Healthy Creamy Vegetable Soup for Colds

4.76 from 37 votes
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Creamy Vegetable Soup full of delicious healthy veggies and spices is the best soup for a cold, the flu, or any time you are sick. But with all the delicious flavors and silky smooth texture, this is a recipe you’ll want to make to fill your belly any time. So creamy, but made without cream, so it’s gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan, paleo, Whole 30, and keto friendly. Move over Chicken Noodle, because the antiviral ingredients in this immune-boosting Flu Buster Vegetable Soup will help chase the germs away. 

Flu Buster Vegetable Soup Recipe to make you feel better when you are sick

Healthy Vegetable Soup for Colds

Are you sick of being sick yet? Or sick of your kids being sick? I am. Colds, the flu, ear infections, strep throat, pinkeye, stomach big. Yeah, I am pretty much over it.

It is time for a soup full of all kinds of delicious antiviral goodness! And during the winter with the flu and all kinds of other viruses and bacteria running rampant, I thought I would bring you this creamy and healthy vegetable soup recipe. With all of the virus-fighting ingredients, it is definitely a Flu Buster Vegetable Soup!


Technically I can’t guarantee this will cure you, but a steaming mug full of veggies and vitamins that tastes amazing certainly can’t hurt. 

Flu Buster Vegetable Soup Recipe is the Best Soup for a cold

What is in the best soup for a cold?

  • Olive oil
  • Onions and garlic – both contain compounds believed by some scientists to fight and even prevent the common cold.
  • Turmeric – gets its orange color from curcumin, an antioxidant with healing properties.
  • Fresh ginger – clears congestion and soothes your throat, and it might even block the common cold virus.
  • Vegetables – potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, and celery will provide plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice – citrus contains Vitamin C that can help you feel better faster.
  • Vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • Cayenne pepper – while it won’t fight viruses, the heat from capsaicin can help clear stuffy sinuses
  • Greek yogurt – an optional topping, and despite claims that dairy increases mucus production, it can actually be quite soothing on sore throats.

Source: WebMD

How do you make soup smooth?

You have a couple of options to puree the veggies to make an ultra creamy vegetable soup:

  • Immersion blender – you’ll have fewer dishes to wash when you puree your soup right in the pot you are using to cook it when you use a stick or hand blender.
  • Blender – a standard blender will work, but I always recommend a high-powered blender like the Blendtec for the smoothest, most silky soup. The Wildside+ Jar is nice and big, so you don’t have to blend it in batches, as you would with a smaller blender, and it gets perfectly smooth in seconds. You can even use the “Soup” setting to keep it hot while you blend it.  I am a Blendtec ambassador, and should you make any purchases through that link, I will receive a small commission, but that also means you can use the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS to receive 25% off. 

How do you make Flu Buster Vegetable Soup?

  1. Saute onions, garlic, fresh ginger, and turmeric in olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add the veggies and saute for another few minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth.
  4. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Blend it all up till it’s velvety smooth.
  6. Simmer just a bit longer until it is and hot and comforting and everything you want on the coldest winter days. Top with a dollop of sour cream, Greek yogurt, or coconut cream, if desired.

Serve it with a piece of Gluten Free Corn Bread or Gluten Free Cheddar Crackers to round out your meal.

Step by Step Photos of How to Make healthy Vegetable soup

Why is this the best soup for a cold?

  • Flu buster vegetable soup is smooth and creamy, without using any actual cream. So if you are watching your calories, it’s a great lunch option.
  • Each of the vegetables, that are nutrient powerhouses on their own, like cauliflower, onions, carrots, and zucchini.
  • Since the soup is going to be blended, you don’t have to peel the carrots or potatoes. This adds additional fiber and nutrients.
  • Onions, garlic, ginger, and turmeric all have antiviral properties with immune-boosting benefits.
  • And the addition of cayenne pepper for a little heat will help clear the sinuses.

Is Flu Buster Vegetable Soup Gluten Free or Vegan?

As always, please read all of your ingredient labels to ensure they are gluten free and not affected by cross-contamination or hidden sources of gluten. But since this is mostly vegetables and spices, as long as you use gluten free broth or stock from a box or that you’ve made yourself, then it is fine.

You can use chicken broth or vegetable stock, giving you the option to make it vegetarian or vegan.

I like to top my soup with a bit of Greek yogurt to balance the bit of heat from the cayenne pepper. However, if you leave off the Greek yogurt or choose a coconut or soy yogurt, this vegetarian soup recipe is also vegan. Plus it also fits in with your paleo diet or that Whole 30.

You can even swap the potatoes for more cauliflower to make this healthy vegetable soup low carb and keto-friendly too.

Healthy Vegetable Soup in a mug with crackers

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What is the best soup to eat when sick?

What are some other home remedies?

