Sweet & Sour Barley-Bean Stew

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Sweet & Sour Barley-Bean Stew

Sweet & Sour Barley-Bean Stew

Honey adds a touch of sweetness to this vegetarian barley soup. Make it a meal: Crisp, sesame-seeded Lavash crackers and a cucumber salad with yogurt would complete this savory vegetarian dinner.

Serves 4

Prep Time 30 min

Total Time 60 min.


  • 2/3 cup pearl barley
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, slivered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce c crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil, divided, plus whole leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon mild honey
  • 1 15-ounce c cannellini beans, rinsed
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions

Step 1

Cook barley in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Step 2

Meanwhile, place eggplant in a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and squeeze firmly to remove excess moisture.

Step 3

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until beginning to color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in prepared eggplant, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons basil, lemon juice and honey. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the eggplant is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4

Stir in reserved barley and beans and heat for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons chopped basil. Serve hot, garnished with whole basil leaves.