This stew is sneaky delicious. With such simple ingredients, it’s hard to imagine how there can be such a depth of flavor. However, let me tell you – roasting the red peppers does not disappoint! Altogether, you get a very easy, hearty, and absolutely delicious weeknight meal or double the recipe for a big pot of weekend stew. Either way, you’ll likely find yourself going back for seconds!

Recipe courtesy of Thug Kitchen.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb. cremini or button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted and chopped*
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 C vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ½ C pearled barley
  • salt and black pepper
  • Chopped parsley, for serving



  1. In a big soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Throw in the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté it until everything is soft and started to turn golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, 2/3 of the chopped roasted peppers, the rosemary, and the soy sauce and sauté until the mushrooms start releasing some of their moisture and look kind of cooked, about 5 minutes.
  2. While that’s all cooking, throw 3 cups of vegetable broth in a blender with the remaining amount of roasted bell pepper and blend until it looks smooth. (In a hurry or hate extra dishes? Skip this step and just add the rest of this roasted pepper when you add the other roasted peppers in step 1.)
  3. When the mushrooms have started breaking down, add the tomato paste, cooking for a minute or two to kind of caramelize it. Add the vinegar and barley and sauté for another minute. Add all the broth, including the one with the pepper in it, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and let that all simmer together over medium-low heat until the barley gets soft, 40-50 minutes.
  4. Taste at the end and add more salt and pepper before dishing out. Serve with some chopped parsley on top.


*Roasting peppers is so easy! Check out these 4 easy ways from Zestful Kitchen and pick your favorite!

By: Erin Pellegrin, RD