Flu Buster Vegetable Soup Recipe – The Best Soup for a Cold

Even if you aren’t sick, you can still reap the benefits of a big bowl of creamy vegetable soup, especially with the comfort food factor on cold winter days. The combination of veggies and spices taste amazing together. Also, the silky texture from blending it all together soothes the body and soul.

I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!

4.8 from 37 votes

Flu Buster Vegetable Soup

A delicious, creamy vegetable soup without any cream, this gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and Whole 30-friendly recipe is packed with lots of antiviral goodness.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 8


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon peeled, minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped (you can substitute another half head of cauliflower for a low carb option)
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped (no need to peel)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • juice of one lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to preferred level of spice)
  • Greek yogurt, if desired, for serving


  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and turmeric for a few minutes, until onions start to soften and become translucent.
  • Add the remaining veggies, and salt and pepper, and saute for several minutes longer.
  • Pour in the lemon juice, and stir to coat the vegetables.
  • Add the broth, cayenne and additional salt and pepper, if desired bring to a boil, cover and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.
  • Use an immersion blender, or add the contents of the pot to a blender of food processor (in portions, if needed, based on the size of your blender), puree until smooth and creamy.
  • Return the soup to the pot, and heat through.
  • Serve with Greek yogurt, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Flu Buster Vegetable Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 57 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 498mg21%
Potassium 287mg8%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 2920IU58%
Vitamin C 19.7mg24%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy! (Originally published on Jan 21, 2013)


  1. Keara

    5 stars
    This soup is delicious and very healthy! I added some chickpeas for protein and some curry powder! I didn’t have cayenne pepper so I added crushed red pepper flakes before blending and it worked just as well. I also topped it with goat cheese which was so tasty! I’ll definitely make this again, even when I don’t have a cold! (Might try roasting some chickpeas and adding them on top…)

  2. Michela

    5 stars
    This is AMAZING. I swear it has cut down my cold / flu times in half. Thank you! I love it spicy and I think it helps flush things out so I’ve added jalapeños.

  3. Melissa

    5 stars
    Just got a new vitamix and this was the first recipe I made. It was amazing!! It was pretty spicy so I added a dollop of sour cream. So good, will be making again.

      1. Lisa

        I made this today and it is very sour tasting. Too much lemon. So sad because can’t eat it and organic veggies were not cheap. Is there a way to salvage this so not so sour? I don’ t do dairy. Thanks.

        1. So sorry it turned out that way for you. Did you use fresh lemon juice or bottled? Just curious since bottled does tend to be more strong and bitter. Or maybe you just had an extra strong lemon! If you can’t have dairy, then I’d recommend a non-dairy yogurt such as coconut yogurt or coconut cream.

          1. Silvia

            5 stars
            Absolutely love this soup! I found this recipe about two months ago and it has been a staple in my home. We have it every other week. I don’t care for spicy but I do add extra veggies such as artichokes, asparagus and shiitake mushrooms…yum! 😋

      2. Yannick

        5 stars
        Amazing soup. Not only is it healthy but great to manage weight. I have added a pinch of hot red pepper flakes when sautéing the onion and omit the cayenne pepper. In either case it’s great. I did find that different types of potato will Change the consistency. I tried baking potato as well as canned which made the soup very creamy and silky. Versus a Yukon gold or yellow potato had a tiny bit more texture. Either way it’s fabulous!!

  4. Olivia

    5 stars
    This soup is so delicious! I’ve made it twice this fall and it’s turned out perfectly both times. Yum and thank you for this tasty, veggie-packed recipe!

  5. Tiffany

    Would this receipe stay good in the fridge for 7 days!? I made it and wasn’t able to finish it all in a week by myself! Wondering if I can still freeze it after 7 days, or just pitch it and play it safe!? It is delicious would hate to risk not liking it again!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Tiffany! From a food safety standpoint, I like to recommend that fresh foods like this be eaten within 5 days. All food starts to grow bacteria immediately after it cools down. Some people will eat things as long as they don’t smell or look different than they did the first day, but I prefer to stay on the safe side. The choice is yours. 🙂

  6. Heather

    I am going to make this tonight but going to sub the potato for butternut squash as that’s been my go to potato substitute and I know turmeric pairs well with squash. Excited to try it!

  7. Sandy

    Does this freeze well? I’d like to make it and have on hand for when sickness strikes. If I’m the sick one, the last thing I want to do is have to cook. LOL!

    1. Anna

      4 stars
      This is exactly what I am doing, is cooking this soup while feeling so sick. I wish I had already had it in the freezer. Making ahead is probably a good idea for sure.

  8. Cassie

    4 stars
    Loved loved loved the soup It was amazing the only problem I had was I added the exact amount of cayenne pepper you said and it still ended up to Spicy-1/4 tsp other then that flavor was good any idea of how I can save it to cut back on the spicy ness ?? Thank you ?

