vegetable & Chicken Soup
Who wouldn't want to eat their vegetables when they're tucked into a fragrant broth with bits of tasty chicken and spiked with a shot of fresh lime and cilantro? This healthy chicken vegetable soup seems even richer with the smoky flavor from roasted poblano peppers and garlic. Serve this healthy chicken soup recipe with tortilla chips.
Turkey and Rice Soup
Use cooked turkey or chicken breast and plenty of veggies to make a delicious, classic soup in only 30 minutes.
Vegan Minestrone Soup
Is minestrone soup vegan? It can be, with the right ingredients! This vegan minestrone soup is heavy on the green vegetables (it has peas, zucchini and kale, to name a few!), setting this quick healthy soup recipe apart from the rest. If you miss the tomatoes, feel free to add them to the mix. Last but not least, enjoy the crispy garlic croutons that float on top and soak up the flavorful broth.
Chicken & Kale Soup
This easy chicken and kale soup will keep you warm on a cold and rainy day or any day that calls for a simple, hearty soup. For convenience, you can make this soup with frozen kale without the need to thaw it beforehand.
Lentil & Root Veggie Soup
French green lentils and black lentils hold up well to long, slow cooking without becoming mushy. Save the rinds from used-up blocks of Parmesan in a resealable plastic bag or tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. They give soup broths a rich, savory flavor.
Turkey, Pasta & Vegetable Soup
This simple, clean turkey soup is full of vegetables and shredded turkey, making it perfect for after the holidays when you have leftovers on hand. Don't forget to save your Parmesan rinds! Adding one to a soup like this adds a rich umami flavor.
Vegetable Barley Soup
This warming vegetable barley soup uses easy-to-find produce and frozen veggies, making prep simple and easy. It makes plenty to feed a hungry family, plus it freezes beautifully so leftovers can be enjoyed again and again.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & Wild Rice Soup with Asparagus & Peas
Use your crock pot all year with this healthy slow-cooker chicken soup recipe with fresh spring ingredients. Adding the asparagus and peas to the slow cooker for the last 20 minutes of cooking and leaving the lid off ensures that the vegetables stay bright green and are perfectly done without getting mushy.
Slow-Cooker Italian Vegetable & Farro Soup
The farro--an ancient whole grain rich in iron and fiber--and butternut squash make this slow-cooker soup hearty and filling. If you're looking for an easy way to work whole grains into your diet, this is it.
Vegan Potato-Leek Soup
This rustic vegan potato-leek soup proves you don't need cream to make a hearty soup. The recipe calls for two types of potato--red potatoes, which hold their shape and add color to the soup, and russet potatoes, which break down slightly when cooked, adding texture and body to the soup. And not only is this comforting soup vegan--it's also gluten-free. Serve with a salad and crusty bread for a healthy dinner.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable & Chicken Meatball Soup
Don't skip cooking the onions for the meatballs. This step softens the onions so they more easily add their sweet flavor to the meatball mixture. Best part? This slow-cooker meatball soup only requires 25 minutes of hands-on time.
Roasted Tomato and Vegetable Soup
This veggie-packed side-dish vegetable soup can be made in the slow cooker. Just make a few tweaks (see Variation).
Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup with Zucchini & Hominy
This excellent chicken soup--packed with hearty, nutritious ingredients--is easy to make and may become your new standby. It makes enough to freeze a portion for easy lunches or when you need to deliver food to someone in a pinch.
Lemony Lentil Soup with Collards
You don't need broth for this lentil soup recipe--it's rich thanks to the browned bits in the bottom of the pan that meld into the soup, packing it with flavor. Ground coriander, from the seed of the cilantro plant, has a floral, citrusy flavor that dovetails nicely with the lemon.
Cabbage Diet Soup
Loaded with cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, tomato and plenty of seasoning, this healthy vegetable soup packs in lots of flavor and is ultra-satisfying. This easy recipe makes a big batch for lunches or veggie-packed snacks all week. If you want to bump up the satisfaction factor even more, top with a little cheese or avocado.
Vegan Gnocchi Soup
This Italian-inspired vegetable-packed soup features flavorful herbs, mushrooms, kale and tomatoes. Shelf-stable potato gnocchi are vegan, but if you want to make this soup gluten-free or lower in carbs, try cauliflower gnocchi instead.
Turkey Meatball Soup
Homemade turkey meatballs are the star of this hearty soup. Full of spinach, macaroni and carrots and topped with grated Parmesan, this recipe takes just about an hour from start to finish.
Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
This easy soup recipe cooks up quickly thanks to the use of an electric pressure cooker or multicooker, like the Instant Pot. It packs in tons of filling veggies without packing on the calories. Plus, it happens to be entirely plant-based. If you aren't eating vegan, top it with a little Parmesan cheese or pesto to add even more flavor.