Turkey, Chestnut, and Barley Soup

Quick look

  • prep 45 min    cook 2 hrs
  • serves 8

One of the best parts of roasting a turkey is making a big pot of soup from the rest of the bird. If you’re not roasting a bird, use low-sodium canned chicken broth instead of the homemade stock. Add winter vegetables and chestnuts for a satisfying, healthy meal.


  • 2 pounds cooked turkey breast (boneless)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 8 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved or chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Stock Ingredients

  • 1 turkey carcass (from at least a 12-pound bird) or 5 pounds turkey parts, on bone
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 10 sprigs each fresh parsley and thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt

    How to make it  2 hours, 45 minutes

  • 1

    Begin by making the stock. Break up the turkey carcass, discarding any skin, and place in an 8-quart stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover (about 12 cups), and bring to a boil over high heat; skim off any foam with a slotted spoon. Add the remaining ingredients for the stock and return to a full boil.

  • 2

    Lower the heat and simmer the stock gently, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Strain and discard the bones and vegetables (you need 9 cups stock). Skim off any fat and return the stock to the stockpot.

  • 3

    To make the soup, return the stock to a boil. Remove the skin from the turkey breast and cut the turkey into bite-size pieces (you need 6 cups). Add the turkey to the stockpot, along with the carrots, turnips, celery, onions, and barley. Simmer the soup, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes.

  • 4

    Add the sprouts and chestnuts and simmer just until the sprouts are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve steaming hot.

Nutritional Information(per serving)

  • Calories: 302
  • Fat: 2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 95mg
  • Carbs: 33g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fiber: 6g

3 Variations:
In-a-hurry turkey soup: Substitute 9 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth for the homemade turkey stock. Pour the broth into the stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Proceed by adding and cooking the vegetables.

Vegetable garden turkey soup: Substitute 1 cup uncooked white rice for the barley. Omit the sprouts and chestnuts; add 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas and 1 cup chopped tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes more if using fresh peas (only 5 minutes more for frozen peas).

Turkey noodle soup: Omit the barley, sprouts, and chestnuts. Decrease the cooking time from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. Add 1 cup uncooked angel hair pasta and 1 cup chopped red bell pepper. Return to a boil and cook until pasta is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley, then top with 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.