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Soups to Fight Colds and Flu

Updated on January 7, 2010

You Thought I Was Going to Start with Chicken Soup, Didn't You?

Chicken soup has been known to "cure" or at least lessen the symptoms of a cold or flu,  because chicken releases an amino acid called cysteine that helps maintain the structure of protein in the body.

There are many other foods that can boost our immunity and therefore, help prevent colds and flu. If we learn what these foods are, we will be better prepared when the cold and flu season hits our area.

Beef-Vegetable Soup

Oyster Stew with Chorizo Sausage


Zinc helps create a healthy immune system and heals wounds. Zinc is found in beef, oysters, pork, poultry, fortified cereal, yogurt and milk. Here are soups that contain zinc for healthy eating!

Beef-Vegetable Soup

1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 quarts water (8 cups)

4 beef bouillon cubes

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 bay leaves

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (10 oz) frozen corn

1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup green beans, frozen

1 cup carrots, sliced

1 cup celery, sliced

1/2 cup onion, chopped

Brown meat on all sides in olive oil, in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Drain. Stir in water, bouillon cubes, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring until bouillon cubes are dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Remove bay leaves.

Add tomatoes, corn, potatoes, green beans, carrots, celery and onion. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 more minutes.

Oyster Stew with Chorizo Sausage

1 package chorizo sausage (3 oz), cut lengthwise and sliced crosswise

1/2 cup onion

1 pint shucked oysters, undrained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup light cream or 1/2 and 1/2

2 cups milk

parsley for garnish

In a large pan, cook Chorizo sausage and onion until browned, 6-8 minutes. Drain, remove sausage from pan and set aside. Stir in oysters and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and milk. Heat through. Add reserved sausage and stir until heated. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley.

Mushroom-Noodle Soup

The mushrooms that promote immune function are shiitake, maitake and reishi. These can be purchased dried from your grocery store, or local health food stores. Amazon also sells them.

4-5 dried mushrooms, shiitake, maitake or reishi (or a combination)

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

1 Tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce

1 cup dried noodles

1 cup sour cream

Boil dried mushrooms in a quart of water for 5 minutes. Turn down heat and simmer, covered,  for 30 minutes. Remove stems, cut up tops. Return tops to stock. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Meanwhile cook noodles in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Add tamari or soy sauce to the mushroom soup toward the end of cooking. Add noodles and sour cream and heat through.


The beta-carotene from sweet potatoes produce vitamin A for our immune system to fight colds and flu.

Sweet Potato Soup with Leeks and Gorgonzola

4 large sweet potatoes

2 large leeks, washed and sliced

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 quart vegetable broth (4 cups)

4 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub sweet potatoes with vegetable oil. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 1 hour or until tender.When cool enough to handle, chop into 1 inch pieces.

Sauté the leeks and the sweet potato pieces in a little oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened and just beginning to turn brown.

In a stock pot or large pan, bring vegetable broth to a boil. Add leeks and sweet potatoes and turn down to a simmer. Meanwhile make a light sauce with 2 Tablespoons oil, cornstarch and a cup of the broth. Set aside.

Puree 2 cups of the sweet potato mixture in a blender and return to broth. Add the sauce and simmer 5 minutes more, stirring until thickened. Serve with 1 oz. cheese on top of each bowl of soup. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.


Garlic has an immune-building compound called "allicin." It is produced when garlic is finely chopped or crushed. The finer the chopping and the more intensive the crushing, the more "allicin" is generated and the stronger the medicinal effect. Cooking causes it to degrade, so adding it after the soup is cooked, is most beneficial for colds and flu.

Potato-Garlic Soup

3 potatoes, chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups Half and half

Salt and pepper

2 small or 1 large head garlic, finely chopped

Parmesan cheese or shredded cheddar cheese, to garnish

Pare potatoes. Cook with onion in chicken broth for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add half and half and heat through. Add salt and pepper, according to your taste. Before serving, add garlic and Parmesan.


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    • profile image

      ayesha 7 years ago

      thanku so much GOD bless u for ur sharing of thses soups

    • profile image

      ayesha 7 years ago

      thanku so much for these recipes GoG BLESS U FOR SHARING THEM

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      PaperNotes, these soups are fairly easy to make and the benefits are great! Thanks for your comment.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing those recipes. I sure hope they are easy to whip up.

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Tom T, sorry you're not feeling well. Hope you enjoy the soup and hope it makes you feel better.

    • Tom T profile image

      Tom T 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Soup of any kind is my all time favorite when I'm not feeling well. The potato garlic looks especially good! Thanks.

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      It is really good. I hope you try it and enjoy it!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      All these sound good, but the sweet potato soup sounds awesome!

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Thank you, alekhouse. I hope that you don't have the flu, but these soups will help build your immune system. I appreciate your support.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks for a terrific hub with great recipes. I especially like the Sweet Potato soup and the Vegetable Beef. I am definitely going to make them. Good nutrition info.

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      You're welcome, creativeone59. Thanks for your comment.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Hey, Thanks for great soups to ward of colds, thank you for sharing it. creativeone59