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. This recipe looks fantastic! I want to try it right away, but want to put it in my slow cooker. What time and heat setting ( high or low) would I use on my slow cooker for this recipe?
    Thank you in advance!

    • I haven’t tested it using a slow-cooker but in order to get the carrots to cook through properly, you may want to boil them for a bit before adding them to the s.c. or they could be kind of crunchy! Unless you plan to cook the soup for a long time….6+ hours. Just play around with it!

  2. Averie, you’re awesome! I’ve most likely seen your posts & tried them before, but today I’m here to say thanks for caring enough take the effort; creativity; time; thoughtfulness and of course the photos you post… We are of like minds, the sodium thing, useing healthy ingredients to heal/for preventative, a holistic approach to eating & living, it’s not as difficult as many think. I could go on & on, but for now, I’m going to whip up a batch of the imune-boost soup…
    One little tip that I do is always make my own stock, veg; chic; beef by soaking the veg in a sink of water, first with baking soda, then clear water, until the water is clean, then when I prep my veg for whatever I making,I add the stuff one would normally throw away in a stock pot, add purified water & herbs in a bouquet garne or just toss them in there depending on whether it’s intended for a clear presentation or not? As you so graciously said, substitute anything you don’t like…then of course I strain out the veg, and BOOM…(w/chick/beef, I just throw the bones in a pot w/veg & bingo)…Thanks again, Andrea
    ,,

  3. This may be a silly question, but what does “combine all ingredients through black pepper” mean?

  4. I was referring to “through black pepper” I just assumed it meant including black pepper? Thank you for the quick response.

  5. Hey Averie,
    i was wondering if you are using fresh tumeric or dried? Thanks in advance!

  6. omg loved making this soup (so easy!) and eating this soup (so delicious!). It is the perfect thing for a cold. Very healthy too. Thanks so much Averie! I got a little confused on the 1 baby bok choy… do you literately mean 1 of them? The baby bok choy I bought are super tiny (the size of a plum). Just so I know for next time (and there will be a next time!) :)

  7. Niece simple and nourishing vegetables soup well explain with knowlege of each vegetales what it does to the bidy system ..Thank you

  8. Love this recipe, used the leftover broth as stock in a pumpkin soup and it was AMAZING. Thanks :)

    • That’s wonderful to hear! Funny that you just made a pumpkin soup in a typically ‘non pumpkin’ time of year. I just made one too…because it’s always pumpkin season for me!

  9. This soup was incredible! Hadn’t been feeling well and wanted a nice soup to help me feel better. This was filling and almost immediately made me feel better. I won’t say how many bowls I had lol, but it was delicious

  10. I made this soup yesterday and it is delicious. I am going to tinker with it to make it more keto friendly, but I made it primarily for my neighbor who is vegan due to kidney issues and it made a huge pot for less than 10$ and it fed me, my neighbor and wife and another elderly neighbor with plenty for our lunches today. Great recipe!

    Rating: 5
  11. I need to make this recipe when we are not sick..but it is so easy and amazing when we are. I do add kale (any reason it isn’t there from the beginning) and a squeeze of lemon per serving. Thanks!

    Rating: 4
  12. The recipe was easy to follow and super simple to compose. I was searching for a new go to soup for when my family is under the weather, since we’ve recently converted to vegan eating. This soup definitely delivered!

    Rating: 5
  13. I know it’s already summer but I caught the flu 3 days ago and today in a desperate attempt to expedite my recovery I made this soup. What a winner! Nourishing, east on the tummy and opened my sinuses. Tasty too! Definitely keeping this recipe in my arsenal for my yearly cold ;)

    Rating: 5
  14. Wow. It looks delicious. I love vegetable soup very much .So, I will try to make it very soon. Your recipe will help me. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Rating: 5
  15. Just trying this for the first time
    My husband has parkinson and has a really bad cough
    Off to the Grocery Store. Thank You.

