Ep: 24 Soup’s On: The Best Gut Repair Soups to Bust that IBD Flare Up (they’re great for remission too)

What comes to mind when I say the word soup? It seems like everyone has a relationship with soup, positive or negative.

For me, soup is full of warm, full, and rich childhood memories and also gut soothing and healing moments. If you already love soup or you’re open to using it to help fulfill your IBD flare-up busting and remission seeking goals, you’re going to love this episode.

We’re diving into the world of soup as a healing mechanism for Crohn’s and colitis. Of course, not all soup is created equal. We’re certainly not talking about the Campbell’s variety when it comes to gut healing. Find out the 3 components that must be part of your gut healing concoction and so much more in this episode.

We’re dishing on everything you need to make soup the star of your gut healing regime.

We’re talking about:

  • How to include gut healing veggies in your soup if you feel like everything you eat (including vegetables) makes you sick
  • The gut healing medicinal properties of herbs and spices (and which one to use for your specific IBD symptoms)
  • The key difference between gut repair soup and IBD maintenance soup (you won’t believe how similar they actually are)

And so much more!

After the episode, you’ll be ready to start your own Soup’s On gut repair movement in your own home. And you’ll have all the recipes you need to get started today.

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:45] The 3 must have components every gut repair soup must have
  • [09:30] Safe veggies to include in your soup, and ones you should definitely stay away from
  • [12:40] The gut healing medicinal properties of herbs and spices—you’re going to want to keep these on hand in your kitchen to help make your gut healing soup with your IBD symptoms in mind
  • [15:52] The spice to keep on hand to stop your kid’s vomiting in its tracks
  • [21:35] The power of putting vegetables you never thought you could eat into a digestible form
  • [25:25] What to do when there’s a soup ingredient you just don’t tolerate
  • [29:18] How to find the best time of day (when you feel well) to make your gut repair soup
  • [32:49] 3 best practice rules to using soup to keep you in remission longer
  • [36:20] My gut repair Soup’s On Recipe Booklet is waiting for you at karynhaley.com/soup
  • [38:16] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level.

Rate, Review and Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Get your Soup’s On Recipe Booklet (with 8 soup recipes) Free Today

Episode 15: Seven Healing Gems Every IBD Mom Needs to Know About

The Gut Love Community

Additional Resources from the Episode:

Super Herbs and Spices for Gut Health

5 Vegetable Broth Benefits

Episode Transcript:


INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.

[00:52] Well hey there my friend- it’s wonderful to connect with you again. Aren’t podcasts the best invention since almond flour? I’m sure if you listen to this podcast, you probably listen to at least 5 or 6, or 10 others if you’re like me. I’m a podcast junkie and my listening tastes are really eclectic. I love cooking breakfast with my news and politics podcast in my ear in the morning, there’s motivational and life affirming podcasts I might listen to during my workout, and then there’s light and easy podcasts I like to listen while I’m in my car. The other day, I was driving to my dad’s house while smiling and laughing to myself as Amy Poehler was interviewed by Dax Shepard on the Armchair Expert podcast. I’m sure you remember Amy from SNL and Parks and Rec. She’s hilarious!

Amy said something so laugh out loud funny to me, I thought about sharing it with you as soon as I heard it. And if you’re at least 40, like me, this will be particularly funny to you. Here’s what she said: She said anybody under 30 thinks everybody over 40 is 65. This was so funny to me because it’s exactly what my kids think of me. Like Amy said, stop calling me boomer! Sorry, sons, Gen Xer all the way! It’s so funny how are kids see us isn’t it? To them there’s just young and old. Wait til they reach parenthood, and we get to see their kids give them hell for stuff like this. I’ll try not to say I told you so.

Anyway, podcasts rock. Especially during a time when we need connection more than ever. Let’s connect, shall we? We’ve got a great topic to talk about today.


[03:00] Soup. You might think I’m being sarcastic about it being a great topic, but I’m so not. I love talking about the power of gut healing soup.

What’s your relationship with soup? Everybody has one, whether it’s positive or negative. It’s funny, sometimes I’ll work with clients who love soup. They’ll eat 2-3 bowls a day when they’re in gut healing mode. Other times I’ll hear from a client, anything but soup. Please no soup. I hate soup.

I’m in the love soup category. To me soup is comfort food. It’s memories of my childhood and my mom, her always making us homemade chicken soup when we were sick as kids and partly because it was the last thing I fed her before she passed away—that might sound morbid to you, but it’s comforting to me. So soup, it’s my past, it’s my present, and in my Crohnie world, it will always means healing, soothing, comfort.

