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Kalyn's Kitchen

Turkey Barley Soup

Turkey Barley Soup is a great way to use leftover Thanksgiving Turkey, and this is warm and comforting. Use Soup Recipes to find more tasty soups!

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Turkey Barley Soup found on KalynsKitchen.com

Yes, I know you haven’t even cooked your turkey yet, so you don’t have a turkey carcass to make turkey stock and then make this soup. But many of you will have leftover turkey soon, and by then I’ll be too busy to update this post. You might have noticed I’m very fond of barley, and if you’re looking for a post-Thanksgiving turkey soup, I highly recommend this one. I do have a few other ideas for leftover turkey to add to my Thanksgiving Recipes, which hopefully I’ll get posted later tonight. Now, let’s make turkey soup.

Turkey Barley Soup found on KalynsKitchen.com

I normally like soup where the ingredients are all cut the same size, but for this soup I cut the onions, celery, and carrots rather small, and cut the leftover turkey a bit bigger. (Onions were already cooking in the pan when I decided to take a photo!) Saute the onions a few minutes, then add carrots, celery, and poultry seasoning and saute about 5 minutes more. Put cooked vegetables in soup pan, then add turkey stock and diced turkey and simmer about 20 minutes. Then add water and 3/4 cup pearl barley and simmer 30-45 minutes until barley is tender. I taste the soup when the barley is done and sometimes add a bit of Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base, but if you don’t have it you could use another brand of turkey base, a chicken buillon cube, a tiny dash of soy sauce, or even some Kitchen Bouquet.

More Soup Recipes with Barley:

Chicken Barley Soup from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Mushroom Barley Soup from The Perfect Pantry
Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup from Andrea’s Recipes
Mushroom Barley Soup from Eating/SF
Carrot, Chickpea, and Barley Soup with Tofu from A Fridge Full of Food

Turkey Barley Soup

Turkey Barley Soup is a great way to use leftover Thanksgiving Turkey, and this is warm and comforting.


  • 8 cups turkey stock made from leftover turkey carcass (or could use chicken stock, but turkey stock is better)
  • 1 T olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 onion, diced in 3/8 inch pieces
  • 1 cup celery, diced in 3/8 inch pieces
  • 2 cups carrots, diced in 3/8 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp. poultry seasoning, or more, to taste (can substitute dried thyme and sage for poultry seasoning)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups diced leftover turkey
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • turkey soup base as needed (I used about 1 T Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base. Can also use chicken bouillon, a dash of soy sauce, or Kitchen Bouquet if you need to add flavor)


  1. In very large frying pan, heat olive oil, add onion and saute 2 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, celery, poultry seasoning, and pepper and saute about 5 minutes more.
  3. While vegetables are cooking, bring turkey stock to a boil in large soup pot.
  4. Add vegetables and turkey, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  5. Add water, bring soup back to simmer.
  6. Then add barley and simmer until barley is soft, at least 30 minutes, and maybe longer, depending on how old the barley is. (When I made this recently I cooked the barley 45 minutes, but fresh barley will cook much more quickly.)
  7. When barley is cooked, taste soup for seasoning, add additional turkey soup base. I used about 1 T Penzey’s Turkey Soup Base, or use other Turkey Soup Base (affiliate link) and salt or pepper if needed. (Can also use chicken bouillon, a dash of soy sauce, or Kitchen Bouquet if you need to add flavor if you don’t have turkey soup base.)
  8. Simmer 10 minutes more if more soup base is added.
  9. Serve hot.


Click here to see how to make turkey stock made from leftover turkey carcass.

This soup freezes very well.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Turkey Barley Soup would be a great soup for phase two or three of the South Beach Diet, or any low-glycemic eating plan. Use olive oil, not butter, if making for South Beach eaters. Soup with Barley is too high in carbs for a low-carb diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

Pinterest image of Turkey Barley Soup

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    21 Comments on “Turkey Barley Soup”

  1. I have a variety of veggies needing to be used. Can they be added to ur turkey barley soup? Broccoli. caulaflower, kale, pepper -red & yellow, squash: zucchini & Yellow & kitchen sink. whats ur thots? T hanks

    • Hi Sharon,
      Sorry I am slow to reply. I was at a lecture and just got home. I think it’s kind of a matter of taste which veggies are good in soup. Not sure I would mix quite that many different ones. I prefer the veggies cut in quite small pieces in soup, but again that’s a matter of taste. I think zucchini, yellow squash, and kale would be good together. I’d like peppers with squash as well, but not so sure about kale with peppers Not sure I would use broccoli or cauliflower in this type of soup, but you might like it.

  2. This is a fantastic dish, your turkey soup looks delicious. This is my first visit to your lovely blog and 'sure to come back and check more of your posts here. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea and recipe.

  3. Niki, thanks! So glad you are still enjoying it.

  4. Thank you so much for the recipe. Even though it's been some time since you posted, the recipe is as good today as it was years ago. 🙂

  5. Kathy, so glad you liked the soup!

  6. They had turkey drumsticks on sale today at Whole Foods, so I decided to make soup for dinner. When I Googled “turkey barley soup” I got your recipe.

    It was SO good! I added a clove of garlic with the onions and a can of tomatoes with the broth. I also upped the barley, because I had one cup, and didn’t want to save just a little bit.

  7. Oh dur, the freakin recipe was right below. Heh.

  8. Ooh, this is just what I’m looking for! I can still make this with some of my turkey! AND I just love barely! I need to eat it more, it makes me happy.

    Happy Thanksgiving Kalyn!

  9. Crazy but this is probably the thing we most often look forward to for leftover. My son was very clear: Please make bread for turkey sandwiches mom.
    Love the photo of all the chopped veggies!
    Happy Thanksgiving Kalyn!

  10. I love all kinds of soups but this is one of my favorites ! And I love barley also. This looks delicious !

  11. Maria, thanks. I’m looking forward to it.

    Susy, good plan to get the carcass. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    Mimi, hooray for free turkey!

    Terry, me too! I cook extra turkey just to be sure there’s leftovers!

  12. A brilliant idea, Kalyn, giving us leftover ideas in a timely fashion. Updating my blog on Wednesdays as I do, by the time my post-Thanksgiving post rolls around, leftovers are either gone or spoiled. Maybe I should photograph this year’s leftover recipes and post them early next year.

    And let me just go on record here saying that I, for one, love turkey leftovers!

  13. I like barley, too, and will certainly make this soon. We are having pork tomorrow, but we have a free turkey coming our way from my husband’s company.

  14. Looks delicious! I might be making this after Thanksgiving (I bought the turkey this year I get the carcass – YEAH!).

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  15. Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you you enjoy your meal with your family!

  16. You gotta love a woman who uses a word like “snarky”! You go, girl!

  17. I like your idea of doing leftover posts–it seems I waste wayyyy too much food…

  18. I too am a fan of: Penzey’s stock bases, and barley in turkey soup. In fact, I often make mushroom barley soup wirh turkey stock. This looks delicious. Also dandy in turkey soup: wild rice.

  19. There’s a theme going on right now I think. Everyone seems to be having leftover blues. I have been trying to get rid of leftovers since New Year! It never ends! I like the look of your soup though.

  20. Sounds tasty & I love your bowl!