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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

10 Best Soup Recipes for a Sore Throat



The best soups for a sore throat are a little spot of contention around the world. Some folks swear by chicken noodle soup, for instance, while others insist that a nice miso soup is more comforting and nutritious. In today’s article, we’re going to share some of the best soups for a sore throat so that you can see what they bring to the table and which ones seem like they might be the best fit for you.

We’ll also share our own favorites, of course, and answer a few frequently asked questions about the best soups for a sore throat along the way. As it turns out, there are some pretty fantastic options out there so If you’re ready, then let’s get this show started!

Our top 3 picks at a glance

For those of you in a hurry, we’ve got a sneak peek at our 3 favorites from the sore-throat soup list that we’ve shared with you today. We’ll tell you a little about each and you can get a more comprehensive look at the ‘why’ of these selections later on in the article. Now, here’s your sneak peek!

  • Swanson Sipping Bone Broth, Chicken Bone Broth with Ginger & Turmeric – With chicken bone broth, turmeric, and ginger that comes in a cup you can cook, this Swanson offering was our #1 favorite for today.
  • MaeSri Tom Kha Soup – Our number 2 spot went to this MaeSri Tom Kha soup with coconut milk, chilies, mushrooms, lemongrass, and lime, it’s a hot and sweet treat for spicy-soup lovers that could use a little comfort for a sore throat.
  • It’s Greek To Me Greek Style Chicken Soup – It’s deceptively simple, but this chicken soup with it’s added egg, lemon juice, and orzo pasta is nothing short of addictive and if you’re lucky, you can even find it in your local WalMart or other favorite grocer.

We’ll go into more specifics about these delicious soups at the close of this article, but for now we hope that you’ve enjoyed your sneak peek and we’ll be getting to our full list of sore-throat soups shortly!

Comfortable and practical – Finding the best soups for when you’re sick

When you are sick, soup has quite a lot of appeal to it. It’s easy to eat, soothes the throat, and it also will ideally give you enough nutrition to boost your energy and help you to get started with those inevitable things you can’t put off.

Soup can do a little more than that, though. For instance, meaty and vegetable broths provide bacteria in your throat with a bit of ‘bait’ to chase – a trip which inevitably leads them to your acidic stomach where they’ll hopefully get what’s coming to them!

More than that, ingredients such as alliums – garlic and onion being good examples – also help to clear your sinuses and boost your immune system. Ginger is another ingredient that really packs a punch, soothing sore throats, lowering fevers, and helping to stave off infections.

One of the most common ingredients in soups is one you don’t really think about, at least until it isn’t there – Sodium.

While you don’t want to overdo it, small amounts of sodium are very good for your throat (like a salt water gargle that you’d get from a nurse), and they also help your body to maintain the perfect balance of water and minerals.

The most important factor, though, is going to be your personal preference – that soup won’t do you any good if you don’t want to eat it – so you need something that preferably has the weight of childhood nostalgia behind it or which is simply so darned good that even when you feel bad, you won’t mind sipping at least a little.

If you choose a soup that fits the bill with good herbal choices, taste, nostalgia, and hopefully a little extra nutrition, then you’ve got a winning recipe for getting yourself out of bed and well on the mend.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best soups for a sore throat and you can see what sounds good to you!

The best soups for a sore throat

In the sections below, we’re going to list an assortment of soups for you to take a look at. Some of them you’ll already know – as we’ve mentioned, nostalgia is an important factor – but we’re also including quite a few that you may not have tried and we’ll tell you about them along the way.

We’ll let you know what kind of ingredients they bring to the table, as well as the pros and cons of each, and if you see something that tempts you then we encourage you to give it a try – having ready-to-go soups stocked in the pantry that can give you a little sore-throat relief and coax you to eat really is an amazing comfort when you need it.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at those soups and you can see what you think!

1. Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup

Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup, 10.75 Ounce Can (Pack of 4)

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Many of us grew up eating Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Noodle soup – it was the most common soup you’d find in many American pantries. Often mom or dad would add a few ingredients of their own and voila, you’ve got the stuff that memories are made of. While it’s not fancy or exotic, a nostalgic soup is like a ‘vacation in your mind’ when you’re feeling sick and so we felt this list wouldn’t be complete without this humble offering from Campbells.

The Pros:

A lot of people reading this right now can taste the soup in their mind – love it or hate it, we grew up with it, and nursed away many ailments sipping on this famous recipe. It’s also quite easy to tweak – with the strong chicken stock, you can dilute it or have it as-is, and add ginger or other personal touches to make it your own.

The Cons:

Not everyone grew up with this soup and some folks did but really didn’t like it, so this won’t be a perfect fit for everyone.

