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This vegan “Get Well Soup” features sweet caramelized onions, roasted garlic, fresh ginger, and turmeric to help you feel better!
THERE IS NO CURE FOR THE COMMON COLD. THIS RECIPE IS INTENDED TO HELP SOOTHE COLD SYMPTOMS, BUT IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE.
This winter has been germy.
It seems like no matter how hard the husband and I ducked and dodged to avoid cold cooties, we caught them.
If you too have been battling the cold and flu season, here’s a “get well soup” to get you back on the road to health.
This “Get Well Soup” is made from healing ingredients like sweet caramelized onions and roasted garlic, warming ginger, and a dash of turmeric.
While it cooks, sip on a little bourbon cough syrup or a mint tea hot toddy. I also recommend snagging some of the Ginger People’s ginger wellness shots!
How to Caramelize Onions for “Get Well Soup”
I won’t lie— this soup isn’t a quick dinner.
But you aren’t in a hurry today anyway, right? You’re home sick!
This Onion and Garlic ‘Get Well Soup,’ takes about two and a half hours to make. The good news is, though, that for almost the entire cook-time, you can lay on the couch with your tissues and watch a movie.
Okay then— let’s make it!
Start by slicing up about eight onions.
If you’re staring at your onions, and only see seven… it’s okay. You don’t have to go to the store— just use what you’ve got.
Heat a large pan over medium heat with some olive oil, and add the onions, a little salt, some rosemary, and 2 bay leaves.
Let the onions cook over medium heat with the lid on for a few minutes until they start to look translucent. Take the lid off, turn the heat to low or medium-low, and let the onions caramelize.
Plan on this taking anywhere from two to five hours, depending on how high or low your heat is.
I usually cook mine over medium-low and they finish in just under two hours.
You can mostly ignore them during this part— checking on them every 45 minutes or so.
What Soup Pot Should I Use?
I like to use an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, because it helps the onions cook slowly and evenly.
I use an enameled cast iron Dutch oven from Lodge.
Stainless steel pots work too– just check on the onions a little more frequently.
How to Roast Garlic
Next, take two heads of garlic (yes, two HEADS, not two cloves).
Remove most of the papery peel, cut off the pointed top, and then set them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle them with olive oil, and fold the aluminum foil around them (they should be completely covered.)
Set the foil packet in the oven, and roast them at 400ºF for 40-50 minutes.
When they’re done roasting, take them out of the oven, and set them aside to cool until the onions have finished caramelizing.
Finish The “Get Well Soup”
When your onions are almost done caramelizing, pop the garlic cloves out of the heads by pushing on the bottom of the garlic heads.
Add the garlic cloves to the onions and smash them with the end of a wooden spoon. Add the ginger, turmeric, and hot water, bring it all to a simmer, and salt to taste.
Make sure you “salt to taste“— if you’ve got a cold, and are having trouble tasting anything, you might need a little more salt than you would otherwise.
Dig into a big steaming bowl of this while you recuperate, and we’ll all wait together for springtime!
Tip: Turmeric does stain if you spill it on… well, on anything. If you’re so sick that you aren’t confident in your motor skills, skip the turmeric (and maybe go to the doctor.)
“Get Well Soup” with Onion and Garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary (destemmed)
- 2 whole heads of garlic
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger OR ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onions, 2 teaspoons salt, rosemary, and bay leaves. Cover pot, and cook over medium-high for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to look translucent and start releasing water.
- Remove lid, and cook onions over low (or medium-low) until they caramelize. This will take 2-5 hours, depending on the size of your pot and the temperature used. The onions can be left alone and checked on about once an hour, except at the beginning and end of the caramelizing process.
- While onions cook, peel most of the papery skin off the garlic. Cut about ¼ inch off the top of the garlic head (the side that comes to a point, not the side where the roots were). Set garlic heads on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, and fold foil over garlic. Place in oven for about 40-50 minutes. Garlic is ready when the center cloves are softened. (If the cloves feel soft, but are still pale, you can leave them in for another 10 minutes to allow them to caramelize more.)
