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Food as Medicine: Turkey

Many of us are all looking at the leftover turkey sitting in our fridge (or freezer) wondering what do we do with it now? Even though many of us eat turkey only once or twice a year, it has a host of health benefits including vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, choline, selenium and zinc. In fact a recent study shows that "turkey meat [was among the] foods (along with pasta, raw vegetables, citrus fruits, and fruit in general) whose consumption correlates with a reduced risk of developing esophageal cancers". So while you may be wondering how you can have another bite, try this turkey soup for a hearty meal that's sure to warm you up!


Hearty and Healthy Turkey Barley Soup


  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 large carrot, chopped

  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped

  • 1 - 2 cups of shredded or chopped turkey meat, adjust amount of meat to your preference

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 1 cup of barley

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 cups of Chicken bone broth, or substitute with Turkey bone broth


  • Bring the broth to a boil

  • Add the onions, carrots and celery, bay and thyme

  • Add barley

  • Reduce to a simmer, cook for one hour and 20 minutes

  • Remove bay leaf and thyme

  • Add in turkey and simmer for an additional 10 minutes

  • Season to taste with salt and pepper

  • Optional: Add in more vegetables or other grains such as quinoa to make your soup even heartier



Marangoni F, Corsello G, Cricelli C, et al. Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document. Food Nutr Res. 2015;59:27606. Published 2015 Jun 9. doi:10.3402/fnr.v59.27606.

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