Turkey Barley Soup

Turkey Barley Soup

This mellow, velvety soup filled with barley and vegetables is a perfect place for your leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Adapted from Cristiana N. de Carvalho of Massachusetts, it’s savory, herby and very warming on a cold winter evening. If you want to make your own stock from the turkey bones, the soup will be even richer. But store-bought stock works just as well and makes this straightforward recipe quick to put together. Brown rice makes an excellent barley substitute, though you may have to add a few minutes to the cooking time.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a large soup pot over medium-high, melt butter, or heat the oil until shimmering. Add carrot, celery and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned at the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and sage, and sauté for a minute, until fragrant. Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
  2. Step 2

    Tie the thyme and parsley sprigs and the bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni and add to the pot (or just throw the herbs directly into the pot; you’ll just have to fish them out later).
  3. Step 3

    Add stock and barley and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until barley is almost done, about 30 minutes. Add turkey and cook until barley is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  4. Step 4

    Remove from heat and remove the bouquet garni or herbs. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into the soup, and stir in chopped parsley. Taste and add more salt, pepper and lemon juice, if you like. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges. Garnish soup with more parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.