warming soup

Warming Vegetable, Turkey & Barley Soup

This soup is the perfect meal for a cold winter day.

According to Chinese Medicine, winter is a time for enjoying foods, such as soups, stews and chillis that are cooked for long periods of time with rich, warming spices (ex. turmeric, ginger and cinnamon). This is because in Chinese Medicine, we look not only at the nutritional value of foods, but also at their properties. Some foods, like peppermint and cucumber, are naturally cooling, while others are warming, such as squash and root vegetables.

By eating cooling foods that are cold, frozen or raw, our bodies need to work harder to warm them up and break them down. This can place a strain on our digestive system and weaken it, causing digestive issues. So this winter, make use of that slow cooker and enjoy some warming, comfort foods! And if you can’t stay away from foods like smoothies or fresh salads, try adding spices like cinnamon and turmeric to add some warmth.


1lb ground wild turkey

2 tbsp avocado oil

2 carrots

1 parsnip (or just 3 carrots if you don’t have parsnips)

3 stalks of celery

1 red onion

6 cloves of garlic

½ tbsp of cumin

1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger

1 tsp chilli pepper flakes

½ tbsp salt

6 cups of water (or even better – bone broth)

2 cups organic plain tomato sauce

1 cup barley (can use quinoa as gluten-free option)

1 bunch of spinach (chopped)


Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Dice the carrots, parsnip, celery, and onion, mince the garlic and grate the ginger.

In the same pan, add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, and add the diced carrots, parsnip, celery, and onion; cook and stir for about 5 minutes until the onions are golden. Stir in the minced garlic and ginger for 1 minute.

Remove to a large pot and add the onion mixture, ground turkey, water/broth and tomato sauce; bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the broth according to desired consistency of the soup.

Add barley, salt, cumin and pepper flakes; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is almost tender, about 40 minutes.

Stir in the chopped spinach; cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with basil or cilantro and serve!

This makes a large pot of soup! We store some in the freezer for quick meals when in a hurry.

This soup is the perfect meal for a cold winter day…