gluten-free paleo soup soup sunday vegan vegetarian

The Ultimate Immune-Boosting Soup

January 10, 2018

Feeling under the weather? Kick that cold or flu to the curb with the ultimate immune-boosting soup. Packed full of vitamins and minerals from delicious ingredients like turmeric, kale and bok choy in a mushroom broth for a healthy vegetarian soup recipe.

Feeling under the weather? Kick that cold or flu to the curb with the ultimate immune-boosting soup. Packed full of vitamins and minerals from delicious ingredients like turmeric, kale and bok choy in a mushroom broth for a healthy vegetarian soup recipe.You know those people who pride themselves on never getting sick? I’m not one of those people.

No matter how hard I try, if there’s a chance of catching a cold from someone or contracting some strange stomach-turning bug in a foreign country, I am pretty much guaranteed to be the one who gets it. When it comes to sickness, I have the worst luck.

I literally do everything in my power to stop it from happening (eat a healthy diet, exercise, wash my hands frequently, essential oils etc…) but it still happens nonetheless. However, refuse to give up! I one day will be that person who declares that they “haven’t been sick in 3 years!” (this coming from a girl who is currently laying in bed at a wellness resort after succumbing to dehydration…wtf).

Feeling under the weather? Kick that cold or flu to the curb with the ultimate immune-boosting soup. Packed full of vitamins and minerals from delicious ingredients like turmeric, kale and bok choy in a mushroom broth for a healthy vegetarian soup recipe.I honestly believe in the healing power of food. No truer statement has ever been shared than when Hippocretes wrote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. When I’m starting to or are feeling under the weather, my first thought is to turn to my kitchen, not the medicine cabinet.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe there is a time and place for Western Medicine, but only when it is necessary. As a society we are too quick to reach for advil instead of water when we’re feeling any kind of pain, but essential oils won’t cure cancer. There is a time and place for both.

And sometimes you just need some superfoods to kick your immune system into high gear. This is especially true during the Winter months where if you’re anything like me, you feel like you’re coming down with a cold weekly.

RELATED: Try this Detox Vegetable Soup

Feeling under the weather? Kick that cold or flu to the curb with the ultimate immune-boosting soup. Packed full of vitamins and minerals from delicious ingredients like turmeric, kale and bok choy in a mushroom broth for a healthy vegetarian soup recipe.Last year I shared a tutorial on How To Make Bone Broth In Your Slow Cooker. If you read the post you can learn about all of the amazing benefits offered from bone broth, but especially if you find yourself battling sickness. But for those of you who are vegetarian or vegan, there are tons of plant-based options out there that are amazing for recovery or prevention, like this Immune-Boosting Soup!

Before I set you free to make this recipe, I wanted to share why I chose to use certain ingredients. I’m totally fascinated by the health benefits of various foods, so I hope you geek out to this stuff too!

What’s In This Immune-Boosting Soup Recipe:

Mushrooms– the soup is made in a mushroom broth (simmering mushrooms for an hour+) and mushrooms are a power food that contains Ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant that helps to eliminate free radicals. They’re also a powerful source of Vitamin D.

Coconut Oil – contains two important anti-viral compounds, lauric acid and caprylic acid. Together these help ward off bacterial and viral infections.

Garlic – eating garlic can actually boost the number of virus-fighting T-cells in your bloodstream. It also contains alliin which converts to allicin, which is believed to be the major antibacterial compound in garlic.

Turmeric – probably best known for its ability to fight inflammation, turmeric contains a powerful antioxidant called curcumin which is responsible for this decrease in inflammation that is oftentimes found to be related to various illnesses.

Bok Choy – it is very high in Vitamin A, which is essential for a properly functioning immune system, while also containing high amounts of vitamin C, an antioxidant that shields the body from free radicals.

Kale – I don’t even know where to begin with the powerhouse that is kale. It’s packed full of iron, which is essential for your body working at its ultimate level, along with being a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. When they say “eat your kale”, EAT YOUR KALE!


