- 4 onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- 400g carrots
- A handful of thyme, leaves only
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 200g portobello mushrooms
- 400g souping mushrooms
- 300g pearl barley
- 1 ltr boiling water
- 300g runner beans
- 300g spinach
- A large handful of flat leaf parsley
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 40 mins
1. Peel and finely slice the onions. Peel the garlic cloves and crush or finely grate them. Trim and scrub the carrots and chop them into small chunks. Pick the thyme leaves off their stalks (if the stalks are woody you can push them through a metal sieve - the leaves will gather in the sieve).
2. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a large pan and bring to a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and thyme to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for 5 mins, stirring now and then, till glossy.
3. While the onions cook, thickly slice the portobello and souping mushrooms. Stir into the pan and continue to cook for a further 6-8 mins till glossy.
4. Tip in the pearl barley and pour in 1 ltr boiling water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and pop a lid on the pan, or use a baking tray if you don’t have a lid. Cook gently for 25 mins, till the barley is tender.
5. Meanwhile, trim the woody ends off the runner beans and pull off any strings (or slice off the sides, if that is easier). Thinly slice the beans. Trim away any thick stalks from the spinach and roughly shred the leaves. Finely chop the parsley stalks. When the barley has had 25 mins, fold the spinach, parsley stalks and beans into the pot. Simmer for a further 5 mins, till the spinach has wilted slightly and the beans are cooked.
6. Eat & keep This stew will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Divide it into individual portions, cool completely then freeze in freezerproof tubs. Defrost thoroughly and reheat till piping hot.