Wondering what to do with leftover turkey? Look no further than this deliciously hearty soup! Grab the leftovers and add some fresh herbs and broth and head to your slow cooker for a nearly effortless dish that the whole family will enjoy. Or take a look at the stovetop instructions if you need a faster soup.
Feel free to replace the pearl barley with hulled barley, farro, or whole grain sorghum. All of these grains hold their shape well, even after long, slow cooking.
The soup starts with the typical mirepoix of onion, carrot, and celery. If you prefer Cajun and Creole flavors, add a chopped green bell pepper to the mixture and season the soup with Cajun or Creole seasoning. For Creole flavor, add a 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes. If you like more vegetables in your soup, add a cup or two of frozen green beans, corn, or lima beans about an hour before the soup is ready.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3 carrots (thinly sliced)
- 6 cups chicken stock or turkey stock
- 1 to 2 cups diced cooked turkey
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (about 2 teaspoons dried)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, celery, and sliced carrots to the hot oil and cook until the onions are softened, stirring constantly.
- In the slow cooker, combine the cooked vegetables, chicken or turkey stock, diced cooked turkey, barley, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, and pepper
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until the carrots are tender and the barley is softened. Taste and add the chopped parsley; adjust seasonings with salt, as needed.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken or turkey stock, turkey, barley, bay leaf, thyme, marjoram, and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the vegetables and barley are tender.
- Stir the chopped parsley into the soup. Taste and season with salt, as needed.
Pearl barley cooks more quickly than hulled barley, but hulled barley is richer in fiber because it is the whole grain. Hulled barley retains its chewy texture, but might need an extra 30 minutes to an hour of cooking time.