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Cheaper than a Visit to the Doctor’s: Garlic Soup

Kick The Sick Bugs Garlic Soup

Our family was so healthy this winter, I just praise God for all the sicknesses we missed out on as friends and family around us were struck with this bug or that one. The first time I even felt a tickle in my throat was in March, and I had been talking with a friend about the health benefits of garlic, so I knew just what to do. Time for garlic soup to the rescue!

Garlic has awesome antibiotic and antiviral properties, and chicken broth also builds immunity, so I made a garlic soup to drive away the tickle. A soup with SIXTEEN cloves of garlic in it…and it worked! I can’t say I got enough sleep (I never do), and while there’s no way to prove that this garlic soup healed my almost-cold, it certainly felt like a tonic. I ate the soup three days in a row and fought the tickle the whole time, until it just disappeared.

Kick The Sick Bugs Garlic Soup

Extra Garlic (Real Food Confessions)

I haven’t always been so garlic savvy though.

In college I spent a summer flipping through Quick Cooking magazines and trying new recipes. (Yes, I worked too, full time, but I still had more time on my hands than 18 credits and running a Youth Ministry program.)  I had a kitchen at my disposal and a yen to learn to cook.

One recipe I chose was some sort of pork dish. Understand that I’d never cooked with pork, and still rarely do on account of it being one of my hubby’s “X” items. I’d also never cooked with garlic, but the recipe called for a few cloves of chopped garlic. I don’t remember how many, but it was more than one (see below).

I invited some friends over for dinner and set about preparing to cook a grandiose meal for them. I shopped for the pork, the garlic, the applesauce, and whatever else was in the meal. I bought a few bulbs of garlic and went on home.

As I was trying to make garlic into “chopped” garlic, I ran into my first problem. There were all those little papery skin thingys all over my cutting board! I thought, as if there was someone in charge of garlic, this recipe, and the culinary world:  “They can’t possibly expect me to pick out every one of these skins? The garlic is just full of them! How am I supposed to chop this thing up into tiny pieces?”

Have you figured out my first issue yet?

I didn’t know the difference between a “bulb” and a “clove” of garlic. Recipes really should explain these things for us first-timers.

I pushed through the inconvenience of the papery skins, almost certainly including some of them in my dish…with the applesauce, and the pork. After that disaster, I decided that ONE clove should be enough and let the rest of the garlic sit taunting me on the counter. One clove meaning the majority of one head of garlic, mind you.

With applesauce.

And pork.

Fruit and meat…and garlic.

My friends were so kind! They actually ate the meal, and I wish I could tell you the details of how I discovered the difference between a head or bulb of garlic and a clove, but I can’t remember. I try to block out most traumatic incidents in my life, really.

The Smell of Garlic

Now, I love the smell of garlic. Then? Not so much. The nail in garlic’s coffin for a number of years in my kitchen, was the garlic smell on my hands. Garlic and I had gotten pretty intimate on that cutting board, and I was smelling it, tasting it, and sleeping with it for at least three days afterward! I even tried washing my hands in yellow mustard after reading that it would help reduce the scent, but to no avail. I didn’t buy fresh garlic for years after that experience!

Now I’ve figured out the beauty, aroma and health benefits of garlic and use it almost daily. Either I’ve gotten used to the scent on my fingers or it doesn’t stick with me as badly as when I was dissecting the thing for 15 minutes. I sure am grateful that I gave garlic another chance (and that my friends didn’t disown me for feeding them garlicky applesauce)!

Ways to Get Garlic in Your System & Fight Germs


And here’s the recipe for the magic tonic garlic soup, courtesy of Emerald Green at Going Green in a Pink World, also found in Nourishing Traditions:

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garlic soup

Garlic Soup


  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 16 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 T butter
  • 6 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 medium potatoes, washed and cut up
  • 3 yellow or zucchini squash, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • crushed peppercorns or pepper
  • sea salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase)

ship kroger


  1. Saute onions, celery and garlic (if fresh) in butter until soft.
  2. Add chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil and skim. (I might add carrots here too, especially if I don’t have squash on hand.)
  3. Simmer the soup, covered, until the potatoes are soft.
  4. Add the squash (if you have it) and seasonings and simmer uncovered 10 minutes or until squash is tender.
  5. Now comes the fun part – puree soup with a hand held blender. You can always add water if it is too thick. If you don’t have a blender stick, you can use a regular blender, or a food processor, or just eat it chunky!
  6. Add creme fraiche (or sour cream) and seasonings to your liking!


