Turkey, chestnut and barley broth

Turkey, chestnut and barley broth


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About this recipe: When you roast a turkey, don't throw away the carcass. Instead, use it to make this wonderfully rich-tasting soup. Reminiscent of an Italian minestrone, it is packed with vegetables, barley, turkey meat and chestnuts – a really satisfying bowl of soup. Serve with warm, crusty wholemeal bread.

Azmina Govindji

Serves: 6 

  • Stock
  • 1 roast turkey carcass
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • few sprigs of parsley
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Soup
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large parsnip, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 4–6 Brussels sprouts, chopped
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 100 g (3½ oz) freshly cooked or vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 75 g (2½ oz) pearl barley
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cooked turkey meat, without skin, chopped or shredded
  • salt and pepper

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:2hr15min  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

  1. First, make the stock. Break up the turkey carcass, discarding any skin, and place in a very large saucepan. Add the quartered onion, carrot and celery. Tie the herb sprigs and bay leaf into a bouquet garni and add to the pan. Cover generously with water and bring to the boil, skimming any scum from the surface with a draining spoon. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 1½ hours. Strain the stock, and discard the bones and vegetables.
  2. Measure the stock and, if necessary, make up to 1.7 litres (3 pints) with water. Skim off any fat and pour back into the cleaned saucepan.
  3. Bring the stock back to the boil. Add the chopped vegetables, chestnuts and pearl barley, and simmer for 35 minutes or until the pearl barley is tender.
  4. Add the parsley and turkey, and heat through thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Another idea

For a turkey, lentil and sweet potato soup, add red lentils instead of pearl barley and use 1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato, 1 large parsnip and 225 g (8 oz) celeriac instead of the carrot, parsnip, celery, sprouts and leek. Flavour the soup with 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly, stirred in just before serving.

Plus points

Barley is believed to be the world's oldest cultivated grain. It is low in fat and rich in starchy carbohydrate. It contains traces of gluten, but is useful for those on wheat-free diets. * Turkey is even lower in fat than chicken. Use skinless turkey wherever possible. * Unlike other nuts, chestnuts are high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat – Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts have 20 times as much fat as chestnuts. Chestnuts also provide useful amounts of vitamins E and B6.

Each serving provides

Useful source of folate, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E.

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