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Aww. I’m sorry that the soup ended up too spicy for your liking, Cassie. You can try diluting it with some extra broth, or add more vegetables to tone down the spice. I hope you find a way to enjoy it.

  9. Christin Sanders

    Hello! Do you know about how big each serving of soup is? I made this some time ago and loved it, but now that I’m going to make it again, I can’t remember what the portion sizes were like.

  10. Kansas Keeton

    5 stars
    I always make a point to leave comments on food that I really felt was worth all the effort. This was an excellent soup with a great consistency that I ate with slices of a buttered baguette that I roasted in the oven for 6 min. It was EXCELLENT with the bread and even very good on its own. I also added about a tablespoon of raw chopped garlic at the end because the immunity-boosting benefits of raw garlic far exceed those of cooked garlic. Hoping this soup kicks whatever I’ve got. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the soup. You’re definitely right about the immunity boost from garlic, and I hope it did the trick for getting you back into good health. Thank you for the comment and rating of my recipe!

  11. Samantha

    I came down with something this weekend and am making this exactly as described as we speak! Smells amazing and I love the turmeric and cayenne because I know they’re amazing for colds but I hate them in tea!

  12. Amanda

    Love this soup! Such a yummy way to sneak in a ton of veggies.

    Do you have any sense of the nutritional content or calories in the recipe? Also, I doubled the recipe and estimated that to make 8 servings – does that seem like the right amount?


    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Amanda. Doubling the recipe for 8 servings sounds just right. I entered the recipe into the nutritional calculator on and it says the soup is 186 calories per serving.

  13. Pamela Spears

    I was so excited to see all the great reviews on this soup but was disappointed when I made it. The flavors are really strong and just not very appealing. I love the concept though and didn’t want to waste it so I sautéed a bag of spinach along with a handful of Cilantro and a little more Garlic. Then I added another can of Chicken Broth to the spinach and boiled it down like the soup recipe. After I blended that up and added to the original soup I added 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese. So glad I did because it’s a keeper????

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Pamela,
      I’m sorry to hear that the flu buster soup wasn’t to your liking at first, but I’m happy to hear that you were able to adjust the recipe to create something that you enjoy! I like your idea of adding spinach to the soup, too!

  14. Natalie

    I don’t eat white potatos could I replace them with either white beans or tofu and if I use the tofu would I add it towards the end if the cooking process.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Natalie!
      I don’t use tofu very often, so I’m afraid I don’t have much feedback to give you, other than that if you’re going to add tofu, I would suggest trying a silken tofu that is a bit firmer. Otherwise, it may be too soggy for your liking. Adding white beans is a great idea, though!

  15. Tina

    We are fighting the flu here right now – desperately needed something to help, but the usual remedies (chicken noodle soup) are out since we are WFPB. I made this tonight without the oil, and the full amount of Cayenne. It seriously is tackling our cold symptoms. I don’t know how long the relief will last, but I’ll take it for as long as it does. Thanks so much for sharing this – My husband really liked it too and that’s saying something.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re fighting the flu, Tina, but incredibly happy to hear that the flu buster soup is working its wonders. Get well soon!

  16. Nikki

    I just love this soup! I don’t even puree it, and leave the veggies as they are. So easy and so delicous. My eight year old son loves it too!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so glad that you and your son enjoy the flu buster soup, Nikki. Great idea to leave the veggies unpureed, too!

  17. Laurel

    WONDERFUL! I made this tonight and the family loved it! Both teens and husband thought it was a perfect fall soup. I doesn’t make a whole lot– only enough left over for 1 person. Next time I’ll definitely double it and try it in the crock pot. I pureed mine in the Vitamix and we served it with goat cheese and cilantro on top, and naan bread. Full of vegetables and no one knew. I even added a few cubes of homemade bone broth to the veggie broth I used in the recipe. Thank you!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      We’re so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Laurel. What a great idea to make a batch in your Vitamix!

  18. Ann

    Made the Flu Buster soup and have been having it for lunch all week. It is wonderful and so filling! I work with special needs children who are sick a lot and love sharing germs, so if this great soup helps me fight those germs then so be it! Will make it often this school year.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the flu buster soup, Ann. I hope it helps you to stay healthy around those “germy” kids! 🙂

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Thanks for your question, Becky. You can absolutely leave the potato out of the flu buster soup recipe. Potato does help to thicken it, though, so if you’re able to eat sweet potato, I would definitely use a small one in place of the two small potatoes. Otherwise, you could always add some extra cauliflower, or even some butternut or acorn squash would be a tasty thickener.

  19. Brittany

    5 stars
    Wow, this is delicious! I was a little skeptical that my husband and children would eat it, but we all loved it! Which is great considering my little man is sick. =(

  20. Oh, I just made this soup and it’s DELICIOUS! I love how the lemon brightens the flavor and I also love how healthy it is 🙂 Hope it kicks my cold, but either way I’ll be enjoying it. Now if only I can get my kids to try some…

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