Healing Green Soup

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We have a tradition in our house, that whenever someone comes down with a cold or flu, we make a variation of my “sick soup,” which has become one of the most popular recipes on this blog! In the three years that have past since that recipe was posted, the way we make it at home has morphed a little bit — thicker, with more greens and herbs. In fact, my husband Noah is to credit for the current iteration which we are fixed on, having come up with it when he became sick while I was away!

This soup has more than one thing going for it — it is easy to make, with simple ingredients, and incorporates lots of goodies you’ll want to include when you are sick (broth, greens, ginger, and garlic!). Not to mention it keeps fabulously well in the fridge and freezer.

Pro tip — ginger and garlic are potent additions any time you feel like you are fighting something. While this recipe has quite a kick as-written, we often add some additional raw ginger and garlic to the blender when the time comes to mix everything up. Be cautious though — these spices are pretty strong in their raw form, so a little goes a long way!

4.9 from 11 reviews
Zesty Green "Sick" Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbsp solid cooking fat (coconut oil works great here)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-in piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 cups bone broth
  • 1 medium white sweet potato, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 small/1 large head of broccoli, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 lemon, ½ zested and juice reserved
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Avocado for garnish
  1. Place the fat in the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, add the onions, and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly browned and translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute, or until fragrant.
  2. Add the bone broth, sweet potato, and broccoli to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Turn off the heat, add the kale, half of the bunch of cilantro, lemon zest and juice, and sea salt.
  4. Let cool for a few minutes, and blend with a high-powered blender or immersion blender until smooth.
  5. Serve warm garnished with avocado and cilantro.
Note: Keeps for a week in the refrigerator and freezes well.


About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Christine L says

    Wow, this is amazing! Haven’t been feeling great today, and since I had all the ingredients on hand, I decided to make a pot. So glad I did. Absolutely delicious!

    Had some leftover stock from my Instant Pot carnitas of the other night, and used that with some beef bone broth. The flavors are complex and delightful.

    This is a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

  • Brenda says

    This was delicious! Couple of questions…. Not a huge fan of cilantro, wondering if in coming up with the recipe if you tried parsley and would using parsley instead substantially change the flavor or would it still be just as good? Also, I guess I must be really slow because it took me a lot more than five minutes to prep everything. What is your secret?!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      You can absolutely use parsley here. When I chop my veggies, I don’t peel and I leave them in big chunks since they get pureed anyways!

  • maxine says

    making this right now and the kitchen smells amazing. I made bone broth for the first time on saturday and just couldn’t bring myself to try drinking it as it was rather stinky to me when I was jarring it up. But I want to be consuming it, so hopefully this fills the boll…also , me buying and using kale is monumental beyond belief…

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Maxine! Thanks for being here. By taking small steps you are likely to make these changes for the long term, we know how hard it can be at first! One tip with the broth, is to consume it in soups and stews instead of by itself at first, that way you get all the vegetable flavor. Wishing you luck!

  • Mia says

    Can I use veggie stock instead of bone broth?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Sure, but you will want to use homemade instead of store-bought to avoid non AIP ingredients if you are in the elimination phase.

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  • Sharon says

    Delicious! The lemon and ginger really make it ‘pop’ without being obtrusive. I substituted parsley and lemon thyme for cilantro because I had them in my herb garden, and a container of pre-washed mixed greens that included kale. Enjoy the flexibility, though I do recognize that it changed the nutritional profile. Glad I have more bone broth in the slow cooker, because I will be making this soup again! Thanks for all you do to educate and support – it’s been a big shift for me.

  • Leslie says

    Loved this soup! So easy to make, and my 9-month old gobbled it up too. Great way to include bone broth and greens in her diet. Thank you!

  • Sara says

    I’m not allowed any citrus currently. Anything else I can do and how will it affect flavour?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Sara, you can replace it with apple cider vinegar!

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  • Deb says

    Thank you. This is very good! I was looking for a soup to use up some of the kale in my garden; this is perfect!

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  • Kirsten says

    Pretty tasty, 1 of my 3 boys liked it and my husband who is the one on the AIP thought it was good. Any recommendations on making it a bit thinner, would adding more broth be okay or throw ratios off?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Kirsten! You can definitely add more broth to thin things out a bit!

  • Lucy says

    This recipe is incredible! Thank you!

  • regs says

    The soup is great, looks yummy and healthy.

  • Paty Shaulis says

    I’m not even AIP or Paleo but this is the most delicious soup I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Paty – I’m so glad you loved it!

  • Stephanie says

    Whatever happened to the “Sick Soup” recipe?! I look forward to trying this one, but I found the sick soup recipe when I started AIP and found it to be super comforting. Every time I click on the link for sick soup it redirects me to this Healing Green Soup recipe. It’s been so long since I made it. I don’t remember…please keep both recipes available!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Stephanie, this is the updated version of that recipe!

  • Valeriane says

    I absolutely love this soup recipe. I have made it in double batches for months and it is my go-to breakfast in the morning with a bit of cooked ground turkey and avocado. It has a completely different taste than typical savory sweet potato soups. Such a great meld of flavors with a sunshine-y zing of the lemon, ginger and cilantro! You should call this Sunshine Soup instead of “Sick” soup!

  • Cindy says

    I have a question about the amount of broccoli for this recipe. The ingredient list says 1 large head or 2 small heads of broccoli, but it also says about 1 cup chopped. I bought 2 small heads and began chopping one of them, which amounted to over 3 cups. I ended up putting in 3 cups and it turned out fine, but I’m wondering what the intended amount is really supposed to be. Was that a typo? I just can’t see how a large head of broccoli would be anywhere near only 1 cup. Thanks for clarifying.
    Also, is there any reason not to leave it unblended? I thought it looks more appealing before blending.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Cindy! If you are looking for exact proportions, always go with the cup measurement. This recipe is pretty flexible and can take a bit more veg content, so adding in extra shouldn’t be a problem. And no, there isn’t any reason to blend it if you like it unblended. As always, your kitchen, your adventure! Good luck!

  • Marty H says

    Every time I make this soup I love it more!

  • Angie says

    A staple in my freezer. I use orange sweet potatoes instead of white and add ACV instead of lemon. I also sub colantro for parsley. Sometimes ill add some coconut milk. Thanks for this recipe.

  • Michelle says

    This soup is so incredibly tasty. Definitely keeping it on hand for more than just sick days 🙂

  • Zesty Green Soup – Healthy Healing Eats says

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  • Donna says

    Can I use purple sweet potatoes?

  • Kelli says

    Can I omit the onions? I love onions but they’ve been causing pain lately. Thanks!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Kelli! Yes, and a great sub for onions in this type of recipe is celery!

  • Lisa says

    Wow! I made this first thing this morning when I woke up sick. First, Inwas amazed I had everything except lemon and cilantro on hand to make it. (Giving myself a pat on the back). I am on my 5th week of AIP and am so thankful for your recipes! I wish I could post a pic of it! Delicious and praying its healing effects kick in so I can see my baby grandson soon!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      I’m happy you enjoyed it and hope you recover soon!

  • Lisa says

    I made this soup a while back and pulled the recipe out again today to help fight a cold. I loved it when I had it last time. This time, I am wondering how much kale a “bunch” of kale is? Mine seems to be about 5 cups chopped and that seems like it may be too much for the recipe proportions? Thank you for sharing your recipes it is the only way I survived my first 3 months on AIP! This soup let me go without taking any meds and felt better in less than 48 hours from my last big, praying for similar results this time!!

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