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Turkey Barley Soup

Rated as 4.8 out of 5 Stars

"I've made this soup the past 3 Christmases, using a stock made from the bones from the turkey. I believe that this year I perfected it! A comforting and hearty soup for a cold winter day."
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3 h 50 m servings 262
Original recipe yields 10 servings


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  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add turkey bones to hot oil; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer bones to a bowl.
  2. Cook and stir quartered onion, coarsely chopped celery, and coarsely chopped carrot in the hot oil in the same stockpot until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Return turkey bones to stockpot and add 16 cups water and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil, skim off foam, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until liquid reduces to 10 cups, about 2 hours. Strain stock into a large bowl and let stand for 15 minutes. Spoon fat off top of stock.
  3. Bring 2 1/2 cup water and barley to a boil in a saucepan. Cover saucepan, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat; cook and stir diced onion, sliced carrots, sliced celery, and garlic until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add turkey stock to onion mixture and bring to a boil.
  5. Mix turkey meat, barley, parsley, thyme leaves, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into soup; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir lemon juice into soup.


  • Cook's Note:
  • You can make this more quickly by using store-bought stock, if you prefer.
  • Substitute 2 leeks (white and light green parts) for the onion, if desired.
  • Editor's Note:
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount for ingredients in the turkey broth. The actual amount of broth consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 262 calories; 14.1 21 13.7 38 126 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 5
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My husband makes turkey bone soup every year. I looked at this recipe to tweak the spices, excellent recipe! I like the addition of barley.

It is probably the best soup ever! Easy to make too.

My husband said that this was the best turkey soup that I had ever made. And, I have made many a pot of turkey soup in our almost 50 years of marriage! I came very close to following the recip...

This recipe was great. My husband who won't usually eat turkey soups loved it.

Added mushrooms because I love them with the barley. Would have liked it to be a touch thicker. Hoping that after it sits overnight it will thicken up. Love the touch of brightness from the lemo...