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Congestion-Clearing Garlic and Lime Soup

Congestion-Clearing Garlic and Lime Soup

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Congestion-Clearing Garlic and Lime Soup

The superfood that kills congestion most effectively is garlic. Healthcare advocate Michelle Katz suggests pairing garlic with lime or other citrus fruit to help clear congestion.


Recipe courtesy of Michelle Katz.


  • 3 limes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Let ingredients steep in a bowl of hot water. Drink broth.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving70

Folate equivalent (total)16µg4%

Mexican Garlic Soup with Oregano & Fresh Lime

My dear friend, Q, gets sick all the time. Like, all the time. Poor girl, every year of high school she would be out of commission for a month or so battling one thing or another. One year it was mono, the next it was a particularly nasty bout of strep throat. One year she was taken down due to a parasite that had been dormant in her system for years, a friendly visitor from her time living in Venezuela. True story.

In a quirky twist of fate, her fiancé also happens to be one of those frequently sick people, so between the two of them they pass bugs back and forth, and back and forth. Every time I Skype with her I feel like one of them is down for the count.

I am (annoyingly, I’m sure), the complete opposite. I never get sick. Everyone around me can be fighting a cold or the flu and I will just keep on keeping on, fine and dandy.

Of course, this means that when I do get sick, I am the worst. While darling Q is brave, beautiful and unflappable in her semi-persistent state of malady, I become the world’s biggest baby. Moaning. Melodrama.

This weekend I had a cold and I became a chimera of awful.

“You just have a cold. Pull it together.”

And then I continue to moan and Colin ceases to dignify my incessant whining with an answer (rightly so, I realize).

One of the oh-so-fun things about being a grown up is that when you get sick, you still have to do stuff. You still have, you know, responsibilities. Walking the dog, sorting the recycling for pick-up, and a massive project due at work with an already precariously tight deadline. Delight.

It doesn’t matter how sick I felt or how much of a wuss I was being, come Monday I knew I needed to be well. Well enough, at least. No rest (sick days) for the wicked.

My mum used to make a variation of this soup for me growing up when I would come down with a bug. Not only did it kill whatever bug I was battling, but it would ensure the rest of the family didn’t come down with it either. Garlic is wonderful, isn’t it?

Not to get too graphic for you, but this soup is great for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is that it contains no dairy. Dairy is mucous producing… you get the idea. Don’t feed the snot nose.

Both garlic and oregano fight your bug and bolster your immune system- especially paired with a drizzle of good ol’ vitamin C from that lime juice. The eggs provide some protein, much needed fuel for our ailing bodies, but if you’re vegan it’s totally okay to omit- if you’re after some protein you can always add tofu, which I’m sure would be delicious.

Those of us going gluten-free can skip the bread, or use gluten free bread. It’s mostly just used to bulk up what is otherwise a very light and healthy soup.

I know, I know, I’m making this out to be the Chicken Noodle Soup miracle for vegans/gluten-free people. It is. It’s magic soup. But don’t feel like you have to just make this when you’re fighting something! I love this soup just about any time. Quick, easy, healthy and cheap. Love, love, love.

Recipe Summary

  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes more, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

This spicy chicken lime soup is like chicken noodle meets chicken tortilla soup for a spicy, noodle-less middle ground perfect for a cold winter day.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • salt & pepper
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime

This zippy, herbaceous, drinkable soup is like a trip to the farmers market in a glass. Try making it instead of your standard morning smoothie and your day will be off to a great start.

Inspired by bissara, an Egyptian bean-and-herb purée, this soup starts with both lima and green beans, simmered in chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth if you want to go meat-free) and puréed until silky. The herbs—parsley, cilantro, dill, and mint—are blended with olive oil so that you can finish the soup with a verdant drizzle that brings bright flavor to every bite.


  • 1 whole turkey leg (skin removed), split
  • 4 cups homemade or store-bought chicken or turkey stock
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled, divided
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 2 banana peppers
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • ½ cup (2.5 oz.) zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup (2.5 oz.) yellow summer squash, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice, plus wide strips of zest from 3 limes (¼ cup), and thinly sliced rounds of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus wide strips of zest from 1 lemon (2 Tbsp.)
  • Coarsely chopped cilantro, for serving (optional)
  • Corn tortilla chips, for serving

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup Recipe for a Cold Evening

3 or 4 limes
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, each about 10 oz.
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chili, seeded and minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 Haas avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
2 oz. queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled

Cut 1 lime into 4 to 6 wedges set aside for serving. Juice as many of the remaining limes as needed to measure 1/4 cup.