I like soup so much. I even, feel free to gasp here, eat it in the summer. Maybe not as much as in the winter, but I don’t say eeewww or ick if I’m offered it in the summer. It still tastes great to me. I like soup, no matter what time of year it is. If that’s the way you feel about soup, even just in the winter, you’re going to love this episode. We’re breaking down how soup can be your best go-to gut repair food.

And we’ll do this by first, examining the three components that must be in every bowl of soup if you’re using it as a gut soother and healer, we’ll talk about the two different methods of soup making to use depending on if you’re in gut repair mode or trying to maintain remission, and lastly, I’ll tell you how you can get my recipes for the best tasting gut repair soups that use the very ingredients we’re talking about today. And by the way, there’s both vegetarian and omnivore soups in the mix to suite everyone’s tastebuds and dietary needs.


[05:45] Let’s start with the three components that must be in every bowl you make when it comes to your new gut repair and remission sustaining bestie, soup. Must have component #1 is the heart of your soup. The ingredient you just can’t skimp on, no matter what and that’s the bone broth or meat stock. Every gut repairing soup starts with high quality bone broth. Homemade is best—chicken broth, beef broth… if you are vegetarian, a high-quality homemade vegetable broth. It’s really a must for the ultimate gut healing.

I’ve talked about broth and meat stock in previous episodes, probably most recently on episode 16: The Seven Healing Gems episode. I’ll link to it in the show notes if you want more in depth info on the health benefits of bone broth, but just know that bone broth is wonderfully full of collagen and gelatin which help heal the mucosal lining of our intestines and seal the gut if any leakiness is present. Bone broth can also help calm food sensitivities, help grow bacterial balance in your gut, help decrease inflammation in your entire body and boost your immune system. This is why bone broth is the basic building block in any soup aimed at gut repair.


If you’re a vegetarian, you can still reap the benefits of a rich, homemade, vegetable stock. And even if you’re not a vegetarian, it’s a great idea to rotate your stock to a veggie variety too. Vegetable stock is high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, it’s very alkalizing for the body. With IBD, sometimes our bodies tend toward an acidic environment and vegetable broth can help bring our pH into balance.

Both vegetable and bone broth stock are hydrating and that’s something we really need too when we are healing our digestive system or trying to keep remission going. I’m including a recipe for meat broth and vegetable broth in your soup recipes incase this is your first foray into homemade stock. I want you to be able to have this all-important soup base so you can get started right away with using soup to heal and also, so you see just how easy it is to make at home. Trust me, it’s so much healthier than store bought. You can take a couple hours to make a couple batches (and most of that time is the cooking of the stock- not you doing anything) and then freeze them to have on hand for when it’s time to make soup or drink the broth straight.


[09:30] What’s the second component that’s a must when it comes to gut healing soup? It’s loads and loads of veggies. The more the better. Not just any veggies though. When it comes to IBD repair, we’re talking low carb veggies. Not the kind of veggies that are high in carbohydrates that turn into sugar in your digestive system and keep the bad bacteria safe and toasty while we suffer. No, to the heck no. With gut repair and remission-based soup, we stay away from the higher carb veggies like potatoes (white and sweet), yams, corn, and chickpeas.

There are loads of lower carb, but super satisfying veggies you’ll want to stock up on when you’re making your gut repair and remission loving soup. Veggies like spinach and other greens like kale, beet greens, dandelion greens, and swiss chard. Plus, other veggies like mushrooms, onion, tomato, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, all the squashes (butternut, acorn, spaghetti), zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, celery, carrot, leeks, cabbage… and if you’re thinking, she’s got to be kidding, I can’t digest any of those—I feel ya because I remember a time when I thought I couldn’t either. Hold that thought, I’m going to ask you to reserve judgement because in just a minute, I’m going to tell you how you can eat these vegetables, even in a flare.

I mentioned that these kinds of vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, but they aren’t low in nutrients. They have plenty of vitamin A and C, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and folate. All much needed nutrients for gut healing and repair. All in a form your body can digest and absorb—huge for busting that flare.

I promise, I’ll get back to how you’re going get all these nutritious veggies in, but stick with me as we round out the must have components of our soup. I will get to it. To recap, we started out our must have soup components with a rich, homemade meat or vegetable stock. We then talked about the repair power of vegetables (lots of veggies) and now we move on to gut repair component #3: herbs and spices.


