- 1.2 litres veg or chicken stock
- 1 onion
- ½ a swede, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
- A little oil or butter
- 2 garlic cloves
- 250g pearl barley
- A splash of whiskey or white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lemon
- A grating of nutmeg or pinch of mixed spice
- A handful of thyme leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Pour your stock into a saucepan. Set over low heat to gently simmer.
2. Peel and finely dice your onion and swede. Peel and chop your garlic. Set large pot or pan over high heat. Add a little oil or butter.
3. Swirl in your chopped onion, swede and garlic. Season well. Lower heat a little. Cook 5 mins or till it starts to pick up a little colour.
4. Swirl it in along with the barley. Toast for a mo. Add a splash of whiskey or wine, if you like. Tuck in the bay leaves. Stir in a large ladle of stock. Lower heat. Set a timer for 25 mins.
5. Continue to stir in a ladle or two of stock in every few mins till the timer goes off or till it’s all used up, the barley is tender and has a little bit of sauciness to it. Top up with water if needed.
6. Finish with a little lemon zest and juice, an extra nugget of butter, a grating of nutmeg and a generous scattering of fresh thyme leaves. Tweak seasoning to taste and dish up warm.