Winter vegetable casserole

    1 hour 15 min

    Good food does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. This simple, homely casserole is made without a lengthy shopping list of exotic fresh ingredients or hours of precise slicing and chopping. Raid the storecupboard and use everyday vegetables from the refrigerator for a warming and heart-healthy meal.

    473 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 onions, each cut into 6 wedges
    • 3 carrots, cut into chunks
    • 3 celery sticks, cut into chunks
    • 400 g (14 oz) sweet potato or swede, cut into chunks
    • 1 litre (1¾ pints) hot vegetable stock, preferably home-made
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 3 leeks, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total, thickly sliced
    • 150 g (5½ oz) pearl barley
    • 2 tsp dried sage
    • salt and pepper
    • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Put the onions, carrots, celery and sweet potato or swede in a large flameproof casserole. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
    2. Add the garlic, leeks, pearl barley, sage and seasoning. Stir to mix the vegetables together. Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for about 1 hour or until the vegetables are just soft, and the barley is tender.
    3. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve. Thick slices of farmhouse bread are an excellent accompaniment.

    Some more ideas

    Other vegetables to add include parsnips, turnips and peeled chunks of butternut or kabocha squash. * Use dry cider instead of the stock, and add 50 g (1¾ oz) ready-to-eat dried pears, chopped, for a hint of sweetness. * The casserole can be simmered gently on the hob for 45–50 minutes, instead of cooking in the oven. Stir occasionally.

    Plus points

    Barley is renowned for having a soothing effect on the intestines and urinary tract. It has long been considered a nourishing food for people convalescing after illness, and it is also beneficial for anyone suffering from stress or fatigue. For people with diabetes, barley is particularly good because it is absorbed very slowly. * Some gummy fibres present in the barley grain (beta-glucans) appear to have dramatic cholesterol-lowering ability. * Instead of frying the vegetables in oil, they are simmered in broth. This makes the dish extremely low in fat. With some bread to accompany it, the meal also offers a healthy balance of starchy carbohydrates.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of vitamin A. Good source of folate, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E. Useful source of niacin, potassium.

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    Reviews in English (10)


    Enjoyed this recipe very much. Added almost not salt and only a bit of pepper as the stock provided enough seasoning and allowed for the flavour of the fresh vegetables to come through. It is an easy recipe and a very healthy and hearty meal. Will be making this again.  -  28 Sep 2012


    . Made this for hubby who is trying hard to lose weight. Found he loved this recipe as it was really tasty and quite satisfying after a days work. I made the full amount (for 4 people) then split in half. We had half one day, the rest kept really well in fridge for next day. Really economical as well as healthy.  -  09 Dec 2012


    Left out the celery and the rest of my review! . . . left out celery  -  21 Feb 2013