- Let garlic cool for a few minutes, and then push on the bottom of the garlic head to release the cloves. Set cloves aside.
- When onions have reduced and are an amber color, you're ready. Add the garlic cloves, and mash them with the end of a wooden spoon. Add ginger, turmeric, and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Taste soup– if you prefer a milder flavor, add another cup of hot water. Add additional salt to taste if desired. Remove the bay leaves.
- Ladle soup into bowls, and serve immediately. Alternatively, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Made it today and we Love it !
I added cayane pepper to mine and a bit more fresh garlic, it’s DELICIOUS !!! 🙂
Oh yay! And wow cayenne is a brilliant idea- I’ll have to add that next time! (And if you’re sick I hope you feel better soon!)
Can you freeze this soup?
Yup! I’ve added freezer directions to the last step in the recipe.
So you think this would be a good soup to preserve in jars for canning? I was thinking of preserving longer on the shelf than taking up limited freezer room.
Hi Melody! We haven’t tested this for canning, sorry, so we’re not sure how it would do! We’ve only preserved it in the freezer so far.
-Alisha at Champagne Tastes
How much water do you add, did I miss it in your instructions?
Hi Kris! It’s in step 7- use 5 cups of water, and then you can add another cup if it’s too strong for your taste. (And if you’re sick, feel better!!)
Good lord, how did I miss tha??? ????????♀️, thank you so much, you’re a sweetie. I am not sick but I will definitely make this the next time I feel a cold/flu coming on.
No worries at all!!! And I hope you stay well and don’t need it 😀
Would chicken broth work. Chicken noodle soup was my sick soup. I love roasted garlic I can eat it as is. May need a third just to snack while waiting
Hi Donna! I’ve never made this soup with broth added, only water, so I can’t tell you exactly what it would taste like. BUT I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t work! (And yes! Snack on some roasted garlic- it’s delicious!)
Have you tried making this in an Instant Pot ?
I haven’t!! Sorry! And the main thing you’d want to be able to do is caramelize the onions.. I’m not sure if an instant pot can do that or not. (My gut says no, but I could be totally wrong!)
I insta potted this recipe and it worked like a Champ! Took about 30 mins to carmelize the onions on the sauté setting. I then put all other ingredients in the pot, put the lid on and cooked for 20 mins with the vent closed. Worked perfectly! I also used 4 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup water. Great flavor! Thank you so much!
Wahoo!! I’m so glad that worked for you!!! 💕💕💕
I am going to make a double batch of this and freeze it for the upcoming cold and flu season. Think I’ll substitute vegetable broth for the water….looks amazing!
We made this when my dad had the flu this week, and he really liked it! I think it did help him feel better too…I don’t want to say it had miraculous properties, but one day he was zonked out as sick as could be and a couple days later he was up and plowing snow on our street. 🙂 Anyway, the onions and garlic are a great choice for someone who is feeling all stopped up and generally germy. I didn’t get to try it this time (we only had enough ingredients for half a batch, which was about three small-ish servings for him), but he liked the taste quite well. All I know is it smelled good while we were cooking. Would try again. And even though the recipe takes a while to cook, it’s not really any hard work. The only problem we had was the garlic didn’t come out of the cloves as well as it should have, so we didn’t get quite enough for the recipe and had to throw in some minced garlic out of a squeeze bottle from the grocery store.
Yay! I’m glad he’s feeling better and that the soup maybe/possibly helped 😀
I made it for my husband on Monday when he got sick. By Tuesday night he was cleaning the apartment! Thanks 🙂
Hooray for the onion soup! I’m glad he’s feeling better 🙂
In combination with excessive hand washing, going to bed early, and taking vitamins this winter… I feel as though this soup had a hand in keeping me healthy.
I’m so glad it was helpful Amy!