Season the chicken breasts with the 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chili and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth, water, lime juice and oregano, then return the chicken to the pan.

Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife near the bone, about 40 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, keep the soup at a simmer. Remove and discard the skin and bones, and shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken into the soup. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Put the avocado, cheese and lime wedges in separate small bowls. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. Pass the avocado, cheese and lime wedges alongside. Serves 4 to 6.


Step 1

Pick meat from chicken, shred, and place in a small bowl (you should have about 4 cups) discard skin and bones. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes season with salt and pepper. Add shredded chicken, broth, and cayenne and bring to a boil. Add spinach and divide soup among bowls. Top with scallions and serve lime wedges alongside for squeezing over.

How would you rate Spicy Chicken Soup?

Thanks a lot for such a lovely article and a detailed explanation of the spices and chicken soup. It was really helpful for my today's meal.

Such a great blend of flavors! I grated the ginger instead and I also added 2 tsp. of sambal olek to add some spice. I was skeptical of cooking the onions so long but they came out like noodles so it really worked in this soup. Definitely give it a try if you like Asian soups.

I cooked this recipe for my family and they loved it! I also added a little more of cayenne pepper and korean red pepper paste for more spiciness, it was perrrfect! Also since I don't eat mushrooms I put red rice instead in my bowl with the broth and still was delicious.

This is by far mine and my husbands favourite soup everrr. I've been making it for maybe a couple of years now. I've always skipped the scallions and cayenne though and literally tripled up on the ginger. We love ginger in our house. Love love love this recipe!

Cut the recipe in half because I had half a chicken. Used onion, shallots, carrots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, no mushrooms. Added turmeric too. Turned out just spicy enough for a boy with a cold coming on.

Tom Kha Soup

This classic Thai chicken soup is the perfect balance of creamy, sour, and spicy!

Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

✅ 1 lb Chicken, thinly sliced
✅ 1/2 jar (8oz) Yai's Thai Red Thai Coconut Curry
✅ 16 oz Coconut Milk
✅ 16 oz Chicken or Bone Broth
✅ 4 cloves Garlic, minced
✅ 1 medium Onion, sliced
✅ 8 oz White Mushrooms, sliced
✅ 1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
✅ 2 Tomatoes, cut in chunks
✅ Juice of 1/2 Lime
✅ 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
✅ Yai's Thai Chili Garlic Hot Sauce, to taste
✅ 2 tbsp Oil

☑️ Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
☑️ Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
☑️ Add the sliced chicken and heat until cooked through, 6-8 minutes.
☑️ While the chicken is cooking, pour the coconut milk and broth in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat - turn the heat down if it starts to boil.
☑️ Once chicken is cooked, add it to the pot along with the onion, mushrooms, and red bell peppers.
☑️ Stir in Red Thai Coconut Curry and lime juice.
☑️ Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
☑️ Add tomatoes and simmer another 5 minutes.
☑️ Optional: add Chili Garlic Hot Sauce to taste!
☑️ Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Note: You can make this recipe vegetarian & vegan by omitting the chicken and using vegetable broth!


Step 1

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook scallions, garlic, and ginger, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add carrot, jalapeño, and mushrooms and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add chicken, broth, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until chicken is cooked through, 15–20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly.

Step 2

Add fish sauce to soup and season with salt and more fish sauce, if desired. Shred chicken into large chunks and return to pot along with sugar snap peas. Stir in lime zest. Top with fresh herbs and serve with lime wedges alongside.

How would you rate Thai Chicken Soup?

Delicious, but why did the soup develop the film from the chicken? Should I cook chicken separately?

This is one of my go-to meals. Easy and delicious. Sometimes I get some different mushrooms from the Asian grocery store, but otherwise I stick to the script. I like more of a stew-like consistency, so I think the liquid levels in the recipe are plenty.

Couple of problems in how the recipe is written. Calls for four cloves of garlic but does not say to chop or mince. I assumed that was an oversight. Also calls for the lime zest to be divided and then seems to ask for it all to be added at the end. I also did increase the broth. Otherwise the quantity is pretty small and it is still plenty flavorful if you increase the broth. Overall a delicious soup!

I’ve made this many times and each time I add another 16 ounces of chicken broth.


  1. Kitchi

    Thanks for an explanation, I too consider, that the easier, the better...

  2. Cynegils

    I congratulate, your idea is useful

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