A beautifully flavoured, hearty vegetarian, slow cooker meal.  Perfect as the temperatures drop!

Prep ahead and freeze, or place ingredients straight into the slow cooker to have tonight’s dinner done!


700g large field mushrooms
3 carrots
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs thyme
Can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of pearl barley
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 large handfuls of baby spinach
2 litres of vegetable stock


Dice the onion and carrot.

Thickly slice the mushrooms.

Remove the thyme and rosemary leaves from the stalks and discard stalks.

To prep for freezing: Place a large zip lock bag in a large bowl and add all the ingredients except the vegetable stock and baby spinach. This is because the barley will start to absorb liquid as soon as it touches the stock, which you only want it to do in the slow cooker.

Add the stock in the cooker along with the rest of the ingredients the morning you want to cook the stew. The baby spinach is tossed in at the end of cooking to wilt and does not need to be cooked with the other ingredients.

To Cook:

8 hours on LOW with the stock. Add the baby spinach just before serving and fold through to wilt. Is really delicious with parmesan grated over the top, and crusty bread or flatbread for dipping.

Want more slow cooker recipes?  Go HERE!

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