I started feeling bad and running a fever so I decided to make this Get Well Soup. It was pretty simple. I did feel better the next morning after eating it. The soup tastes even better the second day!
It turns out I had type B flu but I really think the soup kept my fever down. Usually when I get the flu, my fever gets super high and it gets in my chest. This time it didn’t. I think all those onions and garlic really helped
I hope you’re feeling better now! And I’m glad you liked the soup 😀
OMG that was a lot of onion. But I was pleasantly surprised how sweet the soup actually became 🙂
Lol yessss it’s a lot! I’m glad you loved!
I made this! Me and my sister both love this soup so much – and always make it when we´re sick/feel we´re starting to get sick. It´s the remedy to feel better- I swear. Thank you!!
I’m so glad that you both love it! And I hope you stay healthy and don’t need it super often 💕💕💕
Is it weird that I want to make this just to make it?!?! Onions, garlic and soup?!?! Yes please! YUM!
Lol.. That’s not weird at all! It’s tasty all the time! 😁 Let me know if you try it!
I love this soup! I found it on Pinterest earlier this year and now it’s my go-to for any and all humans under the weather. I initially found it when searching for something to make my roommate when he fell ill. I then made it again for a neighbor when I heard his wife was sick and they loved it. Today, I had to make it for myself and am finally getting to reap the rewards! I couldn’t find any fresh ginger at my main grocer and being sick and all didn’t feel like making extra stops so I used about 5 drops of ginger essential oil! Pretty clever sub if I say so myself lol. Tho I can’t smell anything, the flavor still comes through, and I love how the onions take on an almost noodle like texture. Makes it kinda fun if you ask me. Anywho, GREAT recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!!!
Oh I’m so glad you’ve been loving it! And yes!!! That was clever 😁 Thanks for letting me know, and I hope you feel better soon! 💕💕💕
Hi this recipe intrigued me and I would love to have this on hand in case we are sick. Do you think I could can the soup? Thanks for sharing.
Hi Leanne! I don’t have any experience canning so I’m really not sure, I’m sorry! I know for sure it freezes well though!
Delicious! I did add some black pepper (apparently supposed to enhance the bioavailability of turmeric) and it turned out SO well. Such a simple soup with a lot of flavor.
Yay I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know!
I just made this using my Instant Pot and the Saute function. Freezing this for the upcoming colder weather.YUM!
Oh yay!! I’m so glad you loved it! 💕
I made this today using the instant pot. I’m on day 5 of the flu and haven’t been able to stomach much. I added cooked potato at the end. Thank you! I was finally able to eat a real meal (something besides a smoothie!)
I hope you feel better soon Laura!!! I’m happy I could help 💕💕 Potatoes sound like an awesome addition!!
I’m not going to wait to be sick to enjoy this soup. I love onion soup but never thought to add roasted garlic and love that idea. Looks great!
This was delicious. I added a couple potatoes and sautéed shitake mushrooms for more filling and it was a big hit
Can the pot of onions caramelize in the oven while the garlic roasts? It seems a waste of energy to heat a whole oven for 2 heads of garlic.
I’ve never tried caramelizing onions in the oven.. I don’t think it would work as well as on the stovetop. If you try it let me know!
I just made this for my sick, vegan husband. It was very good and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it will make him feel better like others mentioned🤞🏻How come in your photos you don’t have or see the rosemary?
I hope it helps and that he feels better soon!! (And I guess I didn’t style it well enough to let you see the herbs! Oops sorry!)
Just made this and it’s delicious!! I’m surprised how all of these strong flavors mellow out during the cooking process.
I carmelized the onions in the instant pot (using a recipe I googled for instant Pot carmelized Onions) and it only took about 15 minutes total. I followed the rest of the recipe (minus the rosemary and plus some cayenne) and it’s the bomb!
I’ll make sure to always make this whenever I’m sick and have some ready in the freezer. Thank you so much!
Yay! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Also I hope you feel better soon 🙂