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Hearty Barley Turkey Soup

Hearty Barley Turkey Soup

In the chilly winter months, there’s nothing quite like a warm and comforting bowl of soup. And when it comes to hearty and nutritious soups, it’s hard to beat a delicious barley turkey soup. This wholesome dish is not only packed with flavor but also loaded with healthy ingredients that will keep you feeling satisfied and nourished. So, let’s dive in and discover what makes this soup so special!

The Beauty of Barley

Barley is a versatile grain that has been a staple in many cuisines for centuries. It’s not only delicious but also boasts several health benefits. This ancient grain is rich in fiber, which aids digestion and helps keep you feeling full for longer. It’s also a great source of vitamins and minerals, including selenium and manganese.

When cooked in a soup, barley adds a wonderful chewy texture and nutty flavor. It’s the perfect ingredient to bulk up a soup and turn it into a satisfying meal. Plus, it releases its starches as it cooks, resulting in a thick and creamy broth that’s hard to resist.

Turkey: Lean and Mean

When it comes to choosing a protein for your soup, turkey is an excellent option. Not only is it leaner than other meats, but it’s also packed with essential nutrients. Turkey is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in our bodies. It’s also a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins.

In addition to its nutritional value, turkey adds a savory and slightly sweet flavor to the soup. It pairs perfectly with the earthy taste of barley and creates a harmonious balance of flavors that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

A Symphony of Vegetables

No soup is complete without a medley of vegetables, and barley turkey soup is no exception. The combination of colorful vegetables not only adds a vibrant touch to the dish but also provides a wide range of nutrients.

Carrots, celery, and onions are the classic trio that forms the base of this soup. They add depth of flavor and a subtle sweetness that complements the other ingredients. Additionally, you can add other vegetables like peas, corn, or mushrooms to further enhance the taste and texture of the soup.

The Magic of Herbs and Spices

To take your barley turkey soup to the next level, don’t forget to season it with a variety of herbs and spices. These aromatic additions will bring out the flavors of the ingredients and make your soup truly unforgettable.

Common herbs like thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves add a wonderful fragrance and earthiness to the soup. Spices like garlic, black pepper, and paprika add a subtle kick and depth of flavor. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect blend.


In conclusion, a hearty barley turkey soup is not only a comforting and delicious meal but also a nutritious choice for those cold winter days. The combination of chewy barley, lean turkey, colorful vegetables, and aromatic herbs and spices creates a symphony of flavors that will warm your soul. So, next time you’re in need of a cozy and nourishing meal, give this soup a try!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use leftover turkey for this soup?

A: Absolutely! Using leftover turkey is a great way to add flavor and reduce food waste.

Q: Can I substitute barley with another grain?

A: While barley is the traditional choice, you can experiment with other grains like quinoa or rice.

Q: Can I make this soup vegetarian?

A: Yes, simply omit the turkey and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Q: How long does this soup stay fresh?

A: When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it can stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.

Q: Can I freeze this soup?

A: Yes, you can freeze this soup in individual portions for up to 3 months.

Q: Can I add other vegetables to this soup?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables or use whatever you have on hand.

Q: Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

A: Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Q: Can I make this soup in advance?

A: Yes, this soup actually tastes better the next day as the flavors have a chance to meld together.

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Hearty Barley Turkey Soup

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 35 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Course Soups
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 5 quarts water , or as needed
  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrot
  • 3 stalks celery , cut in half
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 pinch dried thyme , or to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds carrots , cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium onions , diced
  • 6 stalks celery , cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 cup barley
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt (Optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch dried thyme


  • Gather all the ingredients for the stock and soup.
  • To make the turkey stock, start by combining 5 quarts of water and the turkey carcass in a large stockpot. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Skim any excess fat and foam from the surface as needed and add more water if it evaporates.
  • Transfer the carcass to a cutting board and let it cool. Strain the stock, discarding the solids, and return the liquid to the pot.
  • Pull the meat from the cooled carcass, discard the bones, and shred the meat. Refrigerate it until you're ready to use it.
  • To make the soup, add the carrots, onions, celery, barley, mushrooms, bay leaves, salt, marjoram, pepper, and thyme to the stock. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is fully cooked, which should take about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Return the shredded turkey to the soup and simmer until it's heated through, which should take about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve.
  • If you brined your turkey, use less salt than what is called for in this recipe.
Keyword and, Barley, Chili, Everyday, Grain, Grains, Leftovers, Meat, Poultry, Recipes, Soup, soups, Stews, Turkey, Whole
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Hi, I am April & Welcome to my food blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog. We share delicious recipes to make your meals nourishing and fun. Experimenting in the kitchen and cooking is my joy!


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