Turkey Barley Vegetable Soup

To me, this is the best use of the leftover turkey frame and meat. This soup is hearty and delicious, and my children ask me to make it year-round. As soon as your turkey meal is over, throw the frame in a pot and make the turkey stock. The stock can then be frozen or used in the next day or two to make the soup. Or, throw the frame in a plastic bag and freeze for a later date. I usually make turkey breasts, not whole turkeys, so I freeze the frames until I have two or three and then I also add some fresh turkey bones or pieces (wings or thighs) when making the stock. That way I know I’ll have enough turkey meat to add at the end. You can add mushrooms to this recipe (1/2 cup finely chopped, added with the carrots and celery), but my family prefers it without. You can also substitute raw rice for the barley, if you prefer. I have adapted this recipe from Jane Brody's Good Food Book (W.W. Norton , 1985).

Turkey Stock:
1 or more turkey frames and fresh turkey parts to equal 4-5 pounds
3 carrots, cut up
1 large onion, quartered
1 parsnip, cut up
3 stalks celery with leaves, cut up
1/2 cup leeks, white part only, sliced
1 chopped garlic clove
bouquet garni with 1 bay leaf, 6 sprigs fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (herbs tied up in a piece of cheesecloth so they can be removed easily at the end)
12 cups water

10 cups turkey stock
1 tablespoon oil
4 tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup raw barley
1 1/2 teaspoons marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
a few grinds of fresh black pepper, or to taste
about 2 cups diced turkey meat
dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
chopped parsley for a garnish (optional)
To make the stock:
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, and simmer, partially covered, for 2 to 3 hours. Alternately (this is what I do), prepare the stock in a pressure cooker, cooking for 15 minutes with the regulator rocking slowly. Let the pressure fall and remove the cover. Strain the stock, saving the turkey bones to remove the bits of meat. Skim the fat off the top of the stock (easier if you refrigerate the stock overnight until it hardens). Prepare the soup immediately or let cool and refrigerate the stock and turkey meat for later.

To make the soup:
In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until they are soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook the vegetables, stirring them, for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the flour (the mixture will look dry) and continue cooking and stirring for one more minute. Add the stock, barley, marjoram, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover the pan, and simmer the soup for about 1 hour. Add the turkey meat and hot pepper sauce, adjust the seasonings, and heat the soup to boiling. If desired, sprinkle the soup with parsley just before serving.

Makes about 10 cups, or 6-8 servings.

Turkey Barley Vegetable Soup