2. Lipton Soup Secrets – Soup Mix Packets With Real Chicken Flavor Broth (Pack of 4)

Lipton, Soup Secrets, Soup Mix With Real Chicken Flavor Broth (Pack of 4)

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We’ve got one more piece of ‘American nostalgia’ for nursing a sore throat or cold and it comes in the form of these Lipton Soup Secrets packets and it still tastes like what you remember. With the tiny noodles sliced in lengths about the same size as 2 grains of rice placed head-to-head, these Lipton packets filled the room with a delightful chicken scent and a full-flavored soup that you can rely on – it’s always delicious and familiar. That’s what you want when you don’t feel your best.

The Pros:

Lipton soups are famous for a reason and this chicken noodle soup is often repurposed in other recipes for its amazingly full flavor. The packets have a seriously long shelf life, so this is a soup that you can stock up on with confidence, and you can make it in minutes even when you are moving at ¼ of your usual speed.

The Cons:

The soup base itself, while wildly flavorful, will need a few extra ingredients if you want to give it a little more substance. It’s great for a sore throat – but if you want something hearty then another option might be a better fit.

3. It’s Greek To Me Greek Style Chicken Soup

It's Greek To Me Chicken Soup, Greek Style, 20.2 Ounce (Pack of 12)

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Have you ever had Greek Chicken soup? If not, then you are really in for a treat! This ‘It’s Greek to Me’ Greek-style chicken soup is a little different from your average chicken soup, in that it includes an egg, as well as lemon juice, and orzo – which is a pasta that is shaped like grains of rice. It’s a very distinctive flavor and if you have any Greek relatives, it’s also going to be one that you recognize – adding that extra healing power of childhood memories into the equation!

The Pros:

This is definitely great for sore throats – chicken soup is good on its own, but the added lemon in this soup will help to fight bacteria on your throat and the egg will also give you a protein boost while the orzo helps to ensure that you feel full.

The Cons:

It’s a little on the pricey side when you order online, but be sure to check your local supermarket – some big chains like WalMart do carry it, and in some states like Florida you’ll find it in a lot of smaller shops as well – and it’s worth looking for!

4. Amy’s Soup, Vegan No Chicken Noodle Soup

Amy's Soup, Vegan No Chicken Noodle Soup, With Organic Noodles, Vegetables and Tofu, Canned Soup, 14.1 Oz (12 Pack)

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Some vegans grew up with chicken noodle soup and for those folks that miss the flavor, Amy’s soup offers a fantastic Vegan No Chicken Noodle soup that doesn’t disappoint. Made with delicious ingredients such as celery, onions, leeks, tofu, carrots, and yummy noodles – everything Non-GMO and produced without insecticides – this is a delicious soup that can help you scratch that ‘chicken noodle’ itch in a 100% vegan-approved way.

The Pros:

Amy’s has been around for years and they produce their products from scratch – so you get a quality taste that you don’t find every day in a canned soup. It also works well with many of your favorite ingredients, so a can of Amy’s gives you a great base for a custom feel-good soup that you can whip-up on the fly when you want a quick and comfortable recovery.

The Cons:

Specialty products do cost a little more, so it might be worthwhile to check your local vendors to see if they carry Amy’s if the online prices feel a little steep.

5. Kikkoman Egg Flower, Hot and Sour Soup

Kikkoman Egg Flower, Hot and Sour Soup, 0.88-OuncePouch (Pack of 12)

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Hot, tangy, and with a taste that stirs your appetite even when you’re feeling broken, This Kikkoman Egg Flower Hot and Sour soup is a great pick-me-up that you’ll want to stock in the pantry. With ingredients like powdered chicken and mushroom extracts, paprika, onion, ginger, and hot bean paste, all you need to do is add 2 ½ cups of water and bring it to a boil and crack an egg in it – so it’s easy to make and oh-so-good!

The Pros:

When your throat hurts and your taste buds are having trouble registering weaker flavors, there’s nothing quite like a good hot and sour soup to invigorate you and make you feel like you love life again. Hot and sour soup is also ideal, because it’s one of those flavors that will tempt you to eat more – which is a huge challenge when you feel sick.

The Cons:

This is a ‘sippin’ soup’ – you’ll need to add veggies if you want to make it into heartier fare, so while it’s great for your throat, you’ll spend a little extra time adding ingredients unless you are just using this to eat a little and encourage your appetite for something more substantial.

6. Kikkoman Instant Tofu Miso Soup

Kikkoman Instant Tofu Miso Soup (Soybean Paste Soup with Tofu) -(9 Pockets in 3 Packs) (3.15 Oz)

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Kikkoman makes our list twice because frankly, they’re just that good! This Kikkoman Instant Tofu Miso is a fine example and if you’ve got a sore throat and a weakened constitution, then it might be just what the doctor ordered! These packets include ingredients such as powdered red miso and dehydrated seaweed and green onions, so you’ll be getting a lot of nutrients in your soup base. When you consider that you can just add hot water and sip as you like, it’s a great soup to stock up for those days when you need an extra ‘kick’ to get on with your day.

