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Hearty Turkey Soup with Potatoes and Pickles

No question- this is my favorite Hearty Turkey Meatball Barley Soup with Potato and Pickles! It also happens to be the only barley soup I make. Maybe it’s not the one I grew up eating, but it has become a favorite.


This recipe comes from one of my sisters who shared the recipe with me a few years ago, and my family has been enjoying it since. Naturally, this soup tastes too good to keep to myself, so I am sharing the recipe with you.


Best Time to Make this Hearty Barley Soup

Although these days turkey can be bought year-round, I like to save this comforting recipe to make during the colder months, mostly around Thanksgiving. Actually, it’s one of our favorite soups around this time of year. Barley Pickle Turkey Soup is so filling that I like to serve it as a hearty main dish.

Soup is an easy and filling dish, and a great way to pack some more vegetables and nutrition into your day.


What is Barley?

Barley is a cereal grain that has a mild nutty flavor, with chewy tender flavor. It’s still good to enjoy on its own, but also great in soups and salads.

How to Buy Barley for Soup?

You will find barley in the grain department along with pasta and rice. Sometimes you can also find barley in in the bulk bins at the grocery store. But if you just can’t seem to find barley anywhere, you can find it here.  I like the pearl barley. Its so good, and cooks fast.

Can I substitute Barley for Gluten-free option?

So barley does contain gluten, it’s not considered a gluten-free food. You can, of course, substitute the barley in this soup for a gluten-free option such as buckwheat, rice, or even a gluten-free pasta.


How to Make this Pickle Soup

Soups are usually made from pantry staple ingredients, and this great recipe is no exception.

Turkey– Ground. I like to use the dark meat of the bird.

Egg– large

Potatoes– I like to use yellow potatoes.

Butter– Unsalted

Onion– yellow, and not the sweet kind.

Dill pickles– Make sure it’s the kosher dill kind of pickles, it changes the taste of the soup if they’re not dill.

Garlic– A boost of flavor.

Salt and pepper to flavor, and fresh parsley


Turkey is a great protein option. Here are some more turkey recipes:

This Left Over Turkey Salad with Pomegranate and Dairy-Free Ranch is perfect to make after the Thanksgiving celebrations.

Easy and Quick Turkey Lettuce Wraps are ideal for a light summer lunch!


Hearty Turkey Meatball Barley Soup with Potato and Pickles

This soup is filling, hearty, and perfect for chilly days.
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Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Soup
Allergy: Dairy Free, Nut Free
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Calories: 191kcal



  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 dill pickles, kosher, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup pearl barley, cooked & drained


  • In a bowl, mix ground turkey with the egg, salt, and pepper. (I like to use the dark meat of the turkey.)
    1 lb ground turkey, salt,, 1 large egg, black pepper,
  • Fill a medium pot with water, or an inch over half-way full. Bring to a boil.
    1 quart water
  • When the water comes to a boil, make small balls from the turkey mix and drop them into the pot. (The water must be boiling or the meatballs will fall apart). Cook the meatballs.
  • Peel and cut 2 medium sized potatoes into small pieces. Add to the boiling meatballs.
    2 medium potatoes,
  • In a separate small pot boil 2 cups of water and add the pearl barley. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain the pearl barley and add to the meatballs.
    1 quart water, ½ cup pearl barley,
  • Chop the yellow onion. Sauté in a pan with unsalted butter until the onion is soft.
    1 yellow onion,, 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Chop kosher dill pickles into small squares. Add to the onion and sauté for another 2 minutes.
    3 dill pickles,
  • Mince the garlic then add to the pan with the pickles and onions. Turn the heat off.
    1 clove garlic,
  • Add a small handful of fresh parsley to the onions.
    1 small handful fresh parsley,
  • After potatoes have softened, add sautéed vegetables into the pot. Salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes. Enjoy.


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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