25 Feel-Better Soups to Bust That Cold
You are probably here because you are sick, and we’re here to give you hope in the form of soup. We’ve got nothing against modern medicine, but sometimes a warm bowl of chicken broth, noodles, and veggies is the only thing that can make you feel better. That’s why we gathered our 25 best soups for a cold—they’re all packed with nutrients that’ll help your body heal, and free of foods you should avoid when you’re sick, like cream or large amounts of cheese.
Lemony Chicken and Spinach Soup
Inspired by Greek avgolemono, this recipe yields a creamy, comforting, bright bowl of soup that delivers everything we want when feeling a little under the weather. Heck, served with a warm blanket and a cozy couch, we’re convinced this lemony chicken soup can fix just about anything. As delicious as it is, this soup requires very simple ingredients and is easy to make. Just be gentle when adding the hot broth into your egg mixture (to temper), and the rest couldn’t be easier. This is a smart trick for richening soup without cream, and produces a uniquely rich broth that’s easy on the stomach. While we call for rotisserie chicken and store-bought stock for convenience sake, you could certainly roast your own chicken, then make chicken stock with the carcass for an even more flavorful pot of soup. We specifically developed this soup to make a large batch so that there’s plenty to share with friends, or stash in the freezer for the next time you’re feeling a bit under the weather or simply need a warming, fuss-free meal.
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup
Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Soup
Traditional Vietnamese phở recipes require hours of hands-on cooking; this slow cooker version lets you off the hook in 40 minutes. Toast the spices and sear the short ribs first to add layers of flavor to this beautifully brothy soup.
Black Garlic and Lentil Soup
For Bar Tartine in San Francisco, chef Nick Balla created this smoky, earthy soup as a tribute to his Hungarian-America father. Dried chiles, paprika sausage, hot paprika, and black garlic--regular garlic roasted for days until it turns sweet and jet black, with a licorice-like flavor--give the soup a rounded spiciness.
Onion, Kale, Chickpea, and Chicken Soup
Few things beat a steaming bowl of veggie-packed chicken soup on a crisp autumn evening, and this one happens to be a perfect potion for the seasonal chills. You can leave the thyme sprigs in the broth (just ladle around them) so they'll keep releasing herbaceous goodness into any leftovers.
Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup
With its lively dance of flavors, this soup is a spring tonic.
Instant Pot Kichidi
This comforting dish is nutty, earthy, and slightly lemony. It’s often given to people who are sick and is packed with nutrients thanks to the lentils, turmeric, and ginger. For optimal flavor, use cumin seeds rather than ground cumin, and temper them in ghee or oil. In a pinch, split yellow peas also make a good base.
Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
Think of posole as chili's brothier, lighter cousin, a Mexican version of chicken soup. Posole is also a name for the hominy, or rehydrated dried corn, that goes in the dish.
Vegetable Beef Soup
Instant Pot Khao Soi
What gives this easy Khao Soi its incredible flavor backbone is the homemade curry paste. It’s easier to whip up in the food processor than you might think and we’d strongly recommend giving it a try. However, if you find yourself pinched for time, you can substitute 3-4 tablespoons of store-bought curry paste. Lemongrass is easily sourced at specialty or Asian markets; however, if you have trouble finding it fresh, you can find a super convenient lemongrass paste in the produce section of many conventional grocery stores.
Soulful Chicken Soup
No dish is quite as soothing as a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup. Slow cookers couldn't have made the road to comfort any easier: Simply toss in the ingredients, switch on, and then walk away. We love old-fashioned, wide egg noodles for this recipe. To make sure they aren't mushy and overcooked, don't leave them in the slow cooker any longer than 10 minutes.
Green Onion Egg Drop Soup
Egg drop soup is often garnished with just a few sliced green onions, but this version uses a generous amount for a rich flavor. Whisked eggs are stirred into simmering broth to thicken the soup and create delicate ribbons.
Southwestern Chicken Soup
Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
This chicken potato soup is perfect for ushering in fall: It's hearty enough for the beginning of soup season, yet brothy and veggie-packed so it doesn't feel too heavy. This recipe is ideal for a weekend, when you can check on the slow cooker after just a few hours. Although you can’t leave it unattended all day, this chicken potato soup still offers the benefit of hands-free, fuss-free cooking. Baby red, Yukon Gold, or fingerling potatoes will all work well here, as they'll maintain their shape nicely during cooking. Pair this easy chicken and potato soup with a slaw or kale side salad and crusty whole-grain bread for a healthy, satisfying dinner.
Instant Pot Dal Makhani
This warm hug from a bowl of lentils made our developer want to buy an Instant Pot in a way that no other recipe has. The stew is buttery and slightly spicy with a creamy texture that still has a little bite, thanks to the lentils. While the ghee is optional, it really does take this indulgent dish to a real over-the-top place that you definitely want to go. You can get a head start by chopping your onion, jalapeño, garlic, and ginger the night before. You can also make the toasted buttery spice mixture a day ahead and stir into the hot lentil mixture.
Smoky Pork and Hominy Soup
Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken Pho
For pho, it's legitimately all about the intensely delicious broth. And thanks to the flavor-concentrating power of the pressure cooker, we were able to make a robust and dynamic chicken broth—using shallots, fresh ginger and cilantro, and a few spices—in a matter of minutes. Thus, this restaurant favorite can now be a comforting, go-to weeknight dinner.
White Bean and Chorizo Soup
Fresh chorizo sausage gives this soup its vibrant red-orange hue and fiery flavor.
Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup
Snow peas, spinach, and chicken breast give this 5-star Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup flavor, texture, and a wealth of nutrients.
Ham, Kale, and White Bean Soup
The water used to cook a pot of beans is really liquid gold, infused with aromatics and thickened with starch from the beans. It makes perfect sense to give the cooking liquid a second life as the broth for the soup (and save the trouble of rinsing and draining). The ham hock will season the broth and the beans as they cook; you won’t need additional salt once they are done. Instead of cooking the kale and carrots in the soup, give them a quick sauté and stir them in at the end so they retain their vibrancy.
Instant Pot Chicken Soup
This chicken noodle soup may be simple, but nothing's wrong with that. Your Instant Pot or pressure cooker of choice makes this comforting and savory classic in just an hour.
Caribbean Black Bean Soup
A little of this spicy soup goes a long way, so it's best when served as an appetizer soup. If you want to decrease the heat, seed the jalapeños.
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
This sinus-clearing soup is inspired by classic Szechuan beef noodle soup. Because some of the ingredients to make the traditional version require a trip to an Asian market (namely Szechuan peppercorns and chili bean paste), we approximated the flavors with supermarket items. Black pepper and coriander get at the Szechuan peppercorn flavor (but, admittedly, not the tongue-tingling effect), and miso and sambal oelek approximate the flavor of chili bean paste.
Hearty Chicken Soup
It makes sense that a classic like chicken soup would be best cooked in a classic Dutch oven. While we enjoyed the soup from all three cooking methods, the Dutch oven made the meat a little more tender and juicy. The broth also simmers without a lid, so it reduces and grows richer.