Immune-Boosting Vegetable Soup and Broth

Homemade Vegetable Soup — This homemade vegetable soup is packed with good-for-you ingredients. It’s perfect for when you have a cold or are craving a warm bowl of soup! 

Homemade Vegetable Soup recipe

Homemade Vegetable Soup and Broth Recipe

‘Tis the season for colds, flus, and sickey germs everywhere. This easy vegetable soup is the perfect antidote to all that.

It’s so easy to make by just chopping up veggies, putting them into a pot, covering with water, and letting it simmer for an hour or two.

I make this homemade vegetable soup for both the broth and the soup. I’d rather sip on a cup of warm broth than coffee when I feel my throat getting a little scratchy or when I have a weird “I may be coming down with something” feeling.

It makes about 6 quarts, and I usually strain off one or two quarts of just broth. It’s amazing how fast it goes when I sip on this instead of tea or coffee during the day.

Homemade Vegetable Soup in white bowl

This easy vegetable soup is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, Paleo-friendly, New Year’s Resolutions-friendly, and really just an all-around a soup that can do no wrong.

It’s mild in taste, with a very minor punch from the ginger, and you can control how much punch there is based on how long you let the piece of ginger simmer before removing it. Although there’s both an onion and a leek, there’s no overt oniony flavor.

Just chop all the veggies, add everything all at once to the pot, cover with water, and you’re done.

Fast, easy, nothing fussy. My kind of recipe.

Because there’s no noodles, animal protein, tofu, nuts, or anything besides soft, simmered vegetables, it’s a light soup that’s easily digestible, although hearty enough to fill you as it warms you from the inside out.

Homemade Vegetable broth soup in cup

What’s in Homemade Vegetable Soup? 

I chose every ingredient for a specific reason based on the healing properties. The trace micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals in the broth are so soothing and comforting when I feel a little off. After just sipping on one cup, I literally feel a renewed energy. Plants, they really do a body good.

In no way is this a comprehensive list of benefits, but the highlights for each ingredient follow:

Carrots — Rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A helps with ocular health and assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver.

Onions and Leeks — The phytochemicals in onions improve how Vitamin C works, so you get improved immunity, and they reduce inflammation. Onions contain chromium, which assists in regulating blood sugar.

Bok Choy — Packed with vitamins A, C, and K. One cup of cooked bok choy provides more than 100% of the recommended dietary allowance of A, and close to two-thirds the RDA of C and K.

best vegetable soup in white bowl

Sweet Potatoes and Yams — Contain Vitamin D, which is critical for immune system and overall health. Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone, and is primarily made in our bodies as a result of getting adequate sunlight, but this time of year it can be tricky. Depleted D levels can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Also a great source of B6, Vit C, iron, and magnesium. which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral.

Mushrooms — Improved immune system function and a powerful antioxidant, great source of fiber, and aid in cardiovascular health. Provide a plant-based meaty quality.

Lemons — High in vitamin C, they have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting properties. They contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, and they’re alkaline-forming to help restore and balance body pH. Natural diuretic and good for digestion.

vegetable soup ingredients

Ginger — Anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial. Reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including vomiting, dizziness, nausea, and cold sweats.

Coconut Oil — The lauric acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi, helping to stave off infections.  In addition to helping with the immune system, it’s great for hair, skin, nails, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, aids in weight loss by helping digestion and regulating metabolism.

Turmeric — A natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it can work as well anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects. It’s a natural painkiller, cox-2 inhibitor, and natural liver detoxifier. It gives anything it’s cooked with a bright yellow glow.

how to make vegetable soup

How to Make Vegetable Soup

To make this hearty vegetable broth soup, simply chop up all the veggies and place them in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Fill the pot with roughly 6 quarts of water, leaving about an inch of headspace. 

Bring the vegetable soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer it, covered, for an hour. After an hour, taste the soup and remove the fresh ginger if desired. 

Simmer the soup for another 30 minutes to an hour, or until the flavors have married and the veggies have softened. 

how to make vegetable broth soup

Can I Make This in a Slow Cooker? 

