Evelyn Chartres Author

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef Barley soup is hearty and can heat the cockles of your heart; especially after a day out in the cold! It also happens to be a great way to make use of leftover steak from last night’s barbecue. This recipe can also be served as a main dish and is delicious when served with garlic bread!


  • 24 ounces (680 g) of uncooked beef or 18 ounces (510 g) of cooked beef
  • 10 fluid ounces (285 ml) of canned mushrooms (drained)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 ml) of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of ground cumin
  • 8 ounces (225 g) of parsnips
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic (5-10 g) pressed
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of thyme
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of rosemary
  • 22 fluid ounces (640 ml) of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of pearl barley
  • 40 fluid ounces (1.2 l) of beef broth


  1. Cook beef according to preference; I prefer to grill with seasoning and pepper. Cut into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) cubes then set aside.
  2. In a 4 quart (3.7 l) pot add oil and heat on medium.
  3. Add mushrooms and cumin. Sauté until they have turned a light brown.
  4. Add garlic, onions, thyme and rosemary to the pot. Sauté until onions are transparent.
  5. Add beef cubes and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook two hours or until parsnips and meat are tender.

Soupe Paysanne au Brocoli

featured_brocoli_soup_webThis recipe features a creamy finish without the need for cream or milk.  Cover with grated old cheddar to give the soup that extra kick!


  • 18 ounces (500-575 g) of chopped broccoli
  • 11 ounces (300 g) of chopped potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter
  • 4 ounces (115 g) of onions
  • 1 clove (5-10 g) of garlic
  • 30 fluid ounces (900 ml) of chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of pepper
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of cumin
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of grated old cheddar (per person)


  1. Over medium heat add oil and butter. Heat until the butter has melted.
  2. Add onions and garlic, sauté until the onions are transparent.
  3. Add broth, broccoli, potatoes, pepper and cumin then stir.
  4. Bring to a boil then drop to low heat to simmer.  Stir occasionally for about 25 minutes or until potatoes easily break apart.
  5. Remove from heat for 5 to 10 minutes to cool. Use a blender or mixer to break-down broccoli and potatoes until you have a creamy finish.
  6. Heat on low until soup is hot.
  7. Pour into a bowl, cover in grated cheese and ready to serve. Makes about six bowls.

Creamy Bacon Leek Soup

Featured_Creamy_Bacon_Leek_SoupThere is nothing better than coming home from a cold winter’s day and be greeted by a warm bowl of soup! This recipe combines bacon, potatoes, leeks and cream to create a surprisingly tasty dish. Top with aged cheddar for an additional zing.


  • 19 ounces (550 g) of potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 3 leeks (approximately 750 g)
  • 8 ounces (250 g) of uncooked bacon
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of butter (separated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (5-10 g) pressed
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 4 cups (940 ml) of chicken broth
  • 2 cups (470 ml) of cream
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of shredded cheddar cheese (per bowl)


  1. Cut leeks lengthwise then chop into ½ inch (1.25 cm) pieces.  In cool water, separate leeks into individual layers to clean.  Remove from water and leave in a colander to dry.
  2. With a large pot (approximately 7.5 litres) melt 2 tablespoons (30 ml) on medium heat.
  3. Cut bacon strips into ½ inch (1.25 cm) pieces then drop into the pot.  Cook bacon until it begins to brown.
  4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter then add potatoes and garlic into the pot. Sauté for about five minutes. Optionally add Italian seasoning.
  5. Add leeks then cook for approximately 5 minutes.  Leeks will decrease in volume considerably during this time.
  6. Pour in chicken broth, bring to a boil then simmer on low until potatoes are soft (approximately an hour).
  7. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before pouring in cream.  Replace on low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Fill a bowl then cover in shredded cheese.
  9. Makes roughly eight bowls.