Healthy Creamy Vegetable Soup for Colds

4.69 from 63 votes
A red circle with the letters FFA red circle with the letters GFA red circle with the letters LCA green circle with the letter PA green circle with the letter QA green circle with the letters VEA green circle with the letters VG

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Full of delicious healthy veggies and spices, this Creamy Vegetable Soup recipe 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. Move over Chicken Noodle, because the antiviral ingredients in this immune-boosting Flu Buster Soup will help chase the germs away. 

Creamy Vegetable Soup Recipe – The Best Flu Buster Soup when You Are Sick

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. And the added bonus is that it is also gluten free, paleo, and Whole 30, so it is healthy all around.

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.

two bowls of pureed vegetable soup with dollops of Greek yogurt on top

Why is this the best soup for a cold?

Many people swear by Chicken Noodle Soup when it comes to soup for colds. Or maybe even Avgolemono Greek Chicken Zoodle Soup for a low carb version of the classic. But I prefer this healthy vegetable soup. Why?

  • Flu buster vegetable soup is smooth and creamy, without using any actual cream. So none of that dairy that can increase congestion.
  • Each of the vegetables are nutrient powerhouses on their own, like cauliflower, onions, carrots, and zucchini. Put them together and you’ll have soup-er powers.
  • Since the soup is going to be blended, you don’t have to peel the carrots or potatoes. This make it less effort, which is key when you are under the weather. Plus it adds additional fiber and nutrients.
  • Onions, garlic, ginger, and turmeric all have antiviral properties with immune-boosting benefits.
  • The addition of cayenne pepper for a little heat will help clear the sinuses.
  • And it is so creamy, but made without cream, so it’s gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan, paleo, Whole 30, and keto friendly.

Of course, this is a gluten free vegetable soup recipe, but 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. Since this is mostly vegetables and spices, you’ll just need to be sure you use gluten free broth or stock from a box or that you’ve made yourself.

a mug of creamy soup on a saucer with crackers

Healthy Vegetable Soup Ingredients

Each ingredient in this flu buster soup does double duty – it helps make it taste delicious and has antiviral properties, antioxidants, vitamins, or other healthy ingredients to help you fight off those germs.

  • 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 – helps hydrate you.
  • 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

vegetables, spices, and broth on a table to make vegetable soup

How to Make Creamy Vegetable Soup

Saute the veggies. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and saute for several minutes until the onions start to soften and become translucent. Add the remaining vegetables, and salt and pepper, and saute for several minutes longer.

Simmer till soft. Add the lemon juice, and stir to coat the vegetables. Pour chicken or vegetable broth into the pot, cayenne, and additional salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.

Puree the soup. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot, and heat it through before serving. Swirl in some plain Greek yogurt or coconut milk if desired.

immersion blender pureeing soup

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 – you’ll need to blend it in portions because you don’t want to overfill the blender to avoid spilling hot soup on yourself. Also, to avoid burns, blend slolwy to start, holding a towel over the top and venting the steam occasionally so that the hot steam does not build up and cause the pressure to pop the lid off.
stockpot full of soup

What to Serve with Vegetable Soup

Variations

Make it vegetarian or vegan. Be sure to use vegetable broth, and if you want to add a creamy swirl, try coconut milk or coconut yogurt instead of Greek yogurt.

Make it low carb. Skip the potatoes and use a full head of cauliflower instead of a half head.

Make it chunky. Only puree half of the vegetables and add it back to the pot with the rest of the cooked veggies that you haven’t pureed.

vegetable soup on a tray with spoons and crackers

Shop the Recipe

Brianne Recommends

SOUP POT: I like a large, heavy-bottomed enameled cast iron Dutch oven for simmering soups.

IMMERSION BLENDER: The easiest and safest option for pureeing hot soup.

TURMERIC: Adds great color, flavor, and immune-boosting benefits.

SOUP BOWLS: There’s nothing better than hot soup from a cozy bowl.

vegetable soup on a tray with spoons and crackers
4.7 from 63 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

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Categories:

Best Soup Recipes When You Are Sick

I love this healthy vegetable soup when I am sick. But if you prefer something different, try one of these.

89 Comments
  1. TC

    5 stars
    We have a cold at our house right now so I made some for the sick, and I can definitely recommend it as a feel good soup if you like spice! Maybe we’ll all magically wake up with no symptoms tomorrow?! Here’s hoping!

    1. TC

      Oh, and I did make a modification I should mention – I subbed butternut squash for both cauliflower and zucchini, as that was what I had on hand, and it was still so delicious! & Made a double batch so we’d have extra!

  2. Hannah

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I’ve got a cold right now and this is just what I needed to help me start feeling better. I think my lemon was strong because I can definitely taste it (which I like) but I might cut it down to half a lemon next time. 🙂 At any rate, I LOVED this soup! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Carlee

    5 stars
    Made this tonight the fiancé and I both have an upper respiratory infection no covid or flu but feels just as awful! I mustered up the strength to make this today and boy I’m glad I did! The first bite I was unsure but 2 bowls later I was in love ! I doubled the recpie did not upset my tummy like I thought all the veggies would! 10/10

  4. Samantha Reich

    5 stars
    This recipe was super delicious, I traded one of the potatoes for sweet potato, and added some ground cumin and basil to the mix and topped with chopped scallions, chives and cilantro and it was delicious! Definitely will be making this again! Thank you for sharing

  5. Krista

    5 stars
    Oh my god this soup is amazing. I used what vegetables I had on hand: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, spinach, potatoes, and Roma tomatoes. I did everything else exactly the same. Mine turned out a brilliant green color! So good! I’m already feeling better.

  6. 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…)

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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. 🙂

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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?

    Thanks!

    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 MyFitnessPal.com and it says the soup is 186 calories per serving.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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. Katie

        This recipe is not suitable if you’re actually tackling a stomach bug/flu. It’s highly seasoned, acidic, and spicy (not to mention, topped with dairy), and will send you running to the bathroom. Stick to a bland diet (e.g., clear broth, white rice, plain toast or crackers, applesauce, bananas, chicken breast, etc.) if you have a stomach bug and are trying to hold something, anything down.

        Could the author please update the description?

    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.

  24. 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. =(

  25. 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…
    -Dana

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