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White Bean + Barley Stew 🧄🥕🧅
It’s full-on soup & STEW season. I truly adore a hot bowl of stew throughout the fall.
We’ve been focusing a lot this year on more economical and budget-friendly meals, and this White Bean + Barley Stew especially fits these criteria.
Despite being an extremely simple stew, it is also incredibly flavorful and satisfying! Oh so cozy!
Many of these basic ingredients you may already have on hand. Beans and Barley are both inexpensive (especially when purchased in bulk) very filling, and nutritionally dense.
❓️When is the last time you ate BARLEY?
Barley has been farmed since ancient times … and it’s still one of the world’s most popular crops with 156 MILLION metric tons harvested worldwide in 2019.
🧬For good reason – this low-glycemic grain is packed with nutrition.
Barley is rich in fiber as well as B vitamins and minerals like selenium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
It’s also loaded with antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene which help repair cells and protect your body from inflammation.
✅ Plus, barley will keep you feeling full for hours.
It’s easy to add barley to your diet … just add it to dishes like soups, stews, and even salads!
💡Some people even drink barley water – which is the water barley is cooked in – for its nutrients. Pretty neat.
I think it’s a necessity these days to keep our family’s food budget in check without compromising our health or FLAVOR! So naturally, beans are always on the top of my list! Beans are incredibly nutrient-dense and filling. I usually keep lots of canned beans in my pantry (stocking up when on sale) because they are AWESOME when I need to create a meal in a hurry. And of course, I love using the even more budget-friendly dried beans whenever I think to plan ahead for soaking and cooking time!
Something you may not know about me: I ALWAYS shop the sales! When an item is on sale at the market, that’s what I buy! If it’s a GOOD sale then I try to stock up (either freezer or pantry). I feel that this helps quite a bit and also means we usually have ingredients at home to make a few inexpensive meals.
I highly recommend making this stew using bone broth for the added protein and flavor, but plain water totally works too!
Homemade Chicken Bone Broth nourishes, soothes, and comforts. Store-bought bone broth is convenient when you need to make a quick soup, but homemade delivers maximum flavor, and nutrition, while also being lower in sodium.
Read about Bone broth benefits here.
Try this with our Homemade Bone Broth Recipe or our Homemade Vegetable Broth.
➡️ Want to cook your own dry beans at home? Here’s how.
Beans are loaded with good-for-your-gut fiber, something a lot of us struggle to get enough of.
❤️ They have been linked with health benefits including lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart disease, and they also can help keep you feeling fuller longer.
➡ No matter what kind of legume you’re preparing, it’s important to make sure they are fully cooked before you eat them because the uncooked version contains “antinutrients,” which can affect both your digestive system and the absorption of other nutrients.
🥘 Enjoy beans in soups and stews, in salads, or in chili!
My family and I eat a lot of stew and soup, especially throughout the colder months. It’s an extremely economical, easy way to use up whatever is in your fridge, and you can load it up with nutrient-dense veggies for an easy Clean Eating meal.
Here are some reasons to make stew/soup a permanent part of your Clean Eating lifestyle:
➡️ Hello, healthy comfort food! I love that it’s warming, but not too heavy. It’s my go-to when I want to use up leftover veggies in my fridge, feel like I need to give my body a reset, or just want to make something warm and cozy for the family.
➡️ Eating soup is also a great way to shed inflammation and water weight if you’ve had a weekend of heavy meals, or strayed from your Clean Eating plan.
➡️ Soups and stews can be very nutrient-dense, especially if we make our own bone broth for the base, while also being very satisfying.
➡️ Save Time: Because stew ingredients can easily be thrown together it’s one of the quickest and easiest meals you can make!
➡️ It’s an amazing meal prep option: I ALWAYS have a big pot of homemade soup, stew, or chili in the fridge because I double or triple recipes so that we can have lunches and a few easier meals over the following days.
➡️ Stew always tastes better the next day when the flavors have had time to develop.
➡️ Most stews can be frozen for 2-3 months, so ALWAYS make extra.
➡️ Save money: I try to buy the on-sale and in-season produce because this stew is delightful with very inexpensive ingredients that go a long way in the amount of stew you can make! Also, if you have an outdoor or indoor vegetable or herb garden, this stew is the PERFECT way to enjoy your homegrown green goodies.
➡️ Excellent use of leftovers: stew is a fantastic way to use up ripe produce and leftovers in your fridge, or stuff you already have on hand in the pantry. This saves you extra trips out to the store and additional costs. Some of the best meals are ones with ingredients you already have on hand.
Food is fuel, but it’s also a connection piece within a family.
I love creating beautiful, clean meals for the people who mean the most to me. But we have a BIG family, and life gets crazy-busy, so I’m always creating new ways to nourish my people without having to skip out on my own self-care to make it happen.
Soup checks all of the boxes for the things that are important:
- Nourishing and Clean Eating Approved
- Versatile (never boring!)
- Meal Prep Friendly
There’s something special about having a warm pot of stew in the house that makes it feel like home throughout the fall and winter.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do!
- 2 Tbsps avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 ribs celery, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 1- 15oz jar of diced tomatoes with juices
- 1- 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 cup uncooked barley
- 4 cups water, vegetable broth, or bone broth
- 2 bay leaves
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
Set a large heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in your oil, diced onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the veggies are tender.
Give the barley a quick rinse under the water using a fine mesh sieve before cooking, to wash away any dust.
Add in your rinsed barley, tomatoes with their juices, beans, water or broth, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Add in the garlic, and season to your taste with sea salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Carefully remove bay leaves before eating. (You may opt to leave the bay leaf in as a garnish for presentation. Just remember it should be removed before consuming.)
Enjoy your stew while hot.
Leftovers store well in the fridge for up to 5 days.