HOME > Chowhound > Vegetarian & Vegan >


Vegan Version of Bubbe's Chicken Soup-What Do You make When You Have a Cold?

Just getting over a wretched cold. I had no soup in the freezer so I made a very spicy tomato red lentil soup. Seems to have helped a little.

I know there must be better alternatives out there. I want to be better armed for future colds.

So, what are your versions of easy to make, sickie soup? What soup helps you feel better?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My vegan "chicken soup" isn't soup at all, but it does the trick and I make it at the first sign of a cold.

    1 bowl sushi or sticky rice
    2 tsp white miso
    1 tsp chili flakes, or to taste
    1 tsp tamari sauce (soy or shoyu are fine if you are not gf)
    a couple of drops of toasted sesame oil

    1 Reply
    1. I usually make a basic lentil soup too. Chow has one here: http://www.chow.com/recipes/29342-bas.... I tend to add slices of lemon (remove before serving) toward the end. I like the lemony/peppery thing.

      If I'm not up to that, it's chamomile tea and toast for me until I feel better.

      I think it's the "hot liquid" thing that is the key when sick. Clears the sinus and soothes the throat.

      Hope you are feeling better. :)

      1. The spicy tomato and lentil soup you mention sounds perfect. As my chow name implies, I think Rasam one of the ultimate comfort foods on the planet, and it is perfect when you are under the weather (will cure whatever ails you) or just feel like something spicy to perk you up. My early food memories are of mother or grandmother making rasam with rice to feed us whenever we were sick and it makes you feel much better when you have nausea, lack of appetite, heavy cold, fever, any such thing (the digestive spices such as cumin, pepper, etc. and the tomatoes/lemon/tamarind etc.)

        There are many versions of rasam, but all involve a specific spice mix (rasam powder), tamarind extract (or other souring agent such as tomatoes, lemon juice etc.), and maybe a base of boiled and mashed toor dal.

        Here are a couple of links:
        Pepper rasam:

        Mysore rasam (distinguished by using a little coconut and a pinch of sugar):

        All the recipes are vegetarian, and easy to veganize by using vegetable oil instead of ghee when tempering the spices at the final step.

        Enjoy a cup of rasam (like soup) or totally mush some cooked rice in a bowl, mix with rasam, and that's a full meal right there.

        Bon appetit!

        1. Ooooh! pick me! pick me! This is what you need!! It truly is a vegan "chicken" noodle soup. It's outstanding.

          This is great too, but not like chicken soup. Wonderful for a sore throat though:

          1. I proceed as if I were making chicken matzo ball soup, with the soup veggies you can find packaged up in the supermarket produce dept (or you can put together your own selection). I make a veg broth with that, then strain out the veg. I augment this broth with vegan chicken soup base and finish the soup off with small pieces of diced quorn cutlets (not the breaded ones), fresh snipped dill and some small diced carrot and celery. And, of course, matzo balls.
            You can freeze the finished soup in containers so you always have some at the ready.

            1. We make a not chicken soup that tastes like the original due to the onion, parsnip, parsley, celery , and carrot. We add a bit of white miso for body at the end.

              1. I like miso and butternut squash soup when I'm sick. It doesn't taste like chicken soup, but it works like chicken soup. -- Leeks or onions, a little cooked brown rice and some chopped butternut squash cooked until everything's soft. Add miso to taste (I use brown barley miso) and simmer until it "blooms" (about 2 minutes). Vegan mushroom barley soup is also great for this purpose. I use tekka for seasoning to give it more depth of flavor.

                1. my current go-to when under the weather is the Korean kimchi and soft tofu soup.

                  1. As my name implies: Rasam. There are several versions, including tamarind rasam, lemon rasam, etc. Any of them will cure whatever ails you. Recipes just a short google away.
                    They are spicy, tomato, and lentil, (like what you had?) and I personally don't think there are any better alternatives out there :) I like other soups, but when I am sick, I am just programmed to drown the germs in a steaming hot bowl of rasam (with or without rice).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Rasam

                      Garlic miso soup! Use a vegan soup broth as the base and add as much chopped (not pressed) garlic as you think you can tolerate. I like to add minced lemon zest when the soup is ready, and a squeeze a wedge or two of lemon juice into my bowl. If you need to restore your energy, definitely add seaweed, ginger and green onions.

                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                        This sounds like it will cure anything. I never think of making miso soup with veggie stock, but that's a great idea. Will try it this weekend. Thanks, 1sweetpea.

                    2. I'd try to make a version of hot and sour soup, or maybe some pho/ramen using a vegetable stock and some mushrooms to give it some umami, plus some appropriate hot sauce, and other veggies? I've often substituted vegetable stock for chicken in my soup recipes for my friends who are vegetarian, with no loss in flavor, like my leek and potato soup.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cosmogrrl

                        Yes! Hot and sour soup is the cure for what ails me. There's a place that's too far to deliver that makes an excellent vegetarian hot and sour soup. There is a lot of it in my freezer for emergencies.

                      2. There is a seaweed called Alaria that can be used to make a broth which, it is claimed, tastes just like chicken broth.