Even with simple dishes like this, cooking always goes much more smoothly if you take the time to prep everything beforehand.
Dried beans are best soaked overnight, but if you forget, you can always pour some boiling water over them a few hours before you start cooking.
(If you haven’t yet made the switch to using dried beans, you’ll find that although they require a little planning, they’re far superior to canned beans in both texture and flavour, and you can store them indefinitely.)
Next, wash and chop up your veg the way you like it – cubes or slices work nicely for most.
Once everything’s prepped and ready to go, this is a really straight-forward and relatively quick dish to make.
Heat your cooking oil (or butter) of choice in a medium to large saucepan, then throw in the chopped onions. This is also a good time to add in some salt.
Once the onions are translucent-ish, add in the chopped mushrooms and garlic.
Once the mushrooms are sauteed a bit, you can chuck the rest of the veg in the pot.
Once everything’s mixed together and heated through a bit, add approximately 2-3 cups boiling water, just enough to cover all the veg in the pot. You can also add in more water later, if necessary, but we find that it’s better to add less than too much of it.
Then add in the beans, lentils and barley as well as 2-3 teaspoons of stock. Once it’s all stirred together and brought to a boil, reduce heat, cover the pot and let it simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After about 10-15 minutes, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of brown miso paste. If you want a stronger miso flavour in the stew, feel free to add more, but until you’ve cooked with miso a few times and are familiar with its taste, it’s maybe better to err on the side of caution. Once that’s sufficiently dissolved into the stew, add 1-2 teaspoons of the vegetable gravy stock. If you want a thicker stew, you can add more, but a little goes a long way.
Once the miso paste and gravy stock are all stirred in, allow the stew to simmer uncovered for another 5- 10 minutes, stirring regularly. In addition to checking the doneness of the chunkier veg, also check to make sure the beans, lentils and barley are sufficiently cooked. Once everything is cooked through, you’re good to go.
You can either take the stew off the heat and let it set covered for several minutes or serve it immediately. Like curries, however, stews are often better after they’ve sat around awhile, and they make excellent leftovers for lunches throughout the week. It’s the perfect meal for these cold, dark days of winter. Best of all, you can find all the grains and other dried goods you’ll need for this recipe at Another Weigh Kendal.
What could be easier? 😊