Optional: Roast Garlic. Put a bulb (or two) of garlic on a cookie sheet in an oven or toaster oven at 300-350 for 15-20 minutes until cloves are slightly opened and soft. You can scoop the garlic right out with a fork.

This makes an entirely different soup than fresh (unroasted) garlic (I’ve tried it both ways).

Eating Garlic: Favorite Recipes

Garlic Soup and More

Looking for more soup recipes? You won’t want to miss the eBook Winter Soups, a compilation from over 50 real food bloggers. I truly enjoy having this book in my collection for all the great new ideas. Check it out here.

This soup is a must in the winter. Kick all of those nasty bugs with garlic soup.


Because this garlic soup is blended, it goes down so easy and makes a great “first course” soup for a fancy meal, soup for baby (as long as they’ve been introduced to all the parts), or side dish with a main meat dish. I’ve served it as a side dish soup with pan-fried fish, homemade rolls and a crudite platter, and as a pairing with a chicken Caesar salad (dressing recipe here). I think it’s a great summer soup, too, next to grilled meat and veggies, especially when garlic is in season. (See more ideas for including broth in your summer fare here.)

It’s super budget-friendly! I estimate it costs $2.00 tops for the whole pot. Making your own chicken stock helps this number stay low-low-low! It makes enough to feed four adults well plus leftovers for at least another meal.

Kick The Sick Bugs Garlic Soup

If you enjoyed this recipe, find more here:

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33 thoughts on “Cheaper than a Visit to the Doctor’s: Garlic Soup”

  1. Two questions…
    Will this freeze ok?
    Have you ever done it in a slow cooker?
    I work until 7 most nights and while this is a pretty easy recipe – it would be great if I didn’t have to start cooking it when I got home, but could make it on the weekend and freeze, OR put everything in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to dinner :).

    1. Hi Caroline,
      YES and NO. Although I can only imagine that a basic soup like this would work okay. I think it would almost be easier to make it ahead and reheat or freeze/reheat, just because I wouldn’t want it to evaporate too much in the s.c. You could also cut all the veggies in advance and it would cook up in 15 mins or so. 🙂 Katie

  2. Okay, Katie … I’m sold!
    I was going to make your Tuscan Bean soup, but now I want to make this soup, so I think I will combine them so we get the protein from the beans, which I also believe rebuilds cells your body needs to fight off illnesses …
    I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  3. I will try this garlic soup, it really sounds good. I read garlic is good for lowering blood pressure. Three days ago I decided to eat garlic everyday. After two days of adding garlic to my food. The systolic number dropped 18 points and the diastolic dropped 13 points. I’m eating garlic everyday.

  4. Hello, this is the first time I visit this blog and I see that this publication has plenty of time! Anyway, congratulations for the fantastic garlic soup, very nutritious and healthy!



  5. I don’t eat potatoes, would it be ok to omit them? Just use less stock I would imagine so it’s not super runny?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Of course! Soup is so versatile. I would just use a bit more carrots, zuch squash, or add another vegetable to make up for the bulk. 🙂 Katie

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  8. I just have to share this feedback that comes from my husband via an email he sent from work:
    “I don’t know if I told you, or if I did, I didn’t express it enough. I absolutely love this soup that you made! It is by far one of my absolute favorite things you have ever cooked. Please keep this recipe, and (gasp!) make it again sometime (:”

    He says the part about making it again sometimes because I almost never make the same thing twice! But with praise like that, how could I not?
    I followed your directions exactly, using the raw garlic option until I added in some ice cubes of pureed butternut squash (rather than fresh summer squash) I had made thinking I would feed them to my son, but we went the Baby Led Weaning route, so there they sat in the freezer until this soup. Combined with the carrots, it gave a little orange tinge and more sweetness than would be likely with summer squash. So thank you for this winner of a recipe, it sure made my husband happy! Me and the baby loved it too!