The Pros:

If you love Miso soup, Kikkoman makes a mean one so you’re in good hands – you can get the flavor you are craving and a little energy boost in the bargain.

The Cons:

Miso is a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of thing, so this won’t be the soup for everyone, and some might prefer a soup with more in the way of veggies so that it feels like a proper meal.

7. Swanson Sipping Bone Broth, Chicken Bone Broth with Ginger & Turmeric

Swanson Sipping Bone Broth, Chicken Bone Broth with Ginger & Turmeric, 10.75 Ounce Sipping Cup (Pack of 8)

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Swanson Sipping Bone Broth with Ginger and Tumeric is just about as perfect a soup for a sore throat as it gets. The soup itself comes in a sipping cup – so you won’t even have to deal with dishes later! Inside that cup, you’ll have a rich and flavorful chicken bone broth, along with carrots, cabbage, ginger, celery, onions, tomato paste, and more – just remove the metal tab and microwave the cup for a minute.

As the broth is richer than your average chicken broth, thanks to it being sourced from chicken AND the bones and then further enriched with ginger, your throat will be feeling better and your tummy fuller in no time flat!

The Pros:

This stuff is GREAT and if you’re the type who uses ‘doing the dishes’ as an excuse not to eat when you are sick, then this is the perfect amount of temptation and convenience to get you eating the soup you know you need. The flavor is also out of this world, so this is a soup well-worth stocking up on.

The Cons:

If you don’t have a microwave then you’ll need a few extra steps to cook it and sadly, there are no vegan varieties out there at this time that we are aware of.

8. MaeSri Tom Kha Soup, 14 Ounce

MaeSri Tom Kha Soup, 14 Ounce (Pack of 12)

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If you haven’t had good Thai Tom Kha soup before, then it comes highly recommended, and this MaeSri Tom Kha soup is an excellent introduction to the glorious flavor you’ve been missing out on. Tom Kha soup is a sweet, sour, and spicy party in your mouth. Made with coconut milk for a creamy texture and flavor, there is also a hint of lime, as well as lemongrass, oyster mushrooms, hot chilies, and a little fish paste, it’s really something that you have to taste for yourself (and you’ll be happy that you did).

It’s just spicy enough to give you a good energy boost and it is also quite soothing for the throat (provided that you normally like spicy foods). Best of all, the unique flavors will encourage you to eat more, so that you’ll get a little steady nutrition to help you on the mend.

The Pros:

Those who love spicy foods are well aware of the benefits – you get an energy boost that will perk up your mind and body and help you to get back into the grind. Tom Kha soup is also quite addictive – the coconut milk and lime gives it a creamy texture and flavor contrast that you’ll find yourself coming back to again and again.

The Cons:

If you DON’T like spice or have a low tolerance for it, then you need to be careful – you don’t want to chew the chiles as this could make your throat worse. You can eat the mushrooms and sip the broth and it will definitely help but if your spice tolerance is low then you’ll want to skip this soup or simply try it out when you are NOT sick to see if you like it.

9. Pacific Foods Organic Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup

Pacific Foods Organic Cashew Carrot Ginger Soup, 32 oz Carton

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Next up we have Pacific Foods Organic Cashew Carrot Ginger soup and it’s a serious treat for your throat and your tummy. Housed in a cardboard container like milk, you can pour it out and heat it as-needed for an instant soup that will soothe your throat and leave you wanting more of it later. The soup itself is a blend of carrots, ginger, coconut milk, and buttery cashews, with just enough spice to get your attention.

As an added bonus, that spice factor also makes it a yummy soup that you can eat cold right out of the container! As we’re talking about cashews and veggies, you get a dose of vitamins and enough calories to help you get out of bed and get on with your day!

The Pros:

This soup really tastes amazing and along with the ingredients we’ve mentioned, roasted garlic is included for a little extra recovery power and out-of-this-world flavor. If you like it, they also have a lot of different soups that come in a box and ready-to-go, so this is definitely a brand to explore for those looking for a quick soup that doesn’t require opening packets or fiddling with a can.

The Cons:

As it’s a little spicy, this won’t be a good fit for everyone, but otherwise we have no complaints – this is a veggie soup even meat lovers will find themselves craving and that’s not something you see every day.

