So Monday February 4 was apparently National Soup Day.  I missed the ‘formal’ celebration which I am sure included fabricated statistics, some coupons and a recipe for pork chops slathered in goop from that famous “Mmmm Mmmmm” soup company.  However, even though I was unaware of the big event, I serendipitously celebrated by cleaning out my fridge and pantry and whipping up two pots of steamy goodness.

Very smart of me since when I returned from my run this morning, the -12 degree temperature had seeped into my bones so after chugging my always delish recovery shake (recipe coming soon, I swear) I chowed down on a bowl of homemade nutritional goodness immediately! 

I’m sharing these two ‘recipes’ with you but I want to be clear: soup is a creative experiment in my house most of the time and to be honest, I think that’s how you should approach it as well. There are lots of yummy soup recipes out there to read and get ideas from, but soup is forgiving – you don’t really need to follow a recipe to a tee. I give you full poetic licence to take my ideas and make them your own!

As I said, this was a fridge and pantry clear-out special.  I bought just one thing to make these dishes: beef bones to up the ante on the nutrition.  But feel free to stick with the prepared organic broth if that’s what you have on hand.

The Groundhog may have said that spring is around the corner but there is still plenty of time for soup.  Try these – one is for meat eaters, the other perfect for the veggie lovers in your life!   Both packed with nutrition and flavour.

Beef Barley Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:   (I like to use organic ingredients and pasteured meats whenever possible)

  • Beef Bones
  • 1 head garlic
  • ½ lb stewing beef
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • handful of fresh thyme on the stock, tied together
  • 1 can sodium-free tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 1 – 1 ½ litres water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Break open the head of garlic and on a baking sheet, drizzle the garlic and your bones with olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, season your beef and sauté in olive oil a large soup pot until brown.  Remove from pan, set aside.
  • Chop leek, carrots, celery and sauté in soup pot in a little olive oil. Remove and set aside.
  • When bones and garlic are browned, put bones, meat, roasted garlic and thyme into soup pot and cover with broth and water.  Simmer for 2-3 hours on low.
  • Remove bones and skim ‘foam’ from broth and fish out the thyme bundle.
  • Add back veggies, add canned tomatoes and barley and simmer for another 45 minutes.
  • Season as needed and enjoy.

Roasted Squash and Carrot Coco-soup


  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 6 large carrots
  • 1 lite vegetable stock
  • 1 can coconut milk (regular or lite)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 litre water
  • Olive oil


  • Prep squash for roasting.  (You can either peel and chop in bite sized pieces or cut in quarters and seed, removing the peel once cooked).
  • On a baking sheet, put squash, garlic cloves and carrots.  Drizzle with olive oil and generously season with cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper, and roast for approximately 40 minutes or until softened.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  • When veggies are cooled, put in blender with water and puree. (you can use an immersion blender if preferred).  Note: if you try to blend hot veggies, be careful!  The steam could cause the lid to explode and you’ll spew hot liquid everywhere.   
  • Put mixture in a soup pot and add coconut milk plus one can of water.  Stir to combine.
  • Adjust seasoning, heat and enjoy.