- 1 cup instant pearl barley
- 4 cups water
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 3 medium onions
- 2 medium celery stalks
- 1 medium green, red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 4 ounces ground turkey
- 2 (14½-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Can opener
- Cutting board
- Large pot with lid
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Medium pot with lid
- Mixing spoon
- Sharp knife
- In a colander, rinse barley under cold water.
- In a medium pot over high heat, bring barley, water, and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook barley until tender and water is absorbed, about 20–30 minutes.
- In a colander, drain barley. Set aside.
- Peel, rinse, and dice onions. Rinse and dice celery and pepper. Peel and mince garlic.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil.
- Add onions, celery, pepper, and garlic to pot. Mix well. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground turkey. Cook until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
- Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a simmer.
- Add spices. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add cooked barley to the mixture. Stir to combine. Add more water or broth, if needed. Cook over low heat to blend flavors, about 5–10 minutes more.
- Remove bay leaves and serve.
- To save time, cook barley up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate until ready to use. Add to pot in step 10.
- If instant barley is not available, use regular pearl barley. Cook following package instructions, about 45 minutes.
- When doubling this recipe, do not double cayenne pepper unless you prefer a very spicy dish.
- Use turkey sausage or soy sausage instead of ground turkey, if desired.
- For a vegetarian option, use cooked or canned pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained, in place of meat.
- Use brown rice instead of barley, if you like. Cook rice following package instructions. Add cooked rice in place of barley in step 10.