The Ultimate Immune-Boosting Soup

  • Yield: 6-8 bowls 1x


  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 lb shitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 12 cups water
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, bottoms chopped off
  • 1/2 head kale, chopped
  • optional: 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger


  1. Chop off the bottom of the stem from your mushrooms and discard. Seperate stems from tops and slice tops and remaining stem if necessary, into large pieces. You will only discard the very bottom of the stems, not the full stems as they contain many nutritional benefits!
  2. Heat up coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent.
  4. Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Add in celery and mushrooms and sautee for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms have wilted.
  6. Add in spices (including ginger, if using) and water and bring to a boil.
  7. Then let simmer, covered for 1 hour or as long as you want (the longer you leave, the better!)
  8. Add bok choy and kale in the last 10 minutes of cooking to wilt.
  9. Serve warm or store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Feeling under the weather? Kick that cold or flu to the curb with the ultimate immune-boosting soup. Packed full of vitamins and minerals from delicious ingredients like turmeric, kale and bok choy in a mushroom broth for a healthy vegetarian soup recipe #immuneboosting #immuneboostingsoup #vegansoup

Wanna really kick that cold or flu to the curb? Here are 10 ways to naturally treat your cold and flus all winter long.


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  • Reply
    January 10, 2016 at 6:06 am

    This looks so delicious and healthy! I’m the same as you with bad luck when it comes to illness – I try to eat healthy and exercise most of the time, yet I still seem to spend a lot of time feeling under the weather! I’ll keep this recipe in my archives for the next time illness strikes. I always make myself fruit packed smoothies and rich veggie soups to make myself feel better, food is definitely a healer!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 10, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Love a good smoothie too! I pack them full of greens too just to get a veggie boost!

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    January 10, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I absolutely use food as medicine! This soup looks fantastic. When I am feeling under the weather, I immediately start drinking miso broth. Could easily add some miso to this soup too and be good to go!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 10, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      I really wanted to add miso to this but thought it would scare some people away, but you totally can add some and I definitely will add some to my next batch! I love miso 🙂

  • Reply
    January 10, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I love soup–I like adding lentils, carrots and other veggies in my soups!

  • Reply
    She Rocks Fitness
    January 10, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I 100% consider food medicine. My go to meal when I am under the weather is actually really spicy foods. I like to sweat out the nastiness. I also 100% believe in steam rooms. 🙂

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 10, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      Yes! Especially, when I have a cold I pretty much drizzle everything with sriracha haha

  • Reply
    January 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Aww, I hope you get out of the health resort soon and heal up, Davida!
    This soup recipe looks great! I want to try it sometime soon!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Oh, I wanted to add that I like going the food for your medicine route too! When I’m sick, I try to eat a lot of the ingredients that are in this soup in every meal and snack. 🙂
    And I geek-out kinda about the healing powers God put in food!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Right?! Me too! It’s crazy how our body can react just by filling it with food from the earth!

  • Reply
    Sílvia Fuster
    January 16, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Your soup looks wonderful!!! I’m a great soup fan!!!
    I love your blog, too.
    I have a couple of soup recipes on my own blog, if you want to have a look!! Like this one (but there are more):


  • Reply
    February 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Hello !

    I got only dried shiitake at home, do you know how many cup to make this recipe ?

    Thank you and have an awesome day !

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      February 7, 2016 at 10:52 am

      I’m unsure how much dried as I’ve never made it with dried shitakes before! I’m sorry 🙁

  • Reply
    July 7, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Is there something I could use other than mushrooms? The rest of it sounds great!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      July 8, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      You can certainly omit them or if you’re not vegan you can use chicken bones for extra immune-boosting collagen. Just remove the bones before eating.

      • Reply
        September 20, 2016 at 10:05 pm

        I’m making this as we speak! It smells absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to eat it!!! I added bone broth instead of water for a nutrition boost! Also a few tbsp of collagen protein. I think I’ll try adding in some shredded chicken next time for a little extra protein! Yum!!! Thanks for the recipe!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Gila Kaminsky
    July 7, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Searching for vegan recipe for Bok Choy and came across your recipe and blog. Can’t wait to try my new soup recipe!

    Very impressed with all that you are doing. Looking forward to trying many more recipes.

