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Barley and Mushroom Stew

Barley and Mushroom Stew

Here is another autumn dish. There is something in the air that makes me crave all the warm foods and this stew is definitely warm. Real comfort food that makes you feel warm inside out. And this warmth is very needed if you decide to pick the mushrooms yourself as I did. It is rather chilly outside already! Please make sure you always only pick the mushrooms you are familiar with and only from the places far away from big roads and cities. Estonia is a nice place to live because we still have plenty of wild forests and I just love foraging. So of course, I used chanterelles for the recipe as they are still available in the forest, but in case you don’t have access to them, feel free to substitute them with any other mushroom and the dish will still be good. 

Feel free to make a bigger batch of the dish as it warms up very nicely over the next few days. 

Barley and Mushroom Stew

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Serves: 2-3


1 large onion

2 stalks of celery

1 large carrot

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 cup pearl barley

2 cups of vegetable broth

3 large leaves of kale

2 tbsp butter

½ cups grated parmesan

7oz fresh mushrooms (I used chanterelles)

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ lemon


Chop the onion, celery, and carrot into small cubes. The smaller the better, a little larger than raw pearl barley you are using. 

Add the chopped vegetables to the pot, add oil and a tiny bit of salt. Set it to medium heat and sweat the vegetables for 7-8 minutes.

Add the barley to the pan and pour over the broth. Bring to boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the barley is almost soft. It might be that you need to add a little boiling water, so check in every 5 minutes, give it a little stir and add water, if necessary. 

In the meantime, fry the mushrooms in 1 tbsp of butter, season with salt and pepper. 

Chop up kale.

Once the barley is soft, mix in the rest of the butter, parmesan, and kale. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then serve topped with mushrooms and a squeeze of lemon juice.

By Kadri Raig

Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here:

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