Plant-Based Immune Busting Soup

This soup recipe is my go-to when a cold or flu hits – and one I suggest all my clients make and keep in the freezer for immune emergencies – A Plant-Based Immune Busting Soup.

Ward off the sickness with this delicious and easy plant-based immune busting soup

You can use this recipe as a base to add in whatever you like – so if you want to add bones or meat you can, or lentils or soaked beans you can, or other veggies you can. It is really flexible.

This soup uses the WONDERFUL HEALING power of mushrooms and spices and herbs.

Gingergarlic and onions – are all super powerful for your immune system. They are warming and packed with sulphur containing amino acids and powerful phytochemicals to turn on your cold-fighting power.

Turmeric, which is pretty much my favourite herb around. What doesn’t it do? Cell protection. Anti-inflammatory. Immune regulation. NOTE: Using turmeric fresh in your food is good, but sometimes you do need a fluid extract or encapsulated formula to reach the high therapeutic dose required for maximum effect. Read about how herbal medicine can help you.

I always have kombu in my pantry. It is a seaweed that I use in stocks and soups to add umami, that 5th taste that gives a “pleasant savoury taste”, according to its Japanese translation. I also use kombu when soaking my beans and legumes – it helps get the phytates out and reduce the sometimes farty outcomes from beans.

It may look like a long list of ingredients – but they are easy to find and I promise its the kind of recipe that you just throw everything into the pot and cook.

Jump on it and whip up a batch today.


  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 thumbs of fresh turmeric, grated or 2 desert spoons of powdered fresh is better though if you can find it
  • onions – roughly chopped
  • the stems and roots of a bunch of coriander (save the leaves for the end product)
  • carrots – diced
  • 1 stick of celery – diced
  • 2 cups of button or field mushrooms – chopped or fresh shiitake mushrooms if you like
  • 1 or 2 pieces of dried kombu (available from Asian grocery stores)
  • optional: CHILLI – We eat a lot of chilli in our house so I add a few bullet or bird eye ones. If you like it less spicy pick up one of those long green chillis.
  • 2 Litres of water
  • 1 tsp of good quality salt
  • a very good grind of black pepper



  • 2 cups of chopped greens (kale, spinach, snow peas, green beans, collard greens – anything you like)
  • 1/2 cup of coriander, or mint or parsley



Cover the dried shiitake mushrooms in some hot water for 10 mins to rehydrate. Rinse, roughly chop. You can keep this water for making another stock at another time – but depending on the quality of mushrooms you have it may be a bit gritty from cleaning the mushrooms.

Throw everything – apart from the water – into a big pot with a glug of olive oil (or coconut oil if you like). Saute for ten mins until all the flavours have melded together, the onions have softened and the aromas are incredible.

Now add the water and salt and pepper (and this would be the time for you to add the uncooked lentils or bones or meat) and then simmer with the lid on, at a low heat for about 40 minutes. Or longer if you want. You really can’t overcook a soup like this.

Once your lentils or other non-plant based additions are cooked. Turn the heat down, add the chopped veg and simmer for 5 mins until they are softened but not soggy.

Serve with the fresh coriander sprinkled on top and a bit more salt or pepper if you like and a big squeeze of lemon or lime. DELICIOUS.

You can keep this in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer to pull out when you have that immune emergency.




Hannah Boyd is a nutritionist and herbal medicine practitioner in Sydney’s Inner West. She specialises in wholefood eating, mental health, plant-based diets and hormone balancing. Book an appointment with her today to gain the tools you need to develop a healthy, balanced approach to health.