1.5 litres/2¾ pints vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
2-3 carrots, finely diced
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
300g/11oz pearl barley
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
finely grated Parmesan (or a vegetarian alternative), to serve (optional)
Put the stock in a saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Combine the onion, carrots and oil in a separate saucepan and cook for 3-5 mins until soft. Add the barley and cook for 1 min, stirring to coat in the oil. Season lightly. Add 2 ladlefuls of stock to the barley and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladleful at a time and stirring for 30-40 mins until the barley is tender and most, if not all, of the stock is absorbed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Stir in the parsley, if using, and serve immediately with finely grated cheese, if you like.
370 kcals, protein 8g, carbs 70g, fat 7g, sat fat 2g, fibre 5g, sugar 9g, salt 0.1g