Most likely, yes, but I’ve only ever made this recipe on the stove. If making this in a slow cooker, you may want to boil the carrots partway before adding them to the soup since they’re usually the last veggie to soften in the slow cooker. 

Can I Make This in an Instant Pot? 

Probably, but I haven’t tested it so I really can’t give you any specifics as to how to proceed. It’s very easy to make on the stovetop, which is how I always do it.

easy vegetable soup

Can I Add a Source of Protein to This Soup? 

Of course, but if you or a loved one are sick it might be tough for them to swallow and digest something like diced chicken. If you do want to add a source of protein to this easy vegetable soup, you may want to consider dicing it quite finely or using ground meat (to make swallowing easier). 

Can I Add Additional Spices to This Soup? 

Yep, feel free to doctor up this homemade vegetable soup as you see fit. 

homemade vegetable soup in white bowl next to spoon and veggies

Can I Freeze Homemade Vegetable Soup?

Yes, very easily. You’ll first need to let this vegetable broth soup cool completely before storing it in freezer-safe containers. I recommend storing this soup in glass jars, that way you can heat up an individual serving of homemade vegetable soup when the need arises. 

If you freeze the soup in microwave-safe containers, you don’t have to thaw the soup before reheating it. You can pop it directly into the microwave and you’ll have a bowl of warm soup ready in under 10 minutes. 

best soup for a cold

Tips for Making the Best Vegetable Soup

This is a supremely flexible vegetable broth soup in terms of the ingredients. If you don’t like one of the ingredients, can’t find it, or don’t have it on hand, omit it, no biggie. Have something else you think would be better? Great, try it.

Like all soups, adjusting the salt to taste is important. I’m extremely sodium sensitive and don’t salt the soup as a whole, but I add a couple shakes to the bowls of my family before serving, and it works just fine.

Finally, if you’re making this soup for someone who’s sick or has a scratchy throat, you may want to chop up the veggies into smaller pieces. I usually chop mine into 1-inch chunks; they soften up a lot while they cook, so they’re easy to chew and swallow. But if you’re making this vegetable broth soup for kiddos you may want to chop the veggies into even smaller pieces. 

Immune-Boosting Vegetable Soup and Broth (vegan, GF) - Easy soup that's healthy, nourishing, and keeps you healthy! Bye-bye germs!

Homemade Vegetable Soup and Broth

Homemade Vegetable Soup and Broth

This homemade vegetable soup is packed with good-for-you ingredients. It's perfect for when you have a cold or are craving a warm bowl of soup!

Yield: 6 quarts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium/large sweet white onion, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium/large leek, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks; use white and pale green parts, discard dark green or leafy parts
  • 1 baby bok choy, chopped into 1-inch chunks; discard top portion of jagged leaves (may substitute by using about half of full-size bok choy)
  • 2 medium or 1 large sweet potatoes or yams, unpeeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
  • juice of 1 medium/large lemon
  • 2 to 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, added whole and removed midway through simmering (1 tablespoon ground ginger may be substituted)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste; add before, during, or after simmering
  • about 6 quarts water

Instructions

    1. In a large stockpot (I used a large Le Creuset Cast-Iron Dutch Oven), combine all ingredients through black pepper.
    2. Fill pot with water, about 6 quarts, leaving about 1 inch headspace.
    3. Simmer covered over medium heat for about 1 hour. Taste soup and based on your preference for ginger intensity, remove the piece of ginger and discard.
    4. Simmer soup for about 90 to 120 minutes total or until all vegetables are very soft and flavors have married. During simmering, if broth level looks low or is reducing too much, add a few additional cups of water, as needed.
    5. Serve immediately. I drain about 2 quarts worth of broth, and the rest is vegetable soup.
    6. Soup will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Notes

Soup may be salted before, during, or after simmering; your choice when you want to salt it. I don’t salt the whole pot and let each family member salt their own bowl, to taste.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 97mg Carbohydrates: 13g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g

More Homemade Soup Recipes: 

Easy 30-Minute Tomato Basil Soup — Hearty yet HEALTHY, fast, easy, and loaded with great tomato-basil flavor!! The perfect soup to warm you up and keep you satisfied! Great for easy lunches and busy weeknights!!

