Vegetable Barley Stew
8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup pearled barley
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 large onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, diced finely
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
14 ounces button mushroom, stems removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
4 to 5 kale leaves, stems removed and set aside, chopped into small ribbons
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for cooking
1) In a large stock pot, heat veggie broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add barley, thyme, salt & pepper to taste, a dollop of olive oil, chopped carrot and parsnip. Cover and continue to simmer as you add the next ingredients. Meanwhile, take the kale stems you've set aside and chop into bite-sized pieces. Add to stock pot.
2) In a frying pan, saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil until just translucent. Add to stock pot and return pan to heat. Saute mushrooms in a little olive oil until mushrooms begin to brown. Add to stock pot. Continue to simmer soup for 20 or so minutes, or until barley is tender. Add kale leaves, cover and simmer for 5 more minutes.
3) Remove from heat and curl up with a bowl of steamy stew--preferably in front of a fireplace!
Source of recipe: I wrote this recipe because before I became a vegetarian, I used to love Beef and Barley Stew. It's so much better without the beef!