Butter Bean & Barley Stew Recipe | Abel & Cole

Butter Bean & Barley Stew

Cooking time
Serves4-6 people
Butter Bean & Barley Stew

A hearty one-pot packed with golden root veg, nutty pearl barley and big, beautiful butter beans, all simmered in a savoury, herb-infused vegetable stock.

5 ratings
layout 5 comments


  • 2 onions
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 swede
  • 400g tin of butter beans
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 ltr boiling water
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only

Prep: 25 mins | Cook: 55 mins

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1. Peel and finely chop the onions. Trim the roots and the top 3cm off the leek. Slice a cross in the top of the leek, then open it out and rinse out the grit. Finely slice it.
2. Warm a large pan or casserole dish over a medium-low heat for 2 mins. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, the chopped veg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, till the veg have started to soften. If they start to catch, lower the heat and add a splash of water.
3. While the veg fry, peel and finely chop the carrots and parsnips. Peel and crush the garlic. Add the veg and garlic to the pan. Give everything a good stir, then cook for another 10 mins. Stir every so often, till the veg are soft.
4. Halve and peel the swede. Chop it into chunks around 2cm across. Drain the butter beans and give them a rinse. When the veg are soft, add the swede and butter beans to the pan. Tip in the pearl barley. Crumble in the stock cubes. Add the bouquet garni (if you have any heatproof string, tie the herbs together to make it easier to fish out at the end).
5. Pour in 1 ltr boiling water. Cover, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down. Simmer the socuse for 30 mins till the veg and pearly barley are tender.
6. Roughly chop the parsley leaves. Lift the bouquet garni from the pan. Taste and add a pinch more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Ladle into warm bowls to serve, garnished with the parsley leaves.
7. Keep & eat^ Cool the scouse, then divide it into portions and store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the scouse for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight before reheating. You will need to add a splash more stock or water to the scouse when you reheat it as the barley will have absorbed it.
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Grendel's Mother


I made this using a slightly different selection of ingredients (no swede, so I used courgettes; no pearl barley, so I used bulghur wheat) and it was lovely! The butter beans and bouquet garni make it really creamy and flavoursome.



Really delicious, I thought while making it that it could be a bit bland, with all swede/parsnip but it was super tasty.

Family Cook


I am usually such a fan of all abel and cole vegetable stews like this but none of us liked this particular one at all Im afraid :(



Love this dish - hate swede but it is really delicious in this dish.



We had this as a 'one pot wonder' recipe a few weeks back and this week made it again. It is absolutely delicious; huge hit with all the family. Great with pasta/rice/potatoes too to pad out leftovers for day too. Foolproof :)