    Gila K

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      July 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Aw I’m so happy to hear that! Always nice to get feedback from family 🙂 Thank you for the support, Gila!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Have you ever tried freezing it? I would love to have some frozen for later use during the colder months to just heat up when I’m not feeling well.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Hi!! This looks amazingly healthy and comforting! Do you think it would freeze well? I am thinking of freezing a batch into individual portions. I love to have homemade soup on hand at all times!!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I hate to say this but I made this soup and it tasted terrible. Absolutely no flavor. I let it stew for a whole day to try to help & kept adding seasonings & then even meat but no help! I used white mushrooms instead of shitake because Walmart didnt sell shitake. Any advice? I dont want to waste this giant pot of soup. Also 12 cups of water was way too much. I used less water. All of these ingredients plus 12 cups of water would not fit in any extra large pot.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      September 24, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Amy. I’m sorry to hear this! Your problem was entirely due to using white mushrooms. Shitake mushrooms have an intense umami flavor that are the basis for the whole depth of the soup. Without this your soup won’t have much taste. Sorry to hear you weren’t able to find Shitake.

  • Reply
    October 27, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    I just fixed this for my parents as they were both feeling a bit under the weather. Both are older with a few managed health issues, so I wanted something fresh and wanted to use ingredients known for their healing and immune boosting properties, and came across this recipe. Even my 18 year old super active son tried it and enjoyed it. I used everything in the recipe plus a serrano pepper for added spiciness…delicious! Thanks!!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    My whole house is sick! Just made this for hubby and I and it is awesome! I substituted 3 of the cups of water with chicken broth, also added baby Bella’s and spinach with the kale. Will make again for sure!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Meh- this was okay. I used 4 cups of bone broth (pacific brand) and added some cooked chicken breast. I also added a little bit more salt than the recipe called for. It was OK – I’ll eat it but I probably won’t make this again

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    How much exactly is 1 T as a measurement for the coconut oil? Is that a tablespoon?

  • Reply
    July 5, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    How much should you consume daily

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 4:05 am

    I couldn’t just get shitake so i have amixture of different and unusual mushrooms looking forward to trying it. It’s now simmering away. Been looking for a nice vegan immune boosting soup and this one really appealed to me.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Wow! This is so good! I’ve had this pinned for months and just now made it. I was in the grocery store after hitting the walk in clinic with a cold that just will not go away and I saw this pinned. It was fate…lol! I’m not a vegan but love mushrooms. i only made half a batch this time but when I make it again I’ll make a full batch and freeze some.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    This was truly a “uplifting” soup, added fresh ginger and miso… definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Has anyone tried making this in a crock pot? Would it effect the health benefits & flavors of the soup if you did.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 8, 2018 at 12:08 am

      You could definitely make this in a crock-pot! Flavor should still taste delicious and be nutritious.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 9:27 am

    How long in the crockpot? Do I put everything in at the same time?

    • Reply
      January 9, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      You can put it in the crockpot for 4 hours on high, and that should do it. That’s how I make almost all of my soups, in a crockpot on high for about 4 hours. Maybe throw in your greens closer to the end.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I plan to make this today in the crockpot, but I’m adding some extra goodness for flavor and added immune benefits- miso paste, EXTRA garlic, skipping the mushrooms only because I don’t have any and the nearest store is an hour trip for us, adding in spinach, shredded carrot, maybe peas, and some hot pepper flakes for a little spice. If I had planned ahead, I would’ve had some sprouts going to add in, but alas- one cannot plan what day her husband will fall sick. I may even add some chicken and use a quart of my canned homemade bone broth and some of my green onions I have growing on my window sill. The great thing about soup is you can add in whatever you have on hand. Thanks for the recipe inspiration!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      The additions made this soup wonderful! My husband isn’t a big fan of soups, and he LOVED this! I added extra spices and extra pepper, which really added a whole new depth of flavor.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Amazing dish. The whole family loved it.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    I have an adversion to shitaki mushrooms is there another type of mushroom I can use.l.

  • Reply
    Chintana Ahlund
    September 13, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Just made this soup and it was delicious! Used organic miso soup broth instead of water…and added some red pepper flakes for some heat. Really good!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    I do like my soups a bit more strongly flavored (and I absolutely like salt way too much!), so I added more salt, turmeric and a bit of cayenne pepper. It’s delicious! I like the idea of using miso which I might try next time. Thank you for the recipe, and thanks to all who commented with their suggestions. 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Block
    January 25, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I loved the soup! I replaced the water with chicken broth and added crushed red pepper. To make it a meal I added shrimp, which was a great addition. Very tasty.

