Monday, 30 May 2011

Barley and Chestnut Mushroom Stew

I know the food featured on my blog the past few days has not been the most vibrant, but sadly its just reflecting the weather around me that continues to be cold, windy and blustery. The harsh wind has battered most of the green leaves from my apple tree (that was strategically blocking the view of the commuter trains passing by). I've also wanted to share some photographs of progress in the garden plot, but every time we've attempted to point the camera at something, whether it be a chive flower head or the potato foliage, they flop manically in the gushing wind.

For the past few days, I've also been wandering the flat with a crocheted shawl wrapped over my shoulders.  D's been teasing me saying I should play a character in the Little House on the Prairie.  I'm just nippy (cold) and feeling a little on the wimpy side.
Anyway, here is another example of food to warm you up from the inside: Barley and Chestnut Mushroom Stew.  Its ridiculous really, I mean, its nearly June and I'm still tucking into autumnal, bordering on wintry fare.
I have to say I enjoyed this stew moreso on the first day, than the second where it supped up all the juices and seems a lot more stodgier.
Barley and Chestnut Mushroom Stew
Serves 4 – 6
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large carrot, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
160g pearl barley
1 generous teaspoon cumin, toasted
Splash of hot sauce to taste
1 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ¼-1¾pint vegetable stock
1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Heat the oil in a large pot, sauté the onions until soft, then add the carrots, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms become tender. Add the barley, cumin, hot sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste and stock. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Add the chickpeas and cook for 30 minutes or until the barley is cooked. Serve with a crusty bread.


  1. WOw! This recipe is totally new to me! I am sure its yummylicious! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This looks delicious. I've been wanting to make Ina Garten's wild mushroom soup now that the farmers markets are back, but that may take a backseat to this recipe.

  3. Thank you Food Glorious Food.

  4. Thanks Yummy Chunklet.
    Oh please make Ina Garten's recipe first, wild mushrooms are so much tastier than chestnut mushrooms.

  5. That soup sounds delicious! I've never seen chestnut mushrooms but I might make it with cremini.

  6. Hi Charlie,
    I just did a google image search on Cremini mushrooms. Tthey actually look like what we call Chestnut mushrooms in the U.K. So I think they are the same, just different names in different countries. Hope you enjoy :)

  7. What a tasty stew!I am glad you found my blog so I could find yours!Congratulations on your work!Greetings from Greece,dear!

  8. I wish I looked at photos of healthy food the same way I look at photos of baked goodies (not to mention looking at the real thing!), but I don't... i'm afraid I'm not very good at eating veggies. I'm a HUGE fan of veggies, but I can only admire them from afar... which frustrates me, really.

    So the closest thing I can do now is to close my eyes and imagine myself eating and finishing every single morsel in a bowl of this stew... ;)

  9. I haven't had chestnuts in ages - but this soup sounds so hearty and delish - that may change!

  10. I am pretty sure cremini and chestnut mushrooms are the same. This stew looks fantastic - I love mushroom barley soup. And I love the addition of chickpeas here.

  11. Thank you so much Lenia for your lovely comment.

    Thanks Sumaiyyah Abidah.
    I do love your honesty. I do notice, not just on my blog, but on fellow bloggers blogs when there is a gorgeous decadent cake there are som many comments, but when a photo of a seemingly healthy plate of food the response is not the same. I guess you should smile, that its a 'normal' reaction.

    At least your closing your eyes and imagining yourself eating and finishing every single morsel in a bowl of this stew - or are you just pretending too :) I can vouch it was tasty, despite the way it looks.
    Warmest of wishes

  12. Thanks Jesse.

    Thanks Monica.
    I think so too.

  13. Mmmmmm this looks so wholesome, comforting, cosy, hearty and delicious. The weather in California has been reflecting Autumn too, I'm not happy with it! But I am sure a bowl of this would brighten my day :)

  14. Thanks Hazel.
    This stew does taste really good. Hope the autumnal weather passes by bringing in place of it some sunshine.


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