Porcini, Squash & Barley Stew

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Porcini, Squash & Barley Stew

A cosy vegan-friendly stew of earthy porcini mushrooms, sweet seasonal butternut squash, chewy pearl barley and leafy chard. Flavoured with garlic and thyme and stirred with a splash of soya cream for extra richness.


  • 12g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 750ml boiling water
  • 1 leek
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of thyme, leaves only
  • 200g chard
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 3 tbsp soya cream
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1. Pop the dried porcini mushrooms into a heatproof jug and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 5 mins. While the porcini soak, trim the squash and slice it in half lengthways. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Chop the squash into 1-2cm chunks.
2. Drain the porcini mushrooms and rinse them under a cold tap. Crumble the stock cube into the empty jug. Add the porcini back to the jug and pour over 750ml boiling water. Stir and set aside for 10 mins.
3. Trim the root and top 3cm off the leek. Rinse the leek under a cold tap and slice it into thin rounds. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Pick the thyme leaves. Strip the chard leaves off their stalks. Thinly slice the stalks, setting the leaves to one side.
4. Pour 2 tsp olive oil into a large pan and warm it to a medium heat. Slide in the leek, garlic, chard stalks and thyme leaves. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and fry for 5 mins, stirring often, till the veg start to soften.
5. Tip the porcini mushrooms and their stock into the pan. Add the pearl barley, squash chunks and 1 tsp wholegrain mustard. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down a little and simmer for 25-30 mins, till the squash and barley are tender.
6. Meanwhile, shred the chard leaves. When the veg and barley are tender, add the chard and stir to wilt it.
7. Stir 3 tbsp soya cream through the stew. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle the stew into a couple of warm bowls and serve.
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