recipe, side dish, vegetable, year-round

Barley Saffron Stew

I don’t believe there is a comparable feeling quite like leaving your workplace for another. I have recently been hailed by a wonderful new employer, which is exciting, but also devastating because I have to leave my wonderful colleagues and friends behind. Bittersweet, really.

But there are times we need something new. A new flavour to spark our palates again. And this is just the dish to power you down a new path!

This recipe is a delicious vegan stew that lends both to the comforts of a slow-cooked dish, and the less visited corners of the world with spices such as smoked paprika and fragrant saffron. It was my first dish using saffron, which I admit I was afraid to purchase because it is the most expensive spice in the world. But do keep in mind it’s all relative: saffron costs about $3.00 for a two-pinch size quantity. Not wallet draining, to say the least.

So, cheers to new challenges! Let’s try something new 🙂

(Vegan) Barley Saffron Stew


  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (you can also substitute chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken broth because that was what I had on hand. This makes it non-vegan in case you were wondering…)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen green peas


  1. In a saucepan, soften the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the oil with the paprika and saffron. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the barley, chickpeas, and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently, stirring frequently, for about 50 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed and the barley is tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes and peas. Turn off the heat and heat through the added vegetables by stirring for another two or three minutes. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Recipe from Riccardo