Save Green: Winter Soup, Make It a Double

Kale and wheat berries

Duck Duck Goose and Wheatberry Soup

This is a budget-friendly winter soup that costs us about $.35 per person. The total cost of the aromatics (onion, celery, carrot) is about $.50 at my store. The rest of the vegetables are about $1.00; Kale about $1.00; and Wheatberries about $.25 ($.89/pound). Total = ~$2.75. This is enough for two meals for my family of four, so that comes about to a rough $.35/person, or $1.10/person if you add store-bought country bread like we did.

Of course, if you buy a goose and pay full price, you have a much more expensive soup. We used what was left of the birds from our holiday meal—our almost-like-Peking duck and goose with enough for company. In this case, reusing saves us from facing a big price tag.


2 ducks + 1 goose, thoroughly picked over from a previous meal

1 Lg Onion, diced
2 Lg sticks Celery, roughly diced
2 Lg Carrot, roughly diced
1 Sm Parsnip, diced
½ cup Celery Root, diced
Leek, diced and washed (used vinegar to get all of the sand out)

½ cup Wheatberries (uncooked)
about 4 cups Kale, stalks removed and chopped to about 1-2″ square

In this case, we just added salt and pepper because the ducks and goose had our homemade Peking duck flavorings (ginger, soy, honey, sesame oil).

Pot of winter soup


  • Break the birds into pieces and put in a large stock pot.
  • Cover with water.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  • Strain off liquid into a large bowl.
  • Remove fat from top. We use a fat separator jug. Or, put it in th refrigerator overnight. The fat sets up, and you can just remove it. Reserve at least a few tablespoons of the fat to saute the vegetables.
  • Set stock aside.


  • Pick any usable meat off the bones.
  • Dice.
  • Set meat aside.


  • Put the wheatberries in a small saucepan and cover with 2-3 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for about an hour covered.
  • Strain off the liquid. You might be tempted to keep and use the, but I find it bitter. I don’t keep it.

If you use pearl Barley, don’t pre-cook. Half an hour in the soup is enough.

Prepare Vegetables

  • Chop, dice and otherwise prepare the vegetables.


Now you have stock, meat, wheat, and vegetables prepared.

  • In a large stock pot, add the reserved fat and the prepped vegetables (minus kale).
  • Saute.
  • Once they have a hint of brown, add the stock a little a time in order to cook off any caramelized bits off the bottom.
  • Add the rest of the stock.
  • Add the meat and wheat.
  • Simmer for about half an hour until the vegetables are cooked the way you like them.
  • Add the Kale 5 minutes before you are ready to eat.

I love the texture of the kale and wheatberries along with the softness of this flavoring. It’s a great, warming soup without being too heavy. Perfect lunch on a cold winter day after the kids have been playing in the snow all morning.

Eat half. Freeze half. Leave at least an inch at the top of the container for the frozen soup to expand.

Duck Duck Goose soup

Today is Day #7 of my new Save Green Habit: run the stairs every day.

I’m running up and down stairs to avoid using a treadmill or stair climber. The aerobic part is easy compared to just having the muscle power to get up the stairs on the 15th time or so. Still running at least 3-4 times every day, so I’m on track with the habit. My children have been great about marking their habits on the calendar, but I think they took the day off yesterday.

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