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sweet potato & pearl barley stew

Pearl barley is one of our favourite ingredients to use as it's great at absorbing flavour and the grains turn into big fluffy balls when they're cooked. This stew works so well with the roasted sweet potato and pearl barley. I find that you don't need many sides with this because it has all the elements you need in a meal, but a side of hummus compliments it perfectly.

Serves 4 with sides & takes 45 minutes to cook


  • 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks

  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

  • 1 onion, peeled and diced

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 1 large carrot, cut into small pieces

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin

  • 100g pearl barley

  • 1 vegetable stock cube, mixed with 700ml boiling water

  • 2 tablespoons of creamy tahini

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180C, fan setting.

2. Place the sweet potato chunks into a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, 2 teaspoons of paprika and a pinch of salt. Mix well to ensure all of the sweet potatoes are coated in the oil and spices, before cooking for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potato becomes soft.

3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, place a large pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once warm, add the diced onion, garlic, carrot and a pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes until the onion becomes soft.

4. At this point, add the cumin and cook for another minute, before mixing through the pearl barley and boiling vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, before reducing to a simmer. Leave to cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the pearl barley cooks through.

5. Finally, mix through the cooked sweet potato chunks and smooth tahini, adding a dash more water until you have the consistency you like best.

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