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For Electric Cooperative Members

Susan Redfearn | Bluebonnet EC

In this clever update, nutrient-rich barley replaces the more traditional pasta, and the meatballs are made with turkey sausage.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 quarts chicken broth
1 large bunch bok choy or 3 bunches baby bok choy, washed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Turkey Meatballs

1 pound turkey sausage, removed from casings
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked barley
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1. SOUP: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly golden. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook 1 additional minute, and pour in the chicken broth.

2. While the broth comes to a boil, slice the white stems and green tops of the bok choy into 1-inch pieces. Add the bok choy to the boiling broth, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. While soup simmers, heat oven to 375 degrees.

4. MEATBALLS: Use your hands to combine the turkey sausage, garlic, panko and shredded Parmesan in a large bowl. Shape the meat mixture into 1-inch balls (a melon baller works well for this) and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake the meatballs 20 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

5. When you’re ready to serve, spoon a desired amount of barley and meatballs in each bowl, ladle the soup over the top and garnish with shaved Parmesan.

Serves 6–8.

Cook’s Tip

Consider finishing this soup with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.