Slow Cooker Beef Chili — Easy, hearty comfort food that’s packed with flavor that develops beautifully as the chili simmers away in your slow cooker.

30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup — The soup is easy, ready in 30-minutes, and has all the comforting qualities you want in classic chicken noodle soup.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup — Everything I love about baked potatoes but in soup form. It’s easy, loaded with so many good things, and packed with flavor.

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup — This is the best broccoli cheese soup. Not only that, it’s some of the best soup I’ve ever tasted, period.

Easy Mushroom Vegetable Soup — Comforting yet light and with plenty of greens, the soup is made from common fridge and pantry items and ready in less than 30 minutes.

30-Minute White Chicken Chili — Hearty, healthy, loaded with tender chicken, and packed with bold flavor!! Fast and easy comfort food that everyone loves!! It’ll be on rotation all winter!!

134 comments on “Immune-Boosting Vegetable Soup and Broth”

  1. It is perfect soup weather! Looks warm and nuticious! Yum!

  2. I love EVERYTHING about this! And with the cooler weather here in SF, we could really use this. And gorgeous Le Creuset. I just bought the red one the other day!

    • The night I made this, we had just just recently got home from Aruba, it was freezing, I was getting sick, Skylar was getting sick, and I was like here goes! It totally hit the spot and we had leftovers for half a week – perfect!

      And that LeCreuset is like 10 years old! My mother gave it to me like 10 houses/apartments ago, seriously, and at the time I was not into cooking much of anything and thought WHAT am I going to do with this thing. Well, I use it 1x a month and love it. Congrats on your red one! I need a shallow baking dish like you have. I need to go hit up TJ Maxx :)

  3. That “coming down with something” feeling is the worst and I definitely crave hot liquids during that time. This veggie soup looks like the perfect antidote as I find coffee and tea unappealing when I’m sick for some reason. Pinned!

  4. Just what we need for the season of colds! I love all the things you added into this soup even including coconut oil!!! Bokchoy is so good with everything and ginger – a great addition!

  5. I think this would be great if you blended it up to a creamy soup in the blender! I must point out that I noticed that there was an orange fleshed sweet potato in the picture of all the veggies chopped up in the pot, but the other pictures show a yellow/white fleshed one :)Have you ever tried Asian/Indian/Japanese sweet potatoes? I love them! They are much much dryer, denser, and sweeter than the orange and yellow type!

  6. Oh this is perfect for this time of year! It just looks like it warms your soul and has vitamins and nutrients out the wazoo. I’m tempted to make a big batch and pass it out tomorrow in the office. Heard more than a few sniffles today…

  7. If you have a weird you may be coming down with something feeling, then maybe you really ARE coming down with something weird. ;)

  8. Averie – I am SO glad I just came across your site via Pinterest (those Peanut Butter Monster Cookie Bars…. Holy YUM) because it is fabulous. I am going to be clicking around all night, I can already tell. This soup recipe is fantastic. Exactly what I needed to see right now, as I have some sickies in the family to take care of tomorrow. Thanks for being awesome! I will be a new regular around here :)

    Xo,

    Jordan

  9. Your timing is perfect! I am rarely sick, but have been down the past 4 days with some sort of fever/cough/scratchy throat. I’m so tired of drinking tea! Will defnitely make this today and let you know how it goes. Thanks!

  10. Yummy! I usually eat egg drop soup if I am sick but this would be a great homemade option!

  11. Ginger is so so good for you and your immune system.
    Wonderful, healthy broth Av!

  12. A big bowl of this soup is just what I need, love the fresh ginger and turmeric!

  13. Love it! Totally off topic, but you have the cutest bowls and food props, especially after scrolling through your “Related Posts” tab. Next time you have a garage sale, let me know so I can head down your way!

