Cold-Busting Paleo Chicken Soup

Did you know that chicken soup may be more effective for a cold than over-the-counter medicine? F'real.

This easy chicken soup is going to kick your cold's ass... and it's actually simple enough to make for yourself when you're sick. I brewed some of this up for my husband and I today because we are ill AF. We both need to get a grip on our winter sniffles... it's sort of disgusting over here.

Anyway, the base is going to be the most important part of the soup, so you want to start with good chicken stock. Either make it yourself (I have a recipe here!) or look for an organic brand without weird additives at the store (most will have sugar added, but the amount is negligible).

The rest of the ingredients in this simple chicken soup recipe are pretty standard, but there's a rhyme and reason to them. I shall explain: The carrots add a bit of sweetness. The pepper and spice is to help clear the nasal passages. The apple cider vinegar is for gut health. The lemon adds brightness. The parsley adds freshness that totally makes it feel homemade even though it's kind of a throw-together soup.

This recipe is a guideline and not a rule, so by all means add extra veggies, herbs, spices and whatever else you like in your soup. I've swapped a few ingredients here and there and done a Mexican version of this in the past with cumin, cilantro, a couple of spoonfuls of pico de gallo and avocado. That's best done when not sick, to actually enjoy the flavors a little more.

Cold-Busting Paleo Chicken Soup Recipe via Worthy Pause

Cold-Busting Chicken Soup

paleo, whole30, gluten-free serves one sick person all day (or 2-4 regulars)



  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 cups+ leftover chicken, diced (I used a rotisserie chicken.)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T chives, chopped finely
  • 1 T flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or dash or two of hot sauce




  1. Add stock, apple cider vinegar, garlic and carrots to a stockpot. You can also add kale, celery, parsnips or whatever you want to this pot if you like more vegetables. When I'm sick, I want the basics only.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer until the carrots are tender.
  3. Add the chicken and lemon juice and simmer for another minute. Remove from heat.
  4. While everything is still hot, stir in the green onions, parsley, black pepper and hot sauce or cayenne.
Cold-Busting Paleo Chicken Soup Recipe via Worthy Pause

This recipe was originally published in December 2012, but was extensively updated in December 2016. The old photos (no joke) had radioactive Instagram filters on them.

What do you eat when you have a cold?