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 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
      December 13, 2020 at 11:21 pm

      Try it again and sub chicken or beef broth. UH mazing!! Chicken or beef buillon seasoning adds more flavor too

  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    January 15, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Amazing dish. The whole family loved it.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      January 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Glad to hear it!

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