[12:40] Herbs and spices might just seem like a way to enliven your tastebuds and make vegetables tasty, but the cool thing about herbs is that they actually have medicinal and healing properties. So you can add a little flava flav to your gut healing soup while you make your digestive system happy. Love it when that happens. I mean, I’ll do anything to keep my gut happy, but when I get to do that and it tastes good, I’m so in.

There’s actually 10 herbs and spices I recommend you keep on hand, either as fresh herbs in a pot in your kitchen or from your garden if you’re into the fresh variety, or in a sacred spot in your kitchen in a small jar if you prefer the dried spice variety. And both are absolutely fine, and my spice cabinet is definitely a sacred, well-used spot. We all can’t have an herb garden sitting on our windowsill year-round so it’s nice to know dried spices are available at our local grocery store. And by the way, if you are using dried spices, I like to give them a little rub in the palm of my hand before adding them to the pot of soup. This re-releases the flavor in the herb and ensures you get a well flavored soup.


So, here’s your Top 10 list of herbs and spices list. Move over David Letterman. Bet he never had herbs and spices on his famous top 10 lists. If you have a pen and paper handy, you might want to jot down some notes here. I’m not only going to give you the name of the herb, I’m also going to share with you the gut ailment it works best for. Personally, I keep all of these in stock in my kitchen, but it’s still nice to know which one works for which digestive symptom because then you’ll know what to grab as different challenges crop up and you’ll be all ready to make your gut loving soup when you don’t feel well, and you are in need of gut repair.

#1- Gingergreat for nausea, gas, bloating, general digestion needs

#2- Turmeric anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, lowers free radicals, and oxidative damage to our cells with its active ingredient—curcumin

#3- Cinnamon- not a lot of people think about cinnamon when making soup but, taste wise, it’s a great ingredient to bring out the flavors in chili or a squash soup. Digestively, it eases nausea and upset stomach (remember that for your kids if they have a stomach bug and are vomiting, it helped my kiddos a time or two)

#4- Basil- gas, abdominal pain, lots of different types: sweet, lemon, Thai basil, and my favorite for stress reduction holy basil

#5- Bay leaves- detoxifying for the digestive system, soothing for an irritable bowel

#6- Cardamom- good for mucus build up, gas, bloating, heartburn (quick side note, I have a couple clients who chew on the cardamom pods to get relief from heartburn and it definitely helps their symptoms)

#7- Rosemary- balancing for the bacteria in the gut

#8- Cumin- anti-inflammatory

#9 & #10 both have the same benefit, so I’ll group them together: thyme and oregano- both antibacterial and antifungal.

So, there you have it, your top 10 herbs and spices list. Definitely keep these on hand for digestive health and making a gut repair soup.  Of course, you won’t use them all in one soup, but keep them on hand and rotate them with your different batches of your gut repair goodness.


Just a couple last notes on herbs and spices before we move on, when buying these at the store, try to buy the highest quality you can afford. Organic is best. And stand alone spices are preferred instead of spice mixes. Spice manufacturers may add in additional anti-caking ingredients to bottles like this and our sensitive guts don’t need that.

How are things looking in your kitchen? Are you already stocked with these spices? Now is the perfect time to stock up and make sure you have these on hand for your super healing soup recipes.

So far we’ve talked about three must have components for any gut healing soup: quality stock, quality veggies, and quality herbs or spices. With these three things, there isn’t an amazing gut healing soup you can’t make. But what if you’re in a flare up and you feel like you just can’t tolerate some of these vegetables I mentioned earlier? What if you’re intestines are so inflamed that the idea of anything solid going in congers up an image of a fiery inferno inside your gut?

The best thing about a well-made, nutrient dense soup is that it can heal and repair your gut just as well as it can help you maintain your IBD remission. It’s amazing in that way. It’s all about putting whatever soup you choose in the best digestible and absorbable form for where your gut is in that moment.

Let’s talk about how to best make the soups in your Soups On Recipe Booklet if you’re in flare up mode. When your disease is active, and you’re having lots of symptoms—abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloody poops, rectal fissures or hemorrhoids, heartburn, bloating, smelly or frequent gas… Or we’re also talking about IBD non-gut symptoms that also can creep up like arthritis, skin rashes, fatigue, brain fog or anxiety, eye inflammation, loss of appetite, or mouth sores… and of course with our lovely chronic illness, you know as well as I do that there can be other symptoms as well. So, the gut repair soup is for you if you have any active disease at all.


