Smoked Turkey Soup

Homemade soup hits the spot. And smoked turkey soup is definitely something special. The subtle smoky aroma from a steaming bowl of this soup beckons you to quickly dip your spoon in and take a bite...just to find out if the soup has a smoky flavor, too. And guess what. It does!

The main ingredients include the leftover turkey, a variety of vegetables and pearled barley, which adds a belly-filling quality to the soup. If you're lucky you'll be making the soup with your own leftover turkey stock.

Smoky Turkey 'n Barley Soup

Six cups of chicken stock or homemade turkey stock
Two cups chopped smoked turkey
One-third cup dry pearl barley
Two tablespoons bacon fat (or vegetable oil)
One medium onion, chopped
Two or three celery ribs, chopped
Three-quarters cup chopped carrots
One-half teaspoon chopped garlic (optional)
One-half cup diced red potatoes
One tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
One-half teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
One bay leaf
One teaspoon dry thyme
One-half teaspoon dry savory
Two tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (to use as garnish)

Saute the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in the bacon fat, over medium high heat, until a bit of brown forms at the edges of the veggies. Use a large pan so the vegetables aren't crowded. In a small pan the veggies will steam and no browning will occur.

Add the veggies and barley to the soup pot with everything else, except the parsley, which will garnish the soup when served.

Bring the smoked turkey soup up to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and continue cooking until the barley has softened, which should take about one hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Sprinkle a bit of parsley onto the turkey soup when served. Offer fresh ground black pepper. A couple slices of homemade bread will go nicely with the soup, too.

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