Beat Cold and Flu Season With This Healthy, Warming, Italian-Style Soup

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Looking for the best soup to ride out cold and flu season? You'll love this one from Kelly LeVeque.

It's the ultimate cold-and-flu-season paradox: The one meal that's been scientifically proven to help you feel better fast—a steaming bowl of soup—can also be one of the most time-consuming to cook from scratch. Not sure about you, but when I'm laid up with a stuffy head and chills, the last thing I feel like doing is chopping veggies, prepping protein, and waiting for what feels like hours as the ingredients simmer on the stove. Thankfully, holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque has proven that making the best soup for a cold or flu doesn't have to eat up your entire sick day. In fact, it can all come together in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Love is Blind.

In the latest installment of Cook with Us, Well+Good's new cooking challenge show, senior food and health editor Jessie Van Amburg tasks LeVeque with preparing a satisfying, warming, vegetarian winter soup in 30 minutes or less. The Body Love Every Day author responds with a quick and easy take on Italian meatball soup, using a few smart swaps to make it plant-based and a bit more nutrient-dense.

"Swapping out pasta for zoodles is really popular right now, but it's a great way to increase your fiber and antioxidants," says LeVeque. Amping up the fiber content are the plant-based lentil meatballs—all of which goes a long way towards promoting gut health (and thus, the health of the immune system).

The recipe also features lots of garlic, which is fantastic both for flavor and immunity. LeVeque says crushing garlic and waiting five to 10 minutes before sweating it on the stovetop increases its levels of allicin, which boosts the veggie's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

So did Leveque's Italian "meat" ball soup pass the flavor test? You'll have to watch the full video to find out.

If you want to crown your own winner of "best soup for a cold," here are 10 more vegan chicken soup alternatives to try. And for more healthy recipe ideas, join Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.

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