Vegetable and Barley Stew

stewThinking of my family and friends freezing their little fingers off in the cold northern climate I share a recipe here for a hearty vegan winter stew that will take the chill off.

A bowl of stew seems to be the perfect warming winter meal.  There are definitely health benefits that go along with a big bowl of stew.  Full of vegetables you will hit your mark of having 5 different kinds of vegetables a day.  The amount of veggies in one bowl of stew is likely going to amount to at least 2 full servings of veggies.  The rest you will get with your side salad or perhaps what you enjoyed for lunch.  A bowl of stew ensures you get a good mix of protein, nutrients, minerals and phytochemicals too.

Stew is really easy to put together and is so darn satisfying.  So get your stewing pot out of the cupboard, dig into your veggie drawer and start chopping.  A warm bowl of belly warming nutrition is under construction.

I’m giving you a double recipe as I like to make it this way so I can freeze half of it for a quick meal at the ready for a future evening.

VEGETABLE AND BARLEY STEW (all of my ingredients are organic)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 large carrots, washed and chopped

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 cups frozen or canned green beans

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

6 cups shredded cabbage

2 medium Yukon Gold or red potatoes, unpeeled and cut into cubes

2 cups cremini mushrooms sliced

1 1/2 cups pearl barley

2 tbsp. Tamari sauce or soy sauce

2 tsp. dried thyme

4 tsp. dried dill

salt and pepper to taste

6 cups vegetable broth, store bought or homemade

3 cups of cooked white beans, drained and rinsed

In a large stewing pot, heat oil.  Add carrots, onions and celery.  Stir in heated oil for about 10 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  Add barley, green beans and cabbage, potato and mushrooms, Tamari, thyme, dill and salt and pepper to taste.   Stir in the broth and bring to a slow boil.

Reduce heat to low.  Add white beans and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes until barley is cooked and veggies are all nice and tender.  Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Serve with a nice side salad and some great whole grain crusty bread.

Oh…….how good this dinner will be appreciated by all lucky enough to be around your dinner table tonight.

This is a vegan version but you could certainly make it into a meaty bowl of stew.  Sautee cubed meat of your choice to brown on all sides and then add to the pot.  Just eliminate the white beans in my recipe above.

This recipe could also be done in a crockpot.  Sautee veggies before putting them into the crockpot.  Simmer on low all day and voila….dinner is served.

If you wish to have a thicker consistency then mix some of the broth with flour of your choice or cornstarch to make a roux.  Add this roux to the pot in the final minutes.  This will thicken up the stock a bit making more of a gravy of the liquid.






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