They say that women marry men like their father. In some regards my father is the polar opposite of my husband. In others, such as their mutual appreciation of garlic, they are disturbingly similar.

I learned to love fresh garlic when I was in college and came home to find my Dad adding it to just about everything. Up until that point I had no idea where garlic powder came from and was astonished to find they were one and the same. How pathetic is that?

Then I married a man whose taste for the allium family has no limit. We eat garlic just about every day in one form or another. It’s really tasty but it’s also a powerful antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. Needless to say, when someone gets sick it is one of the first things we turn to, along with thyme.

Most of us know thyme as an herb that makes chicken taste yummy, but it has some great medicinal properties as well. I am particularly fond of it because it helps the papa with the chest congestion issues that he seems prone to.

{homegrown garlic from the harvest}

This soup combines these two powerful healers in a very flavorful, very nourishing way. This is not just chicken soup, it is kick-this-thing-in-the-keester, no-more-messing-around, take-no-prisoners healing soup. The more garlic and thyme, the better.

When their eyes start to water and you can smell garlic oozing from their pores you know you’re on the right track.

Seriously Healing Garlic-Thyme Chicken Soup


Recipe notes: If you want a milder, everyday version of chicken soup try the Simple Chicken Soup with Herbs recipe in my winter cookbook. If your patient is suffering from a sore throat, throw in a bunch of dried sage which can be soothing to the throat.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 whole head of garlic (at least) plus 3 extra cloves
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon thyme (at least) plus extra to finish
  • diced chicken (optional)
  • chopped leafy greens or other vegetables as desired
  • splash of vinegar or lemon juice
  • sea salt & pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add diced onion, celery, carrots, and a pinch of sea salt. Saute for about five minutes, or until onions are translucent. Meanwhile chop up all of the garlic, setting aside 3 cloves that are finely minced. Add garlic to vegetables, saute one more minute, and add stock, thyme, and chopped leafy greens or other vegetables. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add cooked chicken if using, a splash of vinegar or lemon juice, and season with sea salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and taste the broth for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. For those who are under the weather add the remaining finely minced raw garlic and sprinkle in some extra thyme for good measure. Serve piping hot.

18 Responses to Seriously Healing Soup (and the healing properties of garlic & thyme)

  1. Stacy says:

    Thank you, I love your blog and your recipes. We are both feeling the beginnings of colds right now, so I think I will try this. A whole head of garlic? That is a LOT!


  2. Jenn says:

    I like to make a really simple soup with maybe a strip of seaweed or a handful of chopped kale, and then pour it over a clove or two of raw garlic, rather than cooking the garlic fully. Then, when the bowl is almost empty, I have a chicken-y, garlicky treat to munch on. Raw garlic is ridiculously effective at healing so many illnesses.


  3. We love garlic also! And I’ll say this, my husband is nearly the polar opposite of my father and good thing because my dad & I are a lot alike. Our relationship could not handle two me’s!


    Shannon Reply:

    Oh Renee, me too! I am so much like my father and my husband is so much like his father and the two are completely opposite in almost every way. I do think there is something to the “opposites attract” theory.


  4. Chandelle says:

    A whole head of garlic is nothing for me! I eat that much every day. I must credit it for having healthy skin. :)


    Shannon Reply:

    Chandelle – Awesome, us too. A whole head is conservative as last night my husband (the sickie) had the soup with 5 extra cloves of raw garlic pressed into it. His garlic breath is… shall we say strong, but it is worth it for him to feel better. Plus when I eat it too I don’t smell the garlic on his breath as much.


  5. What a coincidence! My son had a cold yesterday, so for lunch I adapted my own healing chicken soup recipe to make egg drop soup, then posted the recipe on my own blog (literally, I posted it, then checked facebook and saw your teaser!). But this sounds even more hardcore- I’m definitely going to add it my arsenal- thanks!


  6. Martha says:

    Does the garlic have to be chopped or is it as beneficial when put through a garlic press? We have to wash ours almost every day. I love garlic.


  7. Tracee says:

    I just wanted to say I am excited about your cookbook, and not just because it’s grain-free (But our household if grain-free so that is great as well). We just joined a CSA, have a dehydrator, and I want to make sure I can make the most of the produce. I usually get busy and waste more that I would like. I noticed your book adresses dehydratring veggies. Also, it means we will be eating seasonally and my winter vegetable repetoire is not all that great. I think your book will address many of my issues. I am so glad you a cookbook for winter foods!!


  8. Georgia says:

    question – i know raw garlic is the best, but does it still have healing properties when it’s cooked? and for the thyme as well?


  9. [...] Seriously Healing Garlic-Thyme Chicken Soup from Nourishing Days Cold Kicker from Keeper of the Home Four Thieves Vinegar from Nourished Kitchen–This is on my list of things to make…and could even be given as a gift. [...]

  10. Daniel Y says:

    Loved the info about garlic and thyme – but I was also looking for info about making chicken soup from a chicken – you know, after you eat the meat, putting it in a pot and cooking it forever until you have your own broth. I was looking to know whether you need to use vinegar or anything else to help get all the minerals and stuff out of the bones and tendons and skin and all that. Maybe someone has some info on this?


  11. Eliska says:

    For the answer to garlic breath, chew a pinch or two of fennel seeds. It’s amazing


  12. [...] things you knew about garlic- it’s tasty (especially in chicken soup, or Italian foods), it’s stinky (and that’s the real reason Vampires don’t want [...]

  13. [...] HERE is a great recipe for a from-scratch soup to fight that nasty chest congestion everyone is getting [...]

  14. [...] SERIOUSLY HEALING SOUP <—— grab the recipe here! [...]

  15. Brianne says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It has already worked wonders on my cold, reducing the symptoms! I so appreciate it!


  16. […] Seriously Healing Garlic-Thyme Chicken Soup :: Nourishing Days […]

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