This comes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s marvellous book River Cottage Veg Every Day! My favourite cookery book. It has so many fantastic and inspired vegetable recipes, I’ll definitely be coming back to it. I can recommend it for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Here we have a proper vegetarian, super-healthy, get your five-a-day in one meal, recipe. Easy to make, and perfect for a winter lunch.


  • 750ml vegetable stock – I use Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon
  • 50g pearled spelt or pearl barley
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, diced
  • 100g frozen peas/petit pois
  • a few leaves of cabbage/kale/spinach
  • 400g tin of cannellini, or other white beans (I’ve used butter beans here, but usually I prefer cannellini)
  • salt and pepper

Hugh advises us to be a bit flexible with our ingredients, and use whatever’s in season. I’ve used leeks, garlic and celery today, sometimes I add onion, or spring onion and broad beans. Hugh suggests parsnip, green beans, Brussels sprouts, even lettuce.

Simmer the barley or spelt in the stock for about 15 minutes.

Add the carrot, peas, tinned beans to the broth and return to a simmer.

Add the leafy greens and cook for another 2 minutes or so.