5 Soups to Help With Winter Ills



It’s been a bit of a rough start to the cold and flu season for many, coming early, and hitting hard, with early and on-going flu outbreaks felling many of us (including myself). As we get that little bit older, it can take us longer to recover too. Paying attention to hygiene (washing hands, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing), staying out of chills, and beefing up your intake of flu fighting vitamins can all help reduce your chance of catching the dreaded ailments. But what happens if you’ve taken all of these precautions, and you still catch a cold or flu? With a bit of Winter still to go, we’ve found 5 soups, packed full of vitamins and goodness which will have you feeling better in no time. They aren’t a miracle cure (unfortunately nothing is), but they’re all delicious, nutritious, and easy to eat with a sore throat.


The recipes are taken from the CWA Classics Cookbook, and we thank them and the respective authors for letting us use these delish recipes. We all know the good work the CWA does in helping rural families through drought, so if you’d like to purchase the book (it has over 400 tried and tested recipes), click here (this is not sponsored – we make no money on any sales), and if you’re interested in finding out more about the work the CWA does, click here.

Chicken Minestrone – Recipe courtesy of Noela Macleod – CWA Victoria


The addition of chicken to a traditional minestrone gives this soup a delicious taste, as well as an additional boost of goodness if you’re feeling unwell. As this recipe makes a lot, it can be frozen and reheated as needed, so make ahead, and take it out when you’re feeling unwell (or any time you feel like it!)




1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 leek, chopped

1 green capsicum, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 large sweet potato, cubed

2 sticks celery, chopped

2 large carrots, cubed

2 cups shredded cabbage

2 skinless chicken breasts

3 zucchini, diced

2.5 litres chicken stock (see recipe below, or use your preferred brand)

1 x 425g can peeled tomatoes

¾ cup macaroni

½ cup rice

1 x 440g cannellini beans, drained

Chopped fresh parsley, and grated parmesan, to serve




Heat oil in soup pot, add onion, leek, capsicum and garlic, and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add sweet potato, celery, carrots and cabbage to pot and cook for 5 minutes.


Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, add to the pot, and cook to seal on all sides. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and tomatoes, then simmer (covered) for 1 – 1 ½ hours.


Finally, add macaroni, rice and beans, and simmer for a further 14 minutes.


Serve topped with parsley and parmesan cheese.


Serves 8-10


Gingered Orange Vegetable Soup – Recipe courtesy of Sue Stanley, CWA Vic


Orange vegetables really come into their own in Winter, and they are an easy way to get a few extra vitamins. This delicious soup makes the most of their velvety goodness, and the addition of garlic gives this soup a flu-fighting punch.




2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium sized brown onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

500g sweet potato, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon each of ground cumin, turmeric and paprika

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

4 cups chicken stock (see recipe below, or use your preferred brand)

Salt and pepper to taste

Yoghurt, to serve

Fried shallots or chopped fresh coriander to serve





Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add onion and garlic, and cook until transparent but not browned. Add carrot, sweet potato and pumpkin, and turn to coat with the oil. Add the spices and again toss the vegetables to coat.


Pour the chicken stock into the pan, bring to the boil, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.


Remove soup from heat, allow to cool a little, then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth, and add salt and pepper to taste. Reheat, and serve topped with a dollop of yoghurt and some fried shallots or fresh coriander (you can buy fried shallots in Asian food stores).


Serves 4-6


Thai Chicken and Pumpkin Soup – Recipe courtesy of Beverly Lee, CWA Tasmania


We know how good chicken is when you are under the weather, and the addition of curry and lemongrass helps to clear your sinuses (as well as adding warmth to your body).





1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon green curry paste

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass

4 cups chicken stock (see recipe below, or use your preferred brand)

1 cup coconut cream

500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped

500g chicken fillet, chopped

Fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, or chives) and sliced lime for garnish




Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, curry paste, garlic, and lemongrass, and cook, stirring until onion is soft. Add the stock and coconut cream, bring to the boil, add pumpkin, and cook (uncovered) for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 6 minutes more, until chicken is tender.


Serve garnished with the herbs and lime slices.


Serves 4-6



Double Tomato Soup – Recipe courtesy of Bev Aherne, CWA Tasmania


Packed with Vitamin C, tomatoes are a delicious way to eat your way to Winter health. This simple recipe gives a double punch of this wonder fruit.




1 medium sized onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped celery

1 tablespoon butter

1 x 425g can chopped tomatoes (or use the same amount of fresh or frozen)

1 x 440g can condensed tomato soup


Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley





In a large heavy saucepan, saute the onion and celery in the butter until soft.


Drain the canned tomatoes (reserve the liquid), or chop the fresh or frozen ones (if using). Add tomatoes and their liquid to the pan.


Meanwhile, in a second saucepan, prepare the canned soup according to the label instructions, then add to the original saucepan. Heat until very hot, and serve with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of parsley.


Serves 6


Vegetable Soup – Recipe courtesy of M. M. Stackhouse, CWA Victoria


We love the simplicity of this soup, and the fact that it is packed so full of vitamins. As a bonus, the fact that you can use any vegetables you happen to have on hand means less food and $$ waste too.




250g McKenzies Soup Mix

About 3 cups roughly chopped vegetables

1-2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder

Salt and pepper





Put soup mix, vegetables, and stock powder in a boiler or large saucepan, cover well with water, and simmer until vegetables are soft. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher (or stick blender) until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.


Serves 4-6


Chicken Stock – Recipe author unknown


So many of the above recipes call for chicken stock, we thought we’d publish this one (also in the CWA cookbook), as it is delicious and fresh (and can also be frozen). You can also use store bought chicken stock if you prefer.




1.5kg chicken (whole or pieces)

1 onion, sliced

1 carrot, chopped

1 leek, sliced

1 stick celery, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

2 sprigs parsley

6 black peppercorns





Place the chicken in a large pot and add about 3 litres of water (the chicken should be completely covered). Bring nearly to boil, then skim the surface. Add the vegetables and herbs, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer very gently for 1 ½ – 2 hours.


Allow stock to cool a little, then strain. Discard the vegetables and herbs (you can save the meat for sandwiches). Refrigerate stock, and when cold, remove any fat from the surface. Suitable for freezing at this point, or use fresh.


Makes about 2 litres


(Beauty Over 40 note, the recipe calls for the vegetables and herbs to be discarded – I discarded the bay leaf and thyme, kept everything else, added a cooked potato (cubed), about 500ml-700ml vegetable stock, blended everything, and made an extra soup with them).



We have tried and tested all of these recipes (although we have taken the liberty of using some Shutterstock images above, when we could find one close to our recipe), and they are all absolutely delicious. For these and more fabulous warming recipes, click the cookbook link above.


We wish you all a flu-free rest of Winter ahead (and feel free to share this with your ailment-prone friends). Let’s keep everyone illness free this season.


What are your favourite flu-fighting soups or recipes? Let us know in the comments below.




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