  16. I’m pregnant and have come down with the flu (and sadly can’t take much for it!). Dragged myself into the kitchen this afternoon and made this soup. Omg I nearly cried – absolutely delicious and exactly what my body was craving! Will definitely be making this again!

    Rating: 5
  17. Wonderful recipes! But I am surprised that some of your recipes call for sweet potatoes or yams (as being similar). But they are totally different, both edible in their own right, but ever so different. I am Portuguese from the Azores and we used to grow both. But I find it strange when yams are considered sweet potatoes. So I Googled it, see below:
    Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams
    With exceptionally rare exceptions, every orange-fleshed tuber you see or taste in the U.S. – even those sold as candied yams – is a sweet potato. Yams and sweet potatoes aren’t even botanical kin. Yams are dry, starchy root vegetables, closer in flavor to yucca than the sweet potatoes you bake with marshmallows or roast for a kale salad. They originated in Asia and Africa, which is how the confusion began…

  18. This recipe is AMAZING!! Talk about healing properties… you start eating the soup and can feel it healing your body it is incredible. I came down with the flu and this soup is helping substantially. Being by myself, this soup was very easy to make, (especially when you’re sick and don’t want to move). I think it total the vegetables all costed maybe under 15$? I added in vegetable broth for more flavour and added noodles the last 10 minutes of simmer time. I added spices in the beginning and it worked out great. I will keep this as a go-to recipe for sickness! Thank you so much!!!!

    Rating: 5
  19. You mentioned lemon and I see a lemon or two in the pictures, but you do not list lemon in the ingredients nor do you tell what to do with the lemon in the recipe. Do you squeeze some fresh lemon on top of they individual bowl of soup? Or is the lemon meant to be chopped whole and cooked in the soup? I’m about to throw together this soup for my flu-ish husband today and hopefully he can get back to work dinner because of this healing soup. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Looks delish!

    • You can just add a squirt of lemon juice when you’re ready to serve it. Like you would add a squirt of lime juice to tortilla soup, or at least I do. It’s not necessary, just suit your personal taste preferences.

  20. Can u do in an instant pot?

  21. I LUV this soup — and the broth is so great for sipping. For such a simple recipe there is so much flavor in this. It really is easy to eat (drink), filling but not heavy. Today I am making my second batch in seven days. This is def going to be a cold weather staple in our house. It would be great over rice. My husband enjoyed it over mashed potatoes. YUM! Oh, I left the ginger in for the entire cooking time and while stored in the fridge – the soup never became too gingery for us, just better and better as the flavors came together.

    Rating: 5
  22. Hello!
    First of all, Best Wishes for the and A Happy New Year 2019!!
    Read some of the comments before writing. I stopped just before the pepper, and forgot to include it later on while cooking. And, most important still is that I completely forgot to put in the coconut oil. Any tip on how to correct this? Had the soup cooking at 275F in the oven for most of the night. It’s still a bit warm at the moment, but I dare not add it in. Will wait for your reply. Hope I can fix this. It’s my first time doing the recipe. Thank you in advance. Regards!

    • I probably wouldn’t add oil at this point. If you forgot it in the soup tastes fine, I wouldn’t add it after it’s already done. That could make it kind of oily. And just add pepper to your taste now.

  23. i cant wait to make this healing soup for my family.

  24. Made it this evening great flavor and aroma. My hubby and I love it. Will definitely put this in rotation. Instead of water I used stock and also added ditalini pasta towards the end of cooking time.

    Rating: 5
  25. I’ve been re’googling this recipe the last few years whenever I feel under the weather. What would you recommend to adapting this recipe for the Instant Pot?

    • It’s really hard to say because I really do not use an Instat pot with any regularity to be able to give you any tips or advice.

    • How I Instant Pot’ed this recipe. And it turned out ah’mazing!

      Coconut Oil, Onions and garlic softened via Saute function
      Turned pot off and added all other veggies and gave em a stir, until brightened in colour.
      Added additional seasonings and liquid
      Lid on High pressure x 20 minutes
      Allow pressure to release naturally x 15 minutes, then finished with quick release.
      voila!

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