The Best Hot Soups to Soothe a Sore Throat (and What to Avoid)

While many hot soups can help a sore throat, some varieties will cause further irritation.
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When you have a sore throat, the last thing you probably want to think about is swallowing anything. But warm fluids like soups can be soothing and can help ease your symptoms faster. The trick is to be strategic about what you're sipping.


Here, learn about the common causes of a sore throat, and which soups are best for soothing it.

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What Causes a Sore Throat?

"Sore throats can be due to infectious or non-infectious causes," says Sonya Chawla, MD, a Maryland-based internist. "Viruses that target the respiratory tract are the most common infectious cause of sore throats."


The next most common cause of a sore throat is bacterial infections, such as strep throat. But, there are also non-infectious causes of sore throats like allergies, sinus inflammation, acid reflux, exposure to tobacco smoke and more, Dr. Chawla says.

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How to Choose the Best Soup for a Sore Throat

No matter what's causing your sore throat, you want relief and ‌fast‌.


"Hot soup is a good remedy for a sore throat," Dr. Chawla says. "It's not only soothing to the aching throat but also provides hydration, which is important during illness."

But, choosing the right kind of soup is key.

Look for Mild-Tasting Soups With Soft Ingredients

Try to find low-sodium packaged broths and soups, especially mild-tasting ones with soft ingredients, like well-cooked chicken and vegetables.


Registered dietitian Sydney Greene, RD, recommends "soups containing garlic, onions, ginger and turmeric, as they have anti-inflammatory benefits."

Soups to Try

  • Chicken Noodle
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cream of Mushroom

Avoid Salty and Spicy Soups

"Avoid soups that are salty, spicy or have rough-textured ingredients," Green says. "Canned soup can be loaded with salt and that can be dehydrating."


Dr. Chawla also says anything spicy can be very irritating, and soup with rough textures, like undercooked vegetables, will hurt your already irritated throat. Tomato-based soups are acidic and also may irritate your throat.


Soups to Avoid

  • Tomato
  • Mexican Tortilla
  • Black Bean
  • Baked Potato or Chowder (anything with large pieces or rough textures)

Make Your Own Soup

Adding simple ingredients such as rice or frozen vegetables to packaged broth can make a soothing soup that offers relief without much effort.


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Other Foods for a Sore Throat

If you're not in the mood for soup, there are other good options to eat if you're battling strep throat, a cold or other non-infectious causes.

Frozen Foods

"Frozen foods like ice and popsicles can help numb the throat while also providing hydration," Dr. Chawla says. The ice will help numb your throat, relieving any pain or itching you may have. Fruit popsicles can also provide essential nutrients like vitamin C, which is needed during a cold.



Smoothies are easy to swallow and are packed with vitamins and minerals from the fruit and vegetables you choose to add. Plus, the antioxidants and vitamin C will help you fight off your sickness faster.

Herbal Tea and Honey

Chamomile, green, or licorice root tea with honey is a great natural remedy. Honey also helps coat the mucous membrane on the back of the throat, which can provide relief.


"Plus, herbal teas usually don't contain caffeine, which can dehydrate you," Dr. Chawla adds. "Keeping hydrated is very important since it will allow your body to recover much more quickly."

Soft Foods

Soft foods like mashed potatoes, oatmeal or scrambled eggs are a great way to still get enough food while healing a sore throat. They are easy to swallow and will not irritate your throat as much as crunchy or hard foods.


In rare cases, a sore throat may be the sign of a serious medical condition. Visit your doctor if symptoms get worse or persist for more than a few days.



Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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