I SO WISH I could have gotten a beautiful picture of this soup, because it’s actually very pretty.
The warm golden yellow of the turmeric-seasoned broth is a lovely backdrop to the fresh green herbs, white pearls of barley and delicate shreds of turkey.
The rich, tangy smell that floods the kitchen while this soup is simmering, makes you want to dig right in.
Soft loaves of warm naan (indian bread) would take this dinner over the top and I fully intend to plan ahead better next time and serve this hot, tangy soup with homemade naan. Budget Bytes has a recipe I’ve been itching to try, so I’ll keep you posted!
If you are looking for a fresh, zesty alternative to plain chicken soup this is your dish!
The recipe calls for pretty basic ingredients and would be the perfect way to use up a turkey carcass leftover from the holidays (I may have left Christmas Eve dinner bearing the remains of the turkey and ham served that night!).
If making homemade stock isn’t your thing, you can certainly use store-bought chicken or turkey stock…just do yourself a favor and get the good stuff in the box from the natural section. The canned stocks are so full of sodium and other junk you just don’t need.
Also, this is called “turkey” soup but would also be delicious with chicken so don’t let the turkey keep you from trying it!
I’ve been sick since New Year’s Eve (and I’m SO OVER IT) and I think I particularly loved this soup last night because despite my sore throat and congestion, this soup was a party in my mouth! The flavors are deep and complex and were able to blast through the Fort Knox of my sick tastebuds.
Ok, ok, enough rambling. Here it is!
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, grated or finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Juice of a small lemon
- Strips of lemon zest, from the small lemon*
- 8 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
- 1 cup barley (more barley will yield a thicker soup)
- 2 cups chopped leftover turkey (or chicken)
- ¼ cup chopped FRESH parsley
- ¼ cup chopped FRESH cilantro (can sub with more parsley, but the cilantro is AWESOME)
- *Use a vegetable peeler to peel strips of zest from a lemon. Use a sharp knife to scrape out and discard any of the white pith that still remains on the inside of the zest strips.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the grated onion and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and cook another minute, then mix in the turmeric, cumin, ground ginger and a generous pinch of salt.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the turkey stock and add the strips of lemon zest. Bring to a simmer, then add the barley. Simmer gently until the barley is cooked, about 20-30 minutes (or according to package directions…I used quick barley that I had on hand so it was more like 15 minutes)
- When the barley is cooked through, add the chopped turkey, the parsley and cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook gently just until the turkey is warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove the lemon zest strips before serving - It helps to count them as you add them to the pot!