Slow Cooked Beef, Barley and Vegetable Soup


Nanny’s Soup

There are few greater feelings for a mother than having dinner on at 9.30am – knowing that you won’t have to pull a rabbit out of a hat later on when everyone is tired and cranky. Better still, is when dinner is this magical healing soup.
It’s based on the delicious soup my mum made us every winter to fill our bellies and ward away the coughs and colds. Which we all have here at the moment – terrible coughs, aches, fevers and chills. It’s rough taking care of sick kids when you’re delirious with fever yourself…
Anyway, hopefully this soup will help return us to good health. (And hurry up Spring!)
It’s cheap, it’s easy and utterly delicious. I make a huge batch so that I can freeze half.
Nanny adds a packet of chicken noodle soup to hers at the end for a bit of extra flavour but as we like to avoid additives I add half a cup of risoni, some mixed dried herbs and a good pinch of sea salt instead.

Here’s How:

In a slow cooker (or large stock pot if making in the stove top)


At least 500 g of a cheap cut of beef – I used 4 pieces of Osso bucco this time as I like to get all those healing minerals from the bones and marrow but I’ve also used gravy beef, casserole/chuck steak etc…
1.5 cup soup mix (Barley, split peas etc…)
1 diced onion
2-3 minced/finely chopped garlic cloves
2 carrots diced, chopped or grated
2 celery sticks, chopped
Optional (1 grated parsnip)
2 litres stock
Top up with 1 litre of water
Good pinch of salt and cracked pepper
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
1/2 cup risoni

Cook on low for 8 hours
After 4 hours, remove meat and cut into bite size pieces, return bones and all to the pot.
Add risoni 1 hour before serving.



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“Tum Yum Soup” – Gut Healing Chicken Soup

Despite my best efforts to boost our immunity, with two little ones at childcare, kinder, playgroup etc… Lately, we’ve had a rough run of catching nasty coughs, colds and tummy bugs. The weather here isn’t doing us any favours either. The transition so far from winter to spring has bought with it many wild and blustery winds, heavy rains and even hail. This of course, has resulted in many days trapped indoors. That’s not fun for anyone really…
Regardless, I’m determined to get us to a place of good health, so I’m upping the veggies, the probiotics and I’m bringing in the big guns… Chicken Soup!
Chicken soup with its nourishing vitamins, minerals, fats and acids has long been hailed a miraculous natural remedy for boosting immune health and curing all sorts of common ills. As well as that, it’s easy to digest and so flavoursome and comforting.
This soup is cooked using ‘lovely legs’ or chicken thighs on the bone. It is simmered slowly in the oven for up to 3 hours, using a cast iron pot. You can use a large casserole dish for this or if you prefer to use a stove top, bring it to a boil, and simmer the soup covered on a low to medium heat for up to two hours. You’ll know it’s ready as the chicken will start falling succulently from the bones. If you’re organised, you could also cook this in a slow cooker (crockpot) on low for 6 hours.



12 chicken thighs on the bone (skinless)

2 leeks, sliced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 parsnip, diced

Half a butternut pumpkin, roughly chopped

2 zucchinis, roughly chopped (the pumpkin and zucchini will cook faster than the other veg so I chop them a bit larger)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced

1 inch knob of ginger, finely chopped or grated

4 cups good quality chicken stock preferably homemade

2 tsp Dried herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, sage etc…

2 tsp tamari (or soy) sauce*

2 tsp raw local honey*

Fresh herbs to serve

A Crack or 2 of good quality salt and black pepper. (If using the tamari or soy, go easy on the salt!)

* These ingredients are optional but I like the subtle sweet and salty layer they give the soup. They are also flavours my children are fond of so i know this will encourage them to slurp up all those yummy veggies in the soup.



* Preheat the oven to 200dc (390 DF)

* Place all ingredients in a large cast iron pot making sure all ingredients are covered by the stock. (If not, top up with cold water)

* Cook at 200dc (390) for 1 hour and stir.

* Reduce oven temp to 160 dc (320df) and cook for a further 2 hours until chicken falls easily from the bone.

* Serve either with whole chicken pieces or shred meat from bones in advance with a fork.

* Scatter with fresh herbs (I used chives)


Enjoy the goodness 🙂