The good old days are now. -Tom Clancy
This hearty turkey and barley soup recipe comes from a time when life was slow, things were simple, nothing was wasted and everything was used. This philosophy is practiced in our home present day as it was done long ago in our ancestors’ homes. This soup is made with turkey meat leftover from a holiday roast turkey dinner and the base is turkey stock made using the remaining carcass of the turkey. Plus, it’s loaded with vegetables and barley for added flavour and texture. There really is no reason to complain about eating leftover turkey when there is such an easy and delicious alternative to use it up.This soup is my husband’s specialty, just as is, preparing the roast turkey dinner that we have for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once he finishes carving the turkey, the process of making the turkey stock begins. It’s left simmering on the stove top while we enjoy our turkey dinner. The next day, he is ready to make this soup.
Turkey Stock using a Turkey Carcass
(yields about 4-5 litres of stock)
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 potatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- carcass of a cooked turkey* (about 6 kg or 13.2 lbs turkey)
- 2 tsp salt
- Have the vegetables cut way ahead of time. (Once the turkey is carved, you want to eat, not chop vegetables to make stock!)
- Once the turkey has been carved, place carcass into the stock pot. (We use a 10 L stock pot.)
- Add the vegetables and add enough water to completely submerge the contents.
- Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. (Have dinner in the meantime!)
- Allow to cool slightly.
- Ladle out the stock and pour into a large saucepan through a fine sieve.
- Cover the saucepan and place in the fridge, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
- There will be a thin layer of congealed fat at the top, skim and discard it.
- The stock is ready to use or freeze. Ladle out as required. Note: There may be some residue that may have precipitated to the bottom of the saucepan, careful not to disturb it and do not use this portion. Use within 48 hours of making it.
Turkey, Barley and Vegetable Soup
- 150 g pearl barley
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 onions (about 200 g), diced
- 2 large leeks (about 325 g), trimmed and sliced
- 8 cups turkey* stock
- 3-4 tsp salt
- 2 large carrot (about 175 g), peeled and sliced
- 500 g white mushrooms, sliced
- about 800 g leftover turkey*, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 tbsp dried winter savory (or substitute with thyme)
- pepper to taste
- Rinse and drain barley. Bring a pan of water to a boil, add barley and boil for 5 minutes on high heat. Strain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter on low heat.
- Mix in onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in the leeks and cook until just softened, about another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the stock, salt and barley and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the carrots, mushrooms, turkey and savory and simmer for another 30 minutes. Enjoy!
*We always opt for using an organic turkey.