gluten-free paleo soup soup sunday vegan vegetarian

The Ultimate Immune-Boosting Soup

January 10, 2022

Feeling under the weather? Kick cold or flu season 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 vegetable 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…or a terrible immune system.

I literally do everything in my power to stop it from happening (eat a healthy diet, exercise, wash my hands frequently etc…) but it still happens nonetheless. However, I refuse to give up! One day I will be that person who declares that they “haven’t been sick in 3 years!”

I honestly believe in the healing power of food. No truer statement has ever been shared than when Hippocrates 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 because sometimes you just need some superfoods to kick your immune system into high gear. 

Immune Boosting soup in a large pot

Ingredients for Immune Boosting Soup

  • Vegetables – yellow onion, garlic cloves, celery stalks, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, kale and fresh ginger.
  • Coconut oil
  • Turmeric
  • Sea salt and pepper

Immune Boosting Ingredients

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!

Mushrooms– the soup is made in a mushroom broth (simmering mushrooms for over 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 antiviral 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!

Overhead photograph of immune boosting soup with mushrooms, kale + bok choy.

How to Make Immune Boosting Soup

STEP 1: Chop off the bottom of the stem from your mushrooms and discard. Separate the stems from the tops and slice the tops into large pieces. You only want to discard the very bottom of the mushroom stem!

STEP 2: Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in the celery and mushrooms and saute for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have wilted. 

STEP 3: Add in the spices (including the ginger, if using) and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for at least an hour. The longer you leave it, the better in my opinion!

STEP 4: Add the bok choy and kale in the last 10 minutes of cooking to wilt. Enjoy!

Is It Better than Chicken Soup?

The all important question: is this immune boosting soup better for healing than a cup of chicken soup? Honestly, it’s hard to say. There aren’t any studies that have compared the benefits of chicken stock (the real superfood in chicken soup) to a vegetable-based stock with powerhouse veggies.

As far as boosting your immune system, you really can’t go wrong with either. I highly recommend either this slow cooker bone broth recipe or the Instant Pot version if you’d like to give it a try.

Otherwise this Immune Boosting soup has lots of benefits and certainly can’t hurt!

How to Store Leftover Soup

You’ve heard me proclaim my love of soup before and you’ll hear it again! One of the many reasons I love soup is that you can make one batch and eat it all week! Let your soup cool before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

You can also freeze your soup for a later date. This immune boosting soup will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for several hours before heating up on the stove-top.


The Ultimate Immune-Boosting 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.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 90 minutes
  • Yield: 68 bowls 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Cook
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 lb shiitake 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 very bottom of the stem from your mushrooms and discard. Separate 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 saute 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.

Keywords: Immune-boosting soup, immune boosting soup, vegan immune boosting 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 #immuneboosting #immuneboostingsoup #vegansoup


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  • 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 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 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
    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
    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
    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
    July 5, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    How much should you consume daily

  • 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
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 29, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      It is, yes. Enjoy!

  • 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
    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
    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
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      November 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Wonderful! I’m so happy to hear that Yvette 🙂

  • 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.

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