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Barley Soup with Turkey Meatballs

I just had to share this tasty barley soup recipe I made a few days ago.

I love easy, healthy soup recipes and usually don’t follow a recipe. I just make it up as I go based on what I have available.

I wanted to make a barley soup this time and decided it would taste great with little meatballs in it. I had some healthy ground turkey, so why not?

Turkey or Chicken Meatballs

Of course you can use either ground turkey or chicken for the little meatballs. I just happened to have ground turkey on hand.

When I made the turkey meatballs I didn’t add bread crumbs. I didn’t have any and want to cut out bread from my diet anyway. So my meatball mixture was quite wet and wouldn’t really form into a meatball. I just tried to get it into as round a piece as possible and dropped each little clump of meat into the stock. It was fine and formed almost perfect little meatballs as it cooked.

You don’t really need the egg, but it does help the meatballs stick together when they are cooking. It also adds a bit of extra protein, great in any soup.

Barley is a great food for diabetics. It is very low on the glycemic index and adds bulk to the soup that higher glycemic foods like rice, potatoes and noodles would.
Easy, super healthy and super delicious.

This is a very filling soup recipe. You really don’t need anything to eat with it. If you want, serve it with a small salad or fresh crusty bread.

barley soup

Barley Soup with Turkey Meatballs

I love easy, healthy soup recipes and usually don't follow a recipe. I wanted to make a barley soup this time and decided it would taste great with little meatballs in it.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main or Side, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 273 kcal


  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 onion, large, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, small, chopped or 1 large
  • 2 cloves garlic, left whole
  • 1 cup broccoli, stems, chopped
  • 1 cup parsnips, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pound ground turkey, or chicken
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 14 ounces canned tomatoes, (optional)
  • parsley, fresh, chopped


  • In a large soup pot, heat the oil and add the chopped onions, celery and carrots. Saute until they are soft. Chop the broccoli stems (see below) and parsnips, if using, and add to the pot. Add the chicken stock and heat to boiling. Add the whole garlic cloves.
  • To make the meatballs, combine the ground chicken or turkey, garlic powder, celery salt, onion powder, dried parsley, eggs and bread crumbs, if using. Form into small balls, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter, and drop them one by one into the boiling stock, being careful to keep them separate from each other until they cook.
  • Add the barley and let the soup cook for about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before the soup is finished cooking, add the chopped fresh parsley.


Calories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 25gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 972mgPotassium: 934mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3761IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Broccoli Stems

You can use broccoli flowerets in this chicken barley soup recipe, but I love to use the stalks that usually go to waste. I don’t use the very bottom end of the stalk as it can be a bit tough. Just peel the thick stalks and cut into small cubes. If you are adding the smaller stalks further up, you don’t have to peel them. Just cut them into small pieces and add them to the pot.

Look here for our beef barley soup recipe.

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