Hearty turkey barley soup

A bowl of turkey barley soupDue to the summer heat, I’ve been using my crockpot a lot more than my oven, especially for cooking large quantities of meat. I recently threw two large turkey breasts into the crockpot with a seasoning rub (that I threw together) and some reduced sodium chicken broth.

From this, I decided to reserve some of the meat for a turkey-potato-veggie dinner, some for sandwiches (turkey club anyone??) and the rest, I threw into a stewpot on the stove with some barley and vegetables. Yes. Soup in the summer. I’m okay with eating soup in the summer. I like to freeze it into smaller portions and then pull it out on a rainy day! Here’s what I did:

Ingredients

  • roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of a large turkey breast (cooked), cubed
  • 1 box Imagine Organic reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1.5 cups carrots, cut into coins
  • 1 1/3 cup frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
  • two handfuls (roughly 15 pods) snow peas, cut into thirds (if you don’t have these, use a few handfuls of green beans or add some other vegetable of your choosing)
  • 4 packets Club House reduced sodium turkey gravy mix
  • pepper to taste

Method

  1. Place a large soup pot onto the stove on medium heat.
  2. Pour in the broth and water.
  3. Add the veggies, except the snow peas, peas and mushrooms. Give everything a stir, then add the barley and stir again.
  4. Add the gravy packets, using a metal whisk to break up the powder in the liquid.
  5. Bring to a boil, add the snow peas and mushrooms, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Add turkey and frozen peas and cook for another 5 or so minutes to heat the meat and peas through.
  7. Serve hot and season with pepper to individual taste.

You can feel free to adjust seasonings and add what you’d like but I find that the gravy powder has a fair amount of seasoning already in it, so I don’t tend to add more seasoning. I tend to eat this with a side salad  and some crackers/baguette crisps.

I should also warn that this turns out like a hearty soup, but the longer it sets up in the fridge, the more it thickens up because of the barley, giving it more of a stew consistency. Because there are no potatoes in this, you should be able to freeze it alright, too.

You can lower the sodium content by omitting the gravy mixes and adding your own seasonings. I recommend things like sage/poultry seasoning, garlic & onion powder, maybe some thyme or rosemary, and definitely a couple of bay leaves. You can then add salt, to your taste and preference, or Mrs. Dash or some other salt substitute. (I’m going to try this method next time I make this to see how much lower I can make the sodium so I can have more than a single cup at a sitting.)

Makes: Approximately 12 1-cup servings.

Nutritional info: 143 calories, 17g carbs, 2g fat, 17g protein, 417mg sodium, 3g sugars.

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