Soup for sore throat: How to make it

Introduction : Soup

A simple combination of miso, ginger, lemon, and garlic make this my favorite soothing broth for a sore throat.

This recipe makes enough for a large mug of soup for one sore throat.


This soothing broth uses mostly pantry staple ingredients that can stay good for a long time: chicken broth (or water + chicken bouillon), lemons, garlic, and miso paste.

Miso paste lasts forever, so if it’s not something you use often, pick some up and hang on to it for when a sore throat strikes.

If fresh ginger isn’t something you usually have around, pick some up when you feel that first tickle in the back of your throat. It freezes well, so stash any extra in the freezer for the future.



Is there any science behind this tasty, umami-rich flavor combo? A cursory Google search tells me that ginger helps reduce inflammation, miso is a fermented food rich in vitamins B and E, garlic is rich with allicin, and the lemon helps break up mucus and can provide some pain relief.

But, I’m not a medical professional, I’m not a nutritionist, and I don’t know you or your body to tell you that this soup has any actual, measurable health benefits. It just tastes good. Please, if you don’t feel well, talk to your doctor.

What I can tell you is that this soothing broth tastes fantastic and can provide a bit of instant, sweet, sweet relief on a sore throat.

The alphabet noodles are small enough that you don’t really feel them, but provide a nice substantial bite when you’re just starting to feel up to eating real food again.

Basically, if you aren’t slurping this soothing soup out of a mug while swaddled in blankets on the couch, you’re doing it wrong.

Watch another soup for sore throat on youtube – Click on it


Here’s what you’ll need to make what I consider one of the best soothing soups for a sore throat.

  • Chicken broth – Chicken broth, chicken stock, or water mixed with one teaspoon Better Than Bouillon, one bouillon cube, or bouillon powder. I prefer an unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth because the miso can add quite a bit of saltiness and you don’t want to overdo it.

  • Garlic – One clove, or one heaping teaspoon of the jarred stuff. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you can mash up a clove of roasted garlic instead.

  • Ginger – You can use a spoon to peel it, or just microplane it with the skin on — the skin doesn’t go through the holes in the grater.

  • Lemon – You’ll need zest from about a quarter of the lemon. I also like to squeeze a splash of lemon juice into my broth, but that’s optional.

  • Miso paste – There are dozens of types of miso paste, but I’ve mostly seen them in U.S. grocery stores categorized as red, white, or yellow. I’ve made this soup with all three, so its really up to you what you prefer or what you can find in your grocery store. White is a more subtle flavor, while red has stronger umami vibes. I prefer red miso, but again, any will work. Different types of miso can have wildly different sodium levels, which is why I strongly recommend using an unsalted/low-sodium chicken broth.

  • Olive oil – Just a tiny amount to coat the bottom of the pan.

  • Alphabet noodles – Orzo or any other small pasta shape also work well here.

  • Salt and pepper – Only if needed! Taste first.

The great thing about this recipe is you don’t actually need all of the ingredients to make this soothing sore throat broth.

If you’re missing the ginger, or missing a lemon, or out of garlic, or just don’t have miso, you’ll still end up with a great, super flavorful mug of broth. Just what your sore throat needs.


  1. If you don’t have a microplane, you may have been reading the above thinking “ugh, but when I’m sick the last thing I want to do is mince garlic, zest a lemon, and mince ginger.”
  2. But if you DO have a microplane, you know that you can do all three things with the same tool easily.
  3. Hold the microplane upside down so the ingredients collect on top, held in place by the bent sides, just ready to be used. Boom. Minimal effort, maximum flavor.
  4. Don’t believe me? Look at the photo below. The ginger is toward the top of the microplane, bright yellow lemon zest is in the middle, and the pale garlic is toward the bottom. All three, done without even having to put the microplane down.

5 if you don’t have a microplane, the small holes on a box grater will do a decent job. You may still want to give the lemon zest a quick chop with a knife though.

6. Once you have everything grated, making the broth is quick and easy.

7. Heat the oil in a small pot over low heat. Then add the grated ginger, garlic, and lemon zest and cook just until softened, about 30-60 seconds. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and stir in the alphabet noodles.

8. Cook the noodles according to the package directions for “al dente” doneness, then remove from the heat and stir in the miso paste until dissolved. You don’t want to boil the miso.

9. Taste it before deciding whether or not to add salt — depending on what chicken broth you’re using you may not need any!

10. Pour it into a mug and garnish with thinly sliced scallions if you’re feeling up for it. Then pile yourself under some blankets, warm your hands on the mug, and sip slowly to sooth your sore throat.


  • Use the smallest pot you can find for this soothing sore throat broth — a cup and a half of broth is all you’ll need, so a 2-cup pot like this works perfectly.
  • Use the edge of a spoon to quickly peel the ginger.
  • Don’t use too much oil in step 2 — just enough to prevent the garlic, ginger, and lemon from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Too much oil will combine with the miso paste and make your soup greasy.
  • If you’ve never worked with miso paste before here’s some good tips on incorporating it into soup. Miso is fermented, so it stays good in the fridge basically forever, though the flavor might wane slightly after a year. It’s a great thing to always have in your fridge to add some extra umami to your favorite soups, stews, stocks, and sauces. I use it mostly to make these miso maple ribs (skip the scallions) from Smitten Kitchen Everyday. I also recommend reading up on the history of miso soup, click here.
  • If you regularly make your own chicken stock, freeze it in pre-measured portions so you can easily defrost what you need. You can drop the frozen cubes of stock right into the pot, no need to defrost first.


This sore throat soup is designed to be made when you’re not feeling your best. It is a very forgiving combination of ingredients. If you don’t get them all in the right order, or need to make a swap, or just don’t feel like peeling the ginger, don’t worry about it.

This will still be a great mug of broth if you combine all the ingredients together and then warm them up in a sauce pot. Boiling the miso isn’t ideal, but also it won’t ruin everything if you do so by mistake. Do what you need to to take care of yourself.

Also know more about The Indian Soup Factory: the best place for soup

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