When you're on the sick list, these soothing soups can fight congestion and help keep you nourished and hydrated. Hey, they couldn't hurt!

By Vanessa Greaves

When you're on the sick list, just about any warm and comforting soup can make you feel a little better. But some soup recipes are actually better than others at keeping you nourished, hydrated, uncongested, and soothed. Try these top picks, and get well soon.

Best Soups to Comfort You Through Cold and Flu Season

1. Super Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup

This light but filling soup calls for homemade shrimp stock, but you could substitute low-sodium chicken broth if you'd like. "Yum! my mom makes this all the time on cold days," says bsour001. " I love the spicy/sour combination. Really works if you have a cold!"

Photo by marljong

2. Garlic Spinach Soup

If you love ginger and garlic, you'll love this chicken soup. To make it vegetarian or vegan, you can sub vegetable broth and use tofu instead of chicken. "So good, so comforting, so easy." — ROCKES

Photo by France C.

3. Miso Soup

"I made this with kelp, which when cooked a bit becomes soft. I also added a tbsp each of fresh ginger and garlic, which I minced. Altogether it makes a very nutritious (and hopefully cold-fighting) soup." — rfairman

4. Cold-Busting Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup

"This recipe rocks! I've had the flu for a few days now and made this recipe earlier today. It is so good, and the ginger is great for the tummy problems." — christine

Photo by Zubby

5. Spicy Chicken Thai Soup

"It is especially nice if you are feeling a bit under the weather." — Maxine

Photo by Catherine Kim

6. Roasted Butternut Squash, Garlic, and Apple Soup

"FANTASTIC! Best squash soup I've ever had, and love that there's no fattening cream involved." — Victoriaren

Photo by Arizona Desert Flower

7. Tomato Fennel Soup

"The soup was delicious and perfect for a cold winter's night." — LynneinVA

Photo by Linda T

8. Healing Cabbage Soup

"I made this soup for its healing benefits, but I ended up loving it so much I'd make it anytime! It truly is 'healing' and not just for cold/flu season." — Heather

9. Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup

"Quick and easy. Perfect for when everyone starts getting the colds and the weather starts to turn yucky." — SusieHomemaker

Photo by PDP9801

10. Pho Ginger and Lime Soup

"It is somewhat spicy and is very, very good for if you have a cold, would like to warm up in the winter, or want to clear your nose." — K.Hamel

Photo by Irene

11. Chicken Long Rice Soup

"This IS very comforting, nutritious and low in calories...not to mention economical!" — Carla Cleary

Photo by OkinawanPrincess

12. Pick-Me-Up Egg Drop Soup

"I was not feeling well one evening and wanted soup. But I only had chicken broth and that sounded boring. I'd made egg drop soup before and thought that sounded perfect, so I started looking up recipes. Since I couldn't quite make any of the ones I found, I combined them to make this. It helped settle my stomach and was super easy to make." — Clarissa Leigh

Photo by Baking Nana

13. Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

"This soup hit the spot and is great when you have to feed a family who is suffering with colds." — NPINCEK

Photo by kristi.leigh112

14. The Best Thai Coconut Soup

"More comforting than chicken soup with our current terrible head colds!" — Queen Llemon

Photo by Aja

Best Bets For Feel-Better Soups

  • Broth-based soups. Easy to sip. Easy to digest. Soothing for sore throats.
  • Simple proteins. Try easily digestible tofu, shredded chicken, or seafood to keep your strength up while you're fighting off the bugs.
  • Healthy Ingredients. Soups made with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and greens are rich in antioxidants. For a quick nutritional boost, serve broth-based soups over raw or lightly sautéed spinach instead of noodles.
  • Congestion-busters. Some folks swear by very spicy soups for clearing out those nasal passages. But if you're feeling a bit queasy, you might want to proceed with caution. Staying away from dairy-enriched soups might help fight congestion, but that's not been absolutely proven.
  • Tummy-friendly. Ginger is effective at settling nausea. Shave some into your broth soup and sip it all day.

Check out our collection of Soup Recipes.