    P.S. – The post says “boy choy” instead of bok choy in one place. Silly autocorrect!

    • I fixed boy choy…thanks for noticing :)

      Thanks for the compliments on my props. They’re a mix of high and low, from Antrho and super expensive wood planks to $1 thrift store finds. And the culmination of 5 years of hunting and scavenging for them. Thanks for saying you like them. That’s a huge compliment for me! :)

  14. I love soup like this and make it all the time. I have never added ginger but it sounds great. I eat all these foods all the time. Staying healthy is my top priority. I also love adding some Shirataki noodles to make it a little heartier without adding tons of calories.

    • The ginger just adds a nice little kick and it’s soooo good for you with all the immune boosting properties it has. It’s one of those can’t-hurt items. And those shirataki noodles would be perfect in here!

  15. So THIS is the soup you were talking about! I think I should make this and keep it on hand for the next month. Take THAT crummy cold. Totally beautiful, Averie. Also I am really digging the scritchy-scratchy (technical term) background here. It makes me wanna use the word apothecary.
    Have a great weekend!!!

    • I paid a small fortune for that surface. It’s 200+ years old and had to stalk that piece forever to get it…so thanks for noticing it :) And apothecary…yes! That’s a perfect vibe for the vibe of this soup!

  16. I just finished an early lunch of this terrific soup!! I easily found everything for the recipe, and you put so much thought into picking different veggies and spices for their health benefits, so I wanted to follow it exactly. I love ginger, so I just grated it right in. The color is beautiful and the veggie mix is different than the “usual suspects” which I think gives it a little ethnic vibe. Impressive recipe in terms of nutrition and taste (with leftovers to enjoy for several days)!! And….the cookie dough is chilling this afternoon.

    • Thanks for trying this, Paula! And glad you liked it and I’m impressed you followed the recipe to the letter, not ad-libbing! And yes, nice leftovers to tide you over for a week or so! And yay for that cookie dough that’s chilling! I hope they live up to expectations! Keep me posted!

  17. How perfect is this for the extreme cold we’ve been having!

  18. This post came at the perfect time, Averie. I’m slowly recovering from the worst flu I’ve had in years and just looking at these beautiful photos of this vibrant, flavourful, healthy soup is making me feel better. You’ve packed it full of everything delicious that I love to eat. As soon as I’m back on my feet, I’m making this!

    • So sorry you’re sick! Well this is super easy. Just put the veggies in a pot, cover with water, simmer. Done. If you can chop veggies and just get them into the pot, you’re home free. Hope you’re back up to speed soon!

  19. Averie, this was delicious and so easy to make. I just enjoyed a bowl of it – now I’m just waiting for it to work’s its magic and help kick this cold to the curb. Thanks for another fantastic recipe!!

  20. I love this :) definitely going to keep this recipe handy!

  21. Before I make this great sounding soup, why coconut oil? My husband cannot take coconut. Should we use something else. need to find if our food store carries bok choy. I always have broccoli, cauliflower. or spinach on hand so I could also add them. Enjoyed reading the benefits of the veggies. When sick we like the broth, so may freeze some of it for whenever.
    Thanks

  22. Love this recipe! I’ve made it a few times now. I linked your page from my blog, hope you don’t mind

  23. This looks so good! I’m a big fan of vegetable soups. Quick question though–if I were to add rice to this (probably a mix of white and wild, that’s just what I already have in my kitchen), would you recommend putting it in to start with everything else, or adding it at some point later in the process?

    • You know I am not really sure what to say since I haven’t tried it with rice. You could cook the rice separately and then just add it in at the end, which is a guarantee to get it to work. But in terms of doing a one-pot recipe, I am not really sure when to advise you to add it since I haven’t experimented.

  24. LOVED this! The tumeric and lemon were delicious. I added egg noodles and substituted kale that I cut into strips similar size to the egg noodle size and cooked both the noodles and kale together the last 10 minutes. SO grateful for a delicious vegetarian alternative to chicken noodle.

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