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Cream of barley turkey soup

1 cup pearl barley

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil

2 turkey legs (about 12 ounces each)

1/2 cup diced ham (optional)

2 bay leaves

1 cup heavy cream or half and half

Makes 8 servings.

Place barley, onion, celery, carrots and butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Lightly saute until onion is fragrant and barley is well coated. Add turkey legs, ham and bay leaves. Cover with 1 quart of water and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 45 minutes.

Remove turkey legs and cool. Discard skin and bones, and dice meat. Check to make sure barley is tender; if not, simmer until soft. Discard bay leaves. If desired, puree soup in food processor or in batches in a blender. Return meat to pot, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in cream. Warm gently.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories (45 percent from fat), 15.9 g fat (8.8 g saturated, 4.5 g monounsaturated), 120.5 mg cholesterol, 21 g protein, 23.4 g carbohydrates, 4.6 g fiber, 100.2 mg sodium.

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