As the weather gets colder, it becomes time to think about hearty stews to warm you up.

This great one pot meal was a happy accident.  A few years ago, I was trying to make a barley soup.  I thought I knew what I was doing and everything seemed to be going great. However, as it was my first attempt using barley, I didn’t realize it would absorb all the liquid. The end result was a fantastic stew.   It is now one of our go to meals for chilly nights.  Simple ingredients combine to make a nutritious stew that is packed with flavor.  This is a great make ahead dish that only gets better as it sits. So make it today and eat it tomorrow… if you can wait that long.

Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings 6


1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 TBL olive oil
8 oz. cremini (baby bello) mushroom, sliced
1 cup pearled barley
½ cup red wine (optional)
2 carrots, sliced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 beefless bullion cube or 1 tsp no beef bullion
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves torn into 2 inch pieces.



1.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.

2.  Add onion and sauté until translucent and soft, about 6 minutes.

3.  Add in mushrooms and stir to coat with the oil.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until the
mushrooms have released their liquid and are starting to brown.

4.  Add in barley and stir to combine.

5.  Stir in wine, if using, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.

6.  Stir in the carrots.

7.  Pour in the broth and raise heat to high. Add in the bullion and stir to thoroughly

8.  Cover pot and bring to a rolling boil.  Once at a boil reduce heat to simmer and let it go for 45 minutes or until barley is tender.

9.  When barley is tender, stir in the kale. It will look like a lot, but as you stir it in, it will wilt down. Add salt if needed.

10.   Ladle stew into bowls and serve.