Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Pearl barley fortifies this turkey soup

 •  Sum of all great parts

By Carol Devenot

Rain or shine, about once a week I like to make a hearty soup. This recipe makes enough to freeze in batches for those evenings you want to eat light.

Pearl barley's puffy grain and thickening quality makes it favorable for soups, stews and side dishes. In the market, you will find two types: hulled and pearl barley. Hulled barley is considered the more nutritious because only the outer hulls are polished off. Pearl barley is polished until the outer bran layer is removed, which makes it less chewy and quicker to cook (while still nutritious).


  • 7 dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter)

  • Extra-virgin, olive-oil spray

  • 3 leeks (including the green part) coarsely chopped

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and cut into half moons

  • 1/2 cup pearl barley

  • 2 skinless turkey breasts or thighs about 1 1/2 pounds

  • 8 cups organic chicken broth

  • 3 tablespoons chopped Chinese parsley or cilantro

  • Sea salt to taste

  • Ground pepper to taste

    Soak the shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and save the liquid. Cut off the stems and chop the mushrooms into 1/2-inch pieces. Spray a large pot with olive oil and saute the leeks until soft. Add the garlic, button mushrooms, carrots, celery, and barley and saute for 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat to a small bowl. Spray a little more olive oil in the pot and brown the turkey breasts. Add the saute mixture, chicken and mushroom broths and reduce the heat to low; cover and cook until the barley is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Remove the turkey breasts from the pot and shred the meat into 1-inch chunks; return to the pot. Stir in chopped parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve hot with crusty bread.

    Makes 6 large or 8 small servings.

  • Per serving: (based on 8 servings, not including salt to taste) 200 calories, 2.5 g fat, no saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,000 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar, 25 g protein

    Want a local recipe lightened up? Write: Light & Local, Taste Section, The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802; or taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimuki-raised kama'aina, teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Island Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing, paper, 2003). Learn more at www.islandlightcuisine.com.

    Reach Carol Devenot at taste@honoluluadvertiser.com.