Immune Support Lemon Chicken Soup (Vegetarian Option)

Immune Support Lemon Chicken Soup (Vegetarian Option)

A blue ceramic soup pot on a gas stove with the lid ajar showing a chili or soup.

Pucker up with this zesty lemon broth and show those bugs who’s boss!

I decided I better create a super soup that brings together some of the immune boosting properties I shared in my post about Revving Up Your Immune System This Cold and Flu Season With These Top Tips. This soup brings together pre-biotic plant fibres with barley and chickpeas, anti-inflammatory spices of turmeric and ginger, immune boosting alliums like onions, leeks and garlic, cold and flu fighting Vitamin C from the lemon and additional anti-oxidants from the carrots and kale. The lean chicken adds animal protein that also contains essential vitamins and minerals, leave it out for a vegetarian version and this soup will still pack a healthy kick! Enjoy with a whole grain or gluten free slice of sour dough and you are on your way to increased defences. This soup is created to nourish and sooth not only your physical body but your soul!

  • Gluten free option (replace barley with brown rice)
  • Dairy free
  • Refined sugar free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan/vegetarian option (omit chicken)
  • Cleanse program friendly
  • Mediterranean diet


  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large package boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 8 thighs
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 smallish white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium leek whites, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2  large carrots, sliced into rounds (if rounds are quite large, cut them in half)
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp grated ginger root
  • 1-1 1/2 tbsp grated turmeric root or use 1  1/2 tsp turmeric powder-
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 kale leaves, de-ribed and sliced thinly into ribbons
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups pre-cooked barley, could substitute brown rice or other whole grain of choice (great way to use left over grains)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, use to if opting for vegetarian
  • 6 cups soup stock, chicken or vegetable
  • 1/2-1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed, depending on how zesty you like it!
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs with the cumin, ginger and turmeric powder along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • In a soup pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and brown the chicken thighs on medium high, flipping after a couple of minutes then remove from pot and place on a plate. Set aside. You may need to do this in a batch.
  • Add remaining olive oil and sauté onions, leeks, celery and carrots on medium for about 5 minutes or until onions and leeks are soft.
  • Add fresh ginger, turmeric (fresh or powder) and garlic and sauté another 2 minutes or so.
  • While these ingredients are sautéing, cut the chicken thighs into smaller bite size pieces then return to the pot along with the soup stock and kale and parsley.
  • Bring to a boil then return to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes.
  • Add barley, or cooked grain of choice, canned chickpeas and fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste. Start with less lemon and increase to desired tang, I like a whole cup but it was zingy, for sure!
  • Heat another 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Want more immune boosting soups?

Carrot, Parsnip and Dill Soup

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric and Ginger

Easy Curry Coconut, Chickpea, and Potato Soup

Red Lentil, Coconut and Tomato Soup

Don’t forget to read more on boosting your immune system for more great tips and have this DYI Immune Boosting Tea Blend on hand if those little villains charge in!

2 thoughts on “Immune Support Lemon Chicken Soup (Vegetarian Option)”

  1. Made this lovely soup tonight! It’s a light but hearty soup containing all three food groups – veggies, protein, and grain. It was my first time cooking a leek!

    1. So glad you enjoyed this soup, Niya! You are absolutely right, whole grains, proteins and veggies with a light but warming immune boosting broth, nothing but goodness!

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Inner Vision Health and Wellness Karyn Lawson RMT INHC