[21:35] When we’re talking gut repair soup, there’s three important rules to follow:

#1- the most important rule- making your soup into a form you can easily digest and easily absorb. That means using an immersion blender or pureeing it in a high-speed blender. Pureeing it until it’s smooth and creamy. This puts the soup in an easy to digest form. Suddenly, veggies you thought you couldn’t tolerate become tolerable. Greens like spinach, fiberous veggies like celery… when we blend these veggies into a smooth and creamy, deliciously soothing soup, now we can digest and absorb the healing nutrients in the food and begin to give our digestive system the food it needs for fuel and to repair.


Now, in your Soup’s On Recipe Booklet that you can get in the show notes or by going to karynhaley.com/soup, you’ll see all kinds of delish soups that are good for the health of your digestive system. Every single one of them is either already a creamy style soup or one that can be purred. Pretty much any kind of soup I’ve encountered over the years, I’ve been able to put it in a smooth and creamy form, while still enjoying the richness of the flavors. Vegetable soup, soup with meat in it like bacon, chicken or beef, all of these soups can and should be purred when you are in the initial stages of gut healing. If you’ve never done this before, I know it might seem different, but I’ve done this myself with each of the soups in your recipe booklet and they taste great. All the nutrients and health factors you need without the difficulty in digesting them. Give your body what it needs to heal with gut repairing, creamy, soothing soup.

For gut repair soup rule #2, I want you to only use ingredients you tolerate. This might mean scaling back on an ingredient or two in a recipe for a short time until enough healing has taken place. Sometimes, the reason we don’t tolerate a particular food is because of the form it’s in. When our G.I. tract is inflamed, we need food to be pre-digested or broken down for us to tolerate. Other times, even the ingredients in a pureed soup might bother us. Maybe you’re having a histamine intolerance that’s causing rashes, and itchy, flakey skin. You might need to make your broth differently until the reaction calms down. Maybe there’s an herb like garlic that gives you too much gas because you’re dealing with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, maybe you’re like me and you just have a true food sensitivity to a vegetable like peppers. And it doesn’t matter if the peppers you use are blended or not, you just don’t tolerate any pepper with skin on it—even if its blended.

Skip ingredients you don’t tolerate. Substitute them with another ingredient. For me with peppers, I always remove the skin (more like a roasted pepper) and then I can eat them. For you, it might be rosemary. Your just sensitive too it. Is there another herb you like that you could substitute? How about using thyme instead? I find it gives a great flavor to soups as well.

See what I’m saying here. No matter which soup recipe you try, if your intestines are irritated and inflamed, chances are there’s going to be an ingredient or two that doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t mean you need to scrap the idea of broth or veggies all together. It just means it’s time for some modifications and tweaks.


I know this can be an overwhelming task if you’ve never experimented in this way before. I also know you can do it. It just takes a little bit of practice. My advice, if you don’t know what your food sensitivities are yet because right now, everything seems to bother you, start with just a very simple soup. One with very few ingredients. It might be just a vegetable broth with some carrot purred in it. I actually have a very simple soup like this in my Soup’s On Recipe Booklet. Start there, see how you do. If you need to pull back on some of the ingredients, go for it. Once some gut healing has taken place, you’ll be able to move on and add more ingredients and move on to other soups as well. The gut lining has an amazing capacity for quick healing when we give it the food it thrives on. And you never know, foods you thought you’d never be able to eat, may surprise you. I’ve personally experienced this with countless foods. It is such a beautiful thing.  


And if you get stuck at all, know I’m here to help. I know this can be a daunting process in the beginning. Reach out and ask. I’m here to make this easy for you. Hello@karynhaley.com

So, when it comes to gut repair soup, with our 3 rules, just to remind us where we’re at, your #1 rule is blend your soup into a smooth and creamy concoction that’s easier to digest and absorb. Rule #2 is use only the ingredients you tolerate, and lastly, rule #3 when it comes to gut repair soup is: when you make it, make it count. If you’re going to all the trouble of making this healing liquid gold for your body when you don’t feel well, make a double batch to freeze the second one. The beauty of soups like this is that they freeze beautifully. In a leftover container, in mason jars, in silicon molds you can then remove and freeze for smaller portions… whatever works for you.

