Posted in Vegan Recipes

Butterbean & Barley Root Vegetable Stew

Butterbean & Barley Root Vegetable Stew Posted on 22/10/20193 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

It’s very nearly the weather for hearty stews and comforting bowls of soup and suchlike, wouldn’t you say, friends? It’s the weather for tea loaves and cinnamon-spiced porridge and bedtime cups of tea. In the winter I do try to buy seasonally and not gorge myself too much on plump tomatoes or summer berries. The endless parade of root vegetables can get a little tiresome as springtime approaches, but for now I’m definitely appreciating them.

This is a pretty staple autumn/winter stew in my kitchen; for some reason, barley always strikes me as a winter grain. It’s soft and squishy and comforting in dishes like these and I throw it in many dinners at this time of year. You can buy it pretty cheaply in bulk and keep it in the cupboard for the cooler months.

Let’s go!

Butterbean & Barley Root Vegetable Stew

A rich, hearty, and filling recipe perfect for cold autumn or winter days.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Calories: 193kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 medium parsnips chopped
  • 1 small swede chopped
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp plain or thickening flour
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1.5 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 can butter beans drained and rinsed


  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan, and soften the onions and garlic for a few minutes over a medium heat.
  • Add the root vegetables, barley, flour, and thyme. Mix well.
  • When well mixed, add the vegetable stock and butter beans.
  • Turn down to a low heat and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the root vegetables are all soft.
  • Serve hot with crusty bread.


You could sub the carrot, parsnip, and swede for other vegetables of your choice, if you so desire. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash – all would work well here. I recommend serving with hot crusty bread fresh from the oven (or fresh from the Tesco bakery counter, if that works better for you). I halved this no-knead recipe and left the dough overnight in the fridge and it turned out wonderfully…

I sure hope you’re all enjoying the changing season wherever you are. I’m longing for a bit more nature lately so I’ve been trying my best to go out and find it, even with the limited resources I have on hand. What are your favourite ways to enjoy autumn-time when it hits, my friends?

“…the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” [x]

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  1. I love butter beans, they don’t get used enough. But they are so delightfully creamy! Though it is spring/summer/summer/summer here so salads are go!

    1. They are an entirely underrated bean, for sure! I always forget that you’re enjoying the almost-height-of-summer during our winter months – does it feel odd when the internet is talking about crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice and wotnot and the sun is blazing? 😥

  2. I always mourn the end of summer and the shorter days that come with it, but there are consolations – the annual return of pearl barley is definitely one of them. It’s just made for this time of year.

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