  9. What did you mean by “but when my tickle hit I reached for the fermented CLO and doubled my dose?”

    1. Dorothy,
      It looks like you were asking Kristen a question – but maybe I can help. Fermented CLO means cod liver oil, an important source of Vitamin D which supports the immune system:
      🙂 Katie

  10. Holly @ Faithful Womanhood

    I wanted to let you know that I made this for dinner tonight (with carrots because I had no celery) and paired it with some soaked brown rice. It was SO good!!! Definitely a new favorite! Thanks so much!

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  12. I’m so excited to try this! I am making it for dinner tonight and saving any leftovers for sipping on every day. I feel healthy just thinking about it. 😉

  13. KATIE!!! Five Stars!

    Just finished making your Garlic Soup (made with your chicken stock recipe) and it’s SOOOO good. I made the chicken stock and I was checking recipes to use it. Then I saw this one. Bonus, cause I needed to use up some zucchini. I wasn’t too sure about adding that either – but it’s great. I’m just SO impressed with what you’re doing and I appreciate your foot work SO much!

    1. Liz, If only I’d written this one, but it’s not really “mine.” I just know how to find the winners and share them! 😉 Katie

  14. that sounds surprisingly good! thanks for the tips.

    Do you prefer the roasted or un-roasted flavoring to the soup?
    .-= SnoWhite´s last blog ..Kitchen Tip: Sweet Potatoes =-.

    1. I think the roasted version tastes more like high-fallutin’ restaurant food, but my husband definitely prefers the straight stuff. It’s really a matter of personal taste, but good both ways in my opinion! Enjoy!

  15. Overwhelmed With Joy!

    I’m a big fan of garlic and I’m always looking for was to ward off sickness!

    I’ll be printing off your recipe and keeping it on hand for future use. 🙂

    Thanks for participating in my Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange. I do appreciate it.

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  17. Amy @ Finer Things

    I love garlic, but have never even heard of garlic soup. Will have to remember this one when it cools off again.

    1. Amy, Have you peeked at my drafts folder? 😉 I’m a big believer in soups all year ’round and will have a post in a few weeks about Summer Fare with Broth and Beans. I think this soup would be a fabulous starter or side with grilled chicken — rolls to dip in the soup, fresh veggies…Mmmmmmm! Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

  18. Diane-The WHOLE Gang

    This soup sounds divine. One I could dive right into. Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix. You’re a very organized blogger!

    1. I must be playing it off well! I’m anything but organized, but if it looks that way, many thanks! It’s all a smokescreen for my chronic DISorganization, really. 🙂 Thanks for hosting the Friday Foodie Fix; I can’t wait to check out the other garlic recipes this evening.

  19. Alison @ Hospitality Haven

    What a great idea! And natural too! I’ll be sure to keep this in mind for when sickness is upon us…!

  20. Heather @CeliacFamily

    This sounds fabulous. And, I love the thought of it “driving away the tickle and building immunity!” Sounds great for the spring allergy season. Thanks for sharing it.

  21. Sounds great! Gargling with vinegar several times per day works too, but this is most certainly yummier. 🙂

  22. gfe-gluten free easily

    Sounds absolutely terrific and, boy, do you win the award for maximizing your carnival efforts!! LOL, but impressive! 🙂


  23. Now this looks absolutely delightful! What a great way to fend off a cold. I had a similar experience this week, but when my tickle hit I reached for the fermented CLO and doubled my dose. I also upped my coconut oil intake by drinking hot teas with the oil stirred into it. Needless to say, my tickle disappeared and never turned into a sore throat or progressed to any other symptoms.

    Thanks for sharing this in today’s Fight Back Fridays carnival!

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

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