This will involve a little timing on your part. Something I’ve seen over and over with clients over the years is that when it comes to flares, there’s usually a time of day when we feel well and a time of day we feel worse. I wish there was a pattern to it, that everyone was the same… like everyone feels better in the morning and worse as the day goes on, but this isn’t the case. What I have seen is that many IBD mamas have patterns or cycles to their digestive symptoms. You might wake up in the morning and sit on the toilet off and on for a couple hours before things clear out and you feel well for the rest of the day. Things might flare up for you in the middle of the day where you get really fatigued and need to rest. For me, when I’m in a flare up, I always feel amazing in the morning. Before I would eat, I felt like I could conquer the world. After eating, I might feel crappy for the rest of the day.

So for me, I know that my best baking/cooking gut healing food time is right when I wake up. For you, it might be the middle of the day or at night. Find your time, and make your soup making count—make a double batch or two different soups and freeze one. I’m all about working smarter not harder so even if you don’t feel up to the double batch, never ever make a single serving. It takes just as much work to make that as a full batch of soup.

And even better still? Get your partner in on the soup making action. If you don’t feel well, it’s time for your partner to step up and help a mama out. Remember, when you feel better, you’ll pour all that love back into them.

Gut repair soup with 3 simple rules—done.


[31:50] OK, let’s say you’ve moved beyond the healing phase and you’re in remission. Can you imagine it mama? I want you to dare to dream my friend because it can be your reality. Once you are in remission, you want to stay that way. And it’s a tricky balance. Remission, especially in the beginning is like walking on a tight rope in the circus. One false move and splat, you’re back to ground zero. Trust me, I’ve walked this tight rope many times, it’s precarious and involves lots of maintenance and moving parts. It’s not the time to take your eye of the prize.

The same gut repair soup you’re making to heal your gut can be the same digestive remission soup you use to make sure you stay that way. It’s still full of the same nutrients and gut healing factors, but this time, you’re ready for more. Just like gut repair soup, remission soup has 3 rules or best practices too.


Rule #1- With maintenance soup, follow the recipe as is. There’s no need to puree or blend your veggies. Keep them chunky and hearty. If you’re feeling really well, you can even keep the veggies, as Italians say, al dente—with a little bite or crunch. Of course, if you prefer the smooth and creamy texture, that’s find too. Just know that when it comes to maintenance, you can branch out with your soup’s texture.

Rule #2- Now that you’re tolerating all the broths, the herbs/spices, and vegetables, it’s time to start branching out with ingredients that didn’t work for you before. Be careful not to go overboard here. We’re not talking about adding sugar or pasta noodles to your soup. We’re still talking low carb and low sugar to keep your inflammation down, and your immune system and bacterial balance in check.

Rule #3- Don’t get complacent and forget about your maintenance soup. I see this all the time. As time goes by, we feel well, we’ve got kids, responsibilities… we forget about our maintenance. There’s lots of work to be done to make sure we don’t flare and it’s easy to forget about the things you have in place that make remission possible. Your maintenance soup is a huge factor in keeping you feeling healthy.

During the early stages of gut repair soup, you’ll be consuming broth and soup 1-5 times a day. Once your symptoms resolve, it’s OK to back up on the soup, but not completely. I still have gut healing soup with the ingredients we’ve been talking about today regularly. It’s part of my healthy gut maintenance routine. And during times when I don’t feel like myself or I feel a flare up coming on, I hunker back down with gut repair soup, the flare up version.

Although homemade soup isn’t a cure all and there’s other healing options to put in place to but a flare up, when you have gut repairing soup with the quality ingredients we’ve been talking about today, it can be a hugely positive factor on your healing journey. And when it comes to remission, that is truly the most important time to keep those nutrients coming. For those of us with sensitive guts, the vigilance never stops.


Now, are you ready to start using soup for gut repair or maintenance? Let me help you get started with my Soup’s On Recipe Booklet.  I think I mentioned it earlier, but you can get my brand new Soup’s On Recipe Booklet right in the show notes, or you can get it by going to karynhaley.com/soup. This recipe guide has vegetarian and omnivore soups in it, it’s got two different stock recipes to be sure you have your must have components set before you begin, and it has several easy to make homemade soups that use the gut healing ingredients we’ve been talking about today. You’re going to love it! Head over to karynhaley.com/soup and it will be yours free now.

Can you tell how much I love talking about soup? Weird, right? This episode seriously lite me up! No matter where you’re at on your IBD healing journey, I hope you’ll start using soup to help you heal. It’s truly transformative. Happy soup making my friend.

Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD healing journey.

Be well.

[37:42] Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.

Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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