10. Manischewitz Matzo Ball Soup

Manischewitz Matzo Ball Soup, Kosher For Passover, 24 Ounce Jar (Pack of 2, Total of 48 Oz)

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Matzo ball soup is sometimes referred to as ‘Jewish Penicillin’ and this Manischewitz Matzo Ball Soup delivers this classic comfort food for those who are craving it and might be far away from family. If you’ve never had it before, imagine a soup made with egg, celery, carrots, a little onion and garlic powder, with delicious dumplings – which is basically what matzo balls are like. Some have described the flavor as ‘chicken soup with dumplings instead of noodles’ and it’s a pretty good description.

Your throat will be soothed by the soup itself, while those dumplings help to ensure that you feel full and ready to tackle the day ahead!

The Pros:

If you grew up with Matzo ball soup then this Manischewitz soup tastes close enough to what you are used to that you’ll get that ‘comfort factor’ boost. For others who didn’t grow up with it, it’s still pretty yummy – soup with dumplings is a great way to get a few calories in you when you’re feeling down, and this soup definitely delivers.

The Cons:

If you didn’t grow up with it then this might not be the best fit for you. That said, the matzo balls in it are yummy, but we would have liked them a little bigger – otherwise, it’s a pretty tasty soup in a jar that you’ll be happy to have on hand when you need it!


It’s just about time for us to call it a day, but before we make our exit, we’ve got a few frequently asked questions on the subjects of soups and sore throats. Let’s take a peek!

What soup is best for a sore throat?

Chicken soups are probably the most popular option for sore throats and for good reason. The chicken broth helps to boost your white blood cell count, while also soothing your throat with the heat. Bacteria on the throat also see chicken broth as a food source and when they go after it, your stomach acids will make short work of them. 

In Asian cultures, soups with ginger are usually considered the best, and these could be chicken soup variants but that won’t always be the case. The ginger helps to provide a warm feeling on the throat that is almost like eating a lozenge from the pharmacy, so at the very least ginger options certainly give chicken soup a run for its money – it really all boils down to what kind of foods you prefer.

Should I eat soup if I have a sore throat?

Yes, soup is a great way to get a little relief for your throat, although you would be well-advised to go with soups that also have a little substance. If you pick something that has some veggies in it, then you’ll be getting a little more nutrition and that can greatly reduce your recovery time and you’ll feel less fatigued.

Is hot soup good for throat infections?

Hot soup can be quite useful for throat infections. The sodium, for instance, works on the same principle as when a nurse has you gargle salt water for a sore throat. Broth also helps to lure bacteria away from the throat and into your tummy, where your stomach acid can make short work of it. 

Just keep in mind that if you have a sore throat and a fever to go with it, then it’s probably best to see your doctor if it goes on for more than a day or two. Soup is nice and can help to soothe symptoms, but always err on the side of caution where your health is concerned.

The verdict

It’s that time in the article where we have to commit to our favorites and tell you what it was that we really liked about them. We’ll give you a little feedback on each and you can see if you agree but just remember – this is soup and that’s a very personal decision, so ultimately you’re going to have to be the judge!

Swanson Sipping Bone Broth, Chicken Bone Broth with Ginger & Turmeric

Our number one favorite was this Swanson Sipping Bone broth with Ginger and Turmeric. One of the problems when you’re sick is motivating yourself to make something and this delicious soup makes it easy – pop the metal top off and microwave the plastic cup for a minute, and then you have a rich chicken bone broth with the additional might or ginger and turmeric to soothe your aching throat.

It’s good enough that you’ll find yourself sipping it even when you aren’t sick, so be sure to hide a can or two somewhere just in case of emergency!

MaeSri Tom Kha Soup

Tom Kha soup is amazing stuff and MaeSri makes second place with this yummy one that you can stock up on and have ready for when you’re feeling under the weather. This is a sweet and spicy soup, so it won’t be for everyone, but for those spice lovers out there this is exactly what the doctor ordered for when you aren’t feeling your best. The spice kick will give you a little extra energy and the coconut milk will coat your throat while the soup clears up any clogs in your sinuses. If you love spicy soups, this is probably going to be the best fit!

It’s Greek To Me Greek Style Chicken Soup

This ‘It’s Greek to Me’ Greek-style chicken soup scores third place with of those rare flavors that you sometimes encounter that seems a little weird at first, but then you find that you can’t put down your spoon. We think it’s probably the lemon in it – you get that little taste of sour to go with the delicious broth and the protein boost from the eggs, and after a taste or two you’re pretty much hooked. 

It’s close enough to regular chicken soup that you won’t have to worry and it’s different enough that it’s going to tempt you to eat when you need the energy to mend – so this soup is definitely a win!

We’d like to thank you for reading today and if you have a moment, please be sure to leave some feedback and share some of your own ‘best soups for a sore throat’ before you go. We get the best tips here sometimes, so please keep them coming, and we hope to see you again soon!

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

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