Turkey Barley Soup

IMG_0249IMG_0247We are stuck in the middle of what they’re calling a “Polar Vortex” here in the northern Midwest.  I’m talking actual temperatures of -1 with wind-chill factors of -20 degrees.  I know, it’s tortuous to step outside these days.  Not to mention pumping gas, grocery shopping and even walking between buildings.  Hey, global warming proponents, where are ya now, eh?  Well, something that you don’t know about me is that I’m cold pretty much 100% of the time.  Honestly it’s a real problem.  And I don’t just mean in winter, summer too.  I really need 80 degrees or better to be comfortable.  I’m the girl in a sweater all year round (and long underwear and 2 pairs of socks, you get the picture).

So needles to say I love soup to warm me up and comfort me on a cold day.  A friend of mine brought this recipe to me.  After some tweaking and making it my own I’d like to share it with you.  May it warm you and your family as well.


1 pound ground turkey

3 carrots – sliced

3 celery stalks – chopped

1 medium onion – chopped

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 envelope of low sodium mild taco seasoning – all natural

1 teaspoon chili powder

4 cups water

3 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cumin

1 15 ounce can chicken broth

3/4 cup quick cooking barley


Brown the ground turkey, drain if needed and set aside.  Most of the time I don’t even need to drain any fat off the turkey as it is very lean.  A little fat adds a lot of flavor to the soup.

In a soup pot, sautee the carrots, onion and celery in the butter in the olive oil until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Add the turkey, water, tomatoes, spices and chicken broth to the veggies.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer and cook the soup with the lid partially on for at least 30 minutes.  Add the barley and cook at a simmer for 15 minutes or until they are soft.

Note – This soup tends to be spicy so I always use mild taco seasoning.  I’ve tried a medium and it is just way to spicy for a soup.



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