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Bean and barley stew

This dish, in Balkan also called richet, probably has a tradition longer than existing memories. Every house in this region has its own version, and this is mine. Warm, comfort food, with lots of fiber and other nutrients. Those who don't cook it, don't know what they're missing :)

Allergens: barley (gluten), soy | Preparation time: 1h 20min | Portions: 5 | Complexity: easy


  • 300 g young kidney beans (or 1 big can)

  • 2 onions

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 carrots

  • 1/4 celery head

  • 150 g barley

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 200 ml tomato passata

  • 1/2 tsp powdered paprika

  • 1/2 tsp parsley

  • 1/2 tsp basil

  • pinch of pepper

  • about 2L water


  • Wash the young beans and put them to boil in salted water. When it boils, cook for another 15 minutes, then turn it off and leave it in the water.

  • During this time, clean the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and grind them in a blender (or chop them).

  • Heat olive oil in a pot and add chopped vegetables and one teaspoon of salt. Simmer for about 15 minutes, occasionally pouring with water (when all the liquid evaporates, add approx. 100 ml of water and repeat as necessary).

  • After those 15 minutes, pour in a liter and a half of water, add the washed barley and let it cook.

  • After 15 minutes, add drained beans, tomato, another teaspoon of salt, soy sauce and other spices. Mix everything well and let it cook for another 20 minutes.


In autumn, I like to buy young kidney beans and put them in the freezer so that I have them all year round. Young beans are great because they cook much faster and don't need a pressure cooker, but if really in a hurry, you can use canned kidney beans and skip the step of first cooking the beans.

The photos also show the cubes of baked tofu that I like to add to stews - I cut the tofu into cubes, season it with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic powder, and bake it in the oven with a little olive oil.


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