Onion squash, black barley & kale stew

This is a great soup to make in the Autumn when there are a yummy selection of pumpkins and variations of squash in season. They make yummy hearty soups to warm up the colder nights and are very versatile. They ca be used in curries, salads, roasted, mashed and even in desserts. For this recipe I have used a small onion squash, that gets it’s name from it’s shape. If you can’t find one use a small pumpkin or butternut squash.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 small onions squash, de-seeded, peeled and diced

  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced

  • 2 sticks of celery, sliced

  • 8-10 green beans, ends cut off

  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced

  • 4 cups of vegetable stock

  • 1/2 cup of black barley (or normal barley)

  • 1 handful of baby kale, chopped with woody parts removed

  • 1 ts turmeric

  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated

  • 1/2 ts cumin

  • salt & pepper

  • Rapeseed oil


First cook the barley according to the packet instructions. While it’s simmering, heat a large saucepan with 1 tbs rapeseed oil. Add the onion and gently sauce for a few minutes. Add the squash, carrots, celery, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few minutes till softened. Then stir in the turmeric, cumin and a pinch of salt. After 2 minutes the spices should be fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a low simmer for 20-25 minutes, till the carrots and squash are cooked. In the meantime drain the cooked barley and set aside. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the green beans. Cook for 4-5 minutes till cooked but still have a bite. Once cooked, drain and set aside. When the soup is cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the kale till wilted. To serve, divide the barley between 2 bowls, ladle in the soup and top with the green beans. Add a good amount of cracked pepper.

This soup can be made the day before and will keep in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight tupperware. Keep the barley separate and mix just before serving.


You can use brown rice or quinoa instead of barley. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin or parsnips make a nice variation. You can also substitute with any green veg you have to hand.