Heading into its sixth year, the Syrian conflict has taken its toll on humanity. Fleeing their homes, about 8 million Syrians have been internally displaced since the start of the war, almost half of which are under 18-years-old. In Lebanon, where Massaad currently resides, more than a million refugees have found momentary relief. But the conflict does not end there, and it became something the Beirut-born but Florida-raised author simply could not ignore.

"It came gradually, I was in my apartment feeling very cold (although we had the heat on)," Massaad recalled. "I couldn't keep living in my bubble and ignoring what was happening close to my home with the refugees.

Grabbing her camera, Massaad visited a refugee camp where living conditions shocked her into action. With previous success in the culinary world, Massaad took her knowledge of food and photography and cooked up the perfect idea: a soup cookbook whose profits fund food relief for Syrian refugees — but why soup?

"I remember telling my father, 'soup warms my heart.' I always felt that soup was comfort food," she said. "Food, especially soup, feeds the body and the soul."

Reaching out to the culinary community, Massaad received enormous amounts of positive feedback. Working with other chefs, Massaad collected and tested over 200 recipes from friends, family, and even never-before-met Facebook friends. The book is comprised of comfort soups from all over the world — her favorite being the beetroot gazpacho.

"Soup for Syria" was Massaad's way of addressing the conflict, but she believes the fight isn't over. "Each one of us has a talent," she explained, "a way of giving in their own special way. We can all do our part. No excuses."

Her final message is very clear: "This is just an example of so many things one can do to help. The ultimate resolution is to push governments to stop the war in Syria and rebuild this country as soon as possible. This situation cannot last and should not last. One day we will read about this tragedy and call it a genocide."

Interested in making some cozy soup this January? Click and scroll to find Jill Boutros' Red Lentil Soup with Mint and Lemon here.

Ways You Can Help

– Sell/Purchase "Soup for Syria."

– Fundraise and donate.

– Spread the word via social media.

– Educate yourself and others on what your government is doing.

– Visit Soup for Syria's page on other ways to get involved.