  • Reply
    February 26, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    This was so good! I used spinach, kale, and cabbage! And then I used chicken broth instead of just water. The flavors are so bright and warming! Thank you for such a great recipe!

  • Reply
    May 6, 2019 at 6:14 am

    So yum and easy to make! I used dried mushrooms and they grew in the pot. I think this recipie would be great with chilli and more veg. Hope it kicks my cold :p

  • Reply
    Leah Lord
    September 27, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    This sounds and looks amazing! What about fresh turmeric? Do you know how much to use if you used it fresh? Is there any benefit to that? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 27, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      You could absolutely use fresh! I’d use about a knob of fresh turmeric and then grate it. I typically use dried because it’s easier to come by but there are definite benefits to both. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Leslie Pethtel
    September 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Just made this tonight! So yummy! After reading the other comments I used miso broth and I subbed swiss chard for the kale because I happened to have it. My 1st time on your site. I can’t wait to look around and see what other treats you have to offer.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      September 29, 2019 at 10:08 pm

      So happy to hear that! Miso is such a great addition and chard is a perfect substitute for kale. Hope there’s some leftovers to enjoy! – Davida

  • Reply
    October 8, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    So glad I found this recipe….Ive been vegan for decades but almost entirely raw vegan for just over 1 yr after being diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma (I’m healing myself naturally vs chemo, radiation, surgery and hormones). I’m super particular about what I eat and over the last few days have been experiencing detox symptoms that makes me feel blah. So I decided to try this recipe and boy am I glad I did. Not only is it our first cool day of fall but I’ve been cozy on my couch most of the day. This soup hit me in all the right places. The only changes I made were I used veggie broth vs water, fresh graded turmeric and added kelp noodles. Honestly this soup is exceptional and will be my go to when I feel I need something to get me thru times like this.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us all!!!!

  • Reply
    Mary Rosenfeld
    January 11, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    My health food store has a deli and serves this soup! Just wonderful! Thank you!

    I have a thought for you to stay healthier…. even the Dalai Lama was told he had to a complete whole protein to keep up his stamina while teaching and lecturing around the world. He now eats some white chicken meat every day and says he feels much better. Just a thought! There are a lot more toxins in our air these days, and sometimes we have to take extra steps to handle them.


  • Reply
    January 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Made it yesterday and-No flavor. Sorry! I really wanted to love and save this recipe but it’s just bland. I followed exactly and even went to 2 places to get the mushrooms…
    Yes, the site pictures looks great but Anyone actually made and liked it?

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      January 13, 2020 at 6:34 pm

      Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy! There are many 5 star reviews so I think it comes down to preference and tastebuds. It is a primarily veggie-focused soup whose value is really in its immune-boosting properties. But again – personal preference.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    Just made this today. I am recovering from a bad bout of the flu and needed something with a ton of nutrients to get me back on my game. I did change it up a bit added some cubed sweet potato and Sambal Oelek to a miso broth. It was amazing. I even liked the kale, which I am usually not a fan of. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      February 14, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      So happy to hear that! Glad you’re feeling better!

  • Reply
    Darren A.Wilcox
    February 23, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve been meal prepping for the work week and ran across this’s recipe, I added a couple of teaspoons of miso and one sweet potato. Absolutely delicious….definitely a keeper in the soup rotation

    • Reply
      Darren Wilcox
      February 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      I left out the coconut oil and just water sautéed the onions, I will be eating this for the next four days for lunch, trying to get over some kind of virus

  • Reply
    March 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    This recipe looks amazing! I was thinking about using chicken bone broth instead of water. Has anyone tried that?

  • Reply
    April 14, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Would beef bone broth be an okay base ?

  • Reply
    April 18, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Not bad but needed another more flavor so I added cumin and some sautéed chicken breasts that I generously seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. My husband added Siracha sauce to his And I also ate it with plain ramen noodles added.

    • Reply
      April 18, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Beef bone base + Water/chicken bullion (2:1)+ carrots to the veggies + some extra Tumeric s&p , plus some chili powder, paprika to the spices, then some jalepenos and crushed red pepper near the end If the simmer , last hour or so (I simmered it for 4 hrs) . Turned out delicious and packed full of flavors and some heat

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