Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup Recipe for Colds

Ginger Garlic Soup is one of our favourite healthy soup recipes to fight cold and flu.

Our homemade Ginger Garlic Soup recipe is quick and easy to make, ready to serve in under 30 minutes!

Spoon through a bowl of our Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup recipe featuring flavourful sesame oil, green onions, garlic, ginger, Chinese Five Spice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, Shiitake mushrooms, red pepper flakes and cilantro.

Looking for the best garlic soup for colds? This spicy ginger and garlic muddled noodle bowl will help keep you healthy throughout the Fall and Winter.

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What Is Soup?

Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.

Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.

Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.

In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).

Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.

Ingredients you'll need to make our Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup recipe.
Ingredients you’ll need to make our Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup recipe.

History of Soup

Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.

The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.

The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.

In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.

English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.

Fry sesame oil with onion, garlic, ginger and chopped scallions.
Fry sesame oil with onion, garlic, ginger and chopped scallions.

Where To Eat Ginger Garlic Soup

If you live in a large city in North America you’ll likely have access to plenty of soup-specific restaurants. We also love to visit local, family-run diners and cafes that offer menus specializing in “soups, sandwiches and salads.”

In Toronto, popular restaurants that serve soup include RaviSoups, Soup Nutsy, United Bakers Dairy, Cafe Polonez, Saffron Spice Kitchen, Santouka Ramen, Sansotei Ramen, Kenzo Ramen, Kinton Ramen, Ajisen Ramen, Maison Selby, Pho Vistro, Pho Hung, The Golden Turtle, Maha’s, Pai, Sabai Sabai, Khao San Road, One Love Vegetarian and Fabarnak.

If you’re looking to sample Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup try slurping through Chinese restaurants like Swatow, Chop Chop, Hutaoli, Crown Princess, DaiLo, Mothers Dumplings and Rol San Restaurant.

Ginger Garlic Soup broth is flavoured with Chinese Five Spice.
Ginger Garlic Soup broth is flavoured with Chinese Five Spice.

My Family Loves Ginger Garlic Soup

My family has a tradition of eating soup and salad for lunch on Sunday’s after getting home from church. Soup is such an simple and brainless meal to serve a busy family with kids.

My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood spent in Toronto, Markham, Oakville and Muskoka are cozying up to a bowl of homemade soup with gourmet crackers, artisanal cheese and sourdough bread.

During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.

Green onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and cilantro are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this savoury soup in the Fall at Thanksgiving.

During the colder months of the year my family love to slurp chicken noodle soup. This Chinese take on the flavourful poultry broth has been transformed into the perfect garlic soup for fighting cold and flu season.

Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup features mushrooms and bok choy.
Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup features mushrooms and bok choy.

Is Ginger Garlic Soup Vegetarian or Vegan?

Our Ginger Garlic Soup recipe is not vegetarian or vegan, but you can make adjustments to the recipe to accomodate these dietary restrictions.

Prepare vegan or vegetarian Ginger Garlic Soup by substituting chicken stock for mushroom broth, fish sauce for miso, and egg noodles for rice noodles.

Ginger Garlic Soup Health Benefits

Our Ginger Garlic Soup recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of leeks can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemricals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system. 

A useful source of copper, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, sesame seeds help support circulatory, digestive and skeletal health.

Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.   

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. The combination helps protect heart health.

Bok Choy is packed with nutrients like folate, Vitamin C and antioxidants known for protecting against cancer, bone health, blood pressure and inflamation. 

A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals.

Slurp Ginger Garlic Soup with Chinese egg noodles.
Slurp Ginger Garlic Soup with Chinese egg noodles.

Best Garlic Soup for Colds

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners look at each food as not only having nutritional value but also having individual properties that act in a specific way on the body.

Chinese Medicine experts say, “As we enter the cold winter months, it is important to switch your diet from fresh, cooling foods of summer (such as cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon) to the deeper warming and nourishing foods of winter (like cinnamon, cumin and ginger).

In Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, ginger is treated as a healing spice, perfect for those who suffer from cold or flu symptoms. Ginger’s combination with garlic, which offers antibacterial and immune boosting qualities, is a perfect pairing when craving a healthy soup in Fall or Winter.

Serve Ginger Garlic Soup with chopsticks and spoon in a large pho-sized bowl.
Serve Ginger Garlic Soup with chopsticks and spoon in a large pho-sized bowl.

Ginger Garlic Soup Tips

This healthy cold-fighting soup recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!

  • Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
  • Prepare vegan or vegetarian Ginger Garlic Soup by substituting chicken stock for mushroom broth, fish sauce for miso, and egg noodles for rice noodles.
  • If you’re looking for additional protein, feel free to add shredded chicken, grilled pork, roast duck or fried tofu to each soup bowl before serving.
  • If you enjoy spicy soup top each bowl with a drizzle of chili oil or sliced chili to add additional heat.
  • Garnishes that taste and look great on this soup include chopped freshly plucked herbs, chili flakes, toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup is garnished with chili flakes, sesame seeds and scallions.
Chinese Ginger Garlic Soup is garnished with chili flakes, sesame seeds and scallions.

What To Serve with Ginger Garlic Soup

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day then cozying up to a bowl of soup with a fresh salad, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheeses, sourdough bread, savoury muffins and homemade pickles.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our Ginger Garlic Soup as an appetizer before serving heartier mains. We love serving this soup with Osaka Okonomayaki, Calgary Ginger Beef, Green Onion Cake, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Grabong Northern Thai Pumpkin Fritters and Nam Tok Authentic Thai “Waterfall Beef” Salad.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.

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A hot bowl of Ginger Garlic Soup is soothing during cold and flu season.
A hot bowl of Ginger Garlic Soup is soothing during cold and flu season.

Storing Soup

If you have leftover soup you can store the soup base in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.

We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling. My mother often uses old glass pasta sauce jars to store soup in the freezer.

Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.

How To Make The Best Ginger Garlic Soup For Colds

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Best Ginger Garlic Soup For Colds

Learn how to make the best healthy Ginger Garlic Soup for colds. Our easy Chinese noodle recipe features mushrooms, scallions & bok choy.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: garlic soup, garlic soup for colds, Ginger Garlic Soup, ginger soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 463kcal


  • Dutch Oven or Large Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • French knife


  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 2 cups Green onions chopped, green and white divided
  • 6 Garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Ginger minced
  • 6 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce
  • 10 oz Shiitake Mushrooms sliced
  • 6 oz Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 cups Bok Choy roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro chopped


  • Heat sesame oil in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat.
  • Add onions and stir for 4-5 minutes or until they turn translucent and soften.
  • Add white segment of chopped scallions, garlic and ginger. Reserve chopped green scallion segments for soup garnish.
  • Stir for 2 minutes or until garlic and ginger are fragrant.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add Chinese 5 Spice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and fish sauce. Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add sliced mushrooms, uncooked egg noodles, and bok choy to the pot. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until noodles and bok choy are tender.
  • Divide soup into bowls and garnish with sesame seeds, green onions, chopped cilantro and red pepper flakes.


Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 88.4g | Protein: 7.7g | Fat: 10.7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1982mg | Potassium: 490mg | Fiber: 4.9g | Sugar: 7.9g | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3mg

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