Mushroom Kale Barley Stew

Mushroom Kale Barley Stew

This. Stew.

Is everything.

It’s the kind of warm, comforting, nourishing food I crave.

The warm broth, the earthy mushrooms & kale, and tons of delicious whole grains.

This kind of food just makes me feel GOOD.

Warm, happy tummy. Lightness. Nourishment. Gratitude.

Man, it just reminds me how much I appreciate home cooking.

Seriously, nothing pre-made or store bought will ever compare to the smells, tastes, and textures or homemade soups & stews.

I’m obsessed with the way a warm pot on the stove permeates the house with an enticing aroma and brings everyone together in anticipation of a delicious family meal.

The entire process of cooking- the shopping, the prep, the cooking, the serving, and the communal meal- brings me a sense of almost meditative calm. It’s my favorite way to cap off the day & reflect with gratitude on the events that occurred. Truly, nothing is better.

In the great words of Michael Pollan, “In the kitchen, you can reclaim the present.”

Do you agree? How does cooking resonate with you??

Mushroom Kale Barley Stew

Mushroom Kale Barley Stew

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Prep25 mins
Cook45 mins
Total1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 6


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts halved & thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups barley (or short grain brown rice for a gluten-free option)
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable stock
  • 1 (8 oz) bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, like chardonnay
  • Freshly grated Romano cheese, for serving (optional)
  • Garlic bread or crusty baguette, for serving on the side (optional)


  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large dutch oven or soup pot. Warm over medium heat, then add the leeks. Season with fresh cracked salt & pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and add the mushrooms and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent the garlic from burning.
  • When the garlic is fragrant, add the can of tomatoes, barley, and 6 cups of vegetable stock. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes.
  • After the stew has been simmering for 30 minutes, uncover, add the kale, 2 more cups of vegetable stock, and 1/2 cup wine. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the kale is tender and the stew has the desired texture (it will absorb more liquid and become thicker as it sits).
  • Ladle into bowls and top with grated romano cheese. Serve with garlic bread or a crusty baguette for dipping! This stew makes great leftovers- the flavors deepen as it rests.
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