This recipe really couldn't be easier. Prep all the ingredients then heat the oil in large (at least 5 quart) pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, potatoes, sage, salt and pepper.
Cook until the veggies start to brown, stir in the mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the barley, and cook, stirring frequently for 2 more minutes. Add the stock and/or water, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and voila! Stew!
Don't like barley? Try brown rice, quinoa, wheat berries, couscous, bulgur, or whatever grain suits your fancy. Feel free to experiment with herbs as well, substituting rosemary or thyme for the sage, or use them in combination. Not a mushroom eater? Leave em' out. Try some butternut squash or sweet potato in there. So many possibilities!
Mushroom Barley Stew (~1 hour 15 minutes - 6 to 8 large servings)
- 4 TBS olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 4 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (cut lengthwise into quarters, cut each quarter into 3 pieces)
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and chopped into chunks
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms (any type, I like a combo of baby bella and button)
- 2/3 cup uncooked pearled barley
- 6 cups vegetable stock (can use water, or a water/stock combo)
- Heat oil in large pot over medium heat (pot should be at least 5 quarts)
- When oil shimmers, add onion, potato, celery, carrot, garlic, sage, salt, and pepper
- Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to brown, about 10 minutes
- Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes
- Stir in the barley and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes
- Add the stock/water, raise the heat, and bring to a boil
- Lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
- Taste then season with additional salt* and pepper to taste