Calcium Soup – Beef Bones

Calcium Soup – Beef Bones
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is by Kenyon Keily, an Herbalist who offers private Herbal Health Consultations via Debra's Natural Gourmet in West Concord, MA.  Kenyon has more than 30 years of study and experience in helping people support their health with food and Herbal Medicine from the traditions of Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine and Western Herbal Medicine.

"A hearty barley, seaweed and greens soup with a high calcium content.  Other valuable nutrients and properties too.  Good for osteoporosis and to promote strong bones.  Feel free to talk to me if you have any questions!"
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 2 cups barley
  • 8 cups water
  • 3 pounds beef soup bones* (yes, we have organic beef bones in the freezer)
  • 3 ½ quarts water
  • 1 yellow onion, unpeeled, quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves, unpeeled, crushed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 dried mushrooms such as shiitakes
  • 3 cups loosely packed, stemmed chopped kale
  • 3 sheets nori seaweed, crumbled or any other seaweed of choice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a medium bowl, soak the barley in 8 cups of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and discard water.
  2. In a large, heavy, non-aluminum soup pot on high heat bring water, beef bones,onion, garlic, bay leaf and vinegar to a boil. Skim foam from the stock the first few minutes, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours, uncovered.
  3. Strain stock and discard or save the stock ingredients. Rinse and wipe pot clean and return stock to it and place back on low heat to simmer. It is best to keep the fat floating on the top of the stock as calcium must be eaten with fat to be absorbed.
  4. Add barley and mushrooms into the simmering stock and cook about 1 ½ hours, covered. Add the kale, nori seaweed, soy sauce and pepper and simmer 15 min more.

Add to Step 2: 2 sticks of Astragalus and/or 1 medium sized piece of reishi mushroom, approximately 3 inches in diameter, cut into smaller pieces.

Add to Step 4: 2 X 3 inch pieces of kombu cut into matchstick size pieces after soaking for 15 minutes in a little water to soften.

Add ¼ cup goji berries.

Add 1 – 2 teaspoons of crushed Deer Velvet Antler.

Use organic chicken instead of beef bones.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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