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Mushroom-Barley Stew with Parsnips_MidPage – 1

Mushroom-Barley Stew with Parsnips

This vegan mushroom-barley stew with parsnips makes the most of the lightly spicy flavor of parsnips. First, by adding them to the stew and then by transforming them into a crispy parsnip topping.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 302kcal


  • Large pot
  • Small skillet
  • Vegetable peeler


  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil for sautéing plus more as needed
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms half sliced and half diced
  • 5 ribs celery with leaves diced
  • 3 parsnips divided
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 6 cups water or vegetable stock
  • cup neutral oil for frying

For serving, optional:

  • Microgreens or minced parsley


Prepare the parsnips:

  • Peel and trim all three of the parsnips. Dice two of the parsnips into half-moons.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, shave the remaining parsnip into paper-thin sheets. It’s okay if the sheets are a little ragged around the edges.
  • Stack the parsnip strips on top of each other. Then, using a sharp knife, thinly slice the parsnip sheets into matchsticks, no wider than 1/8”. Set them aside. Note: You can also use a julienne peeler to create thin strips of parsnips.

Cook the mushrooms:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of neutral oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook, often stirring, until well-browned, about 10–15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove them from the pot and transfer them to a bowl. If the pot seems dry, add another drizzle of oil. Add the remaining half of the mushrooms and brown for 10–15 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the aromatics:

  • Add the diced celery, including the leaves, to the pot and the first batch of browned mushrooms. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes or until the celery begins to sweat.
  • Add the parsnips and thyme and season all over with salt and pepper. Add the barley and toss to coat. Cook for 1–2 minutes.

Simmer the stew:

  • Pour in the water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the barley is tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the crispy parsnip topping:

  • Pour 1/3 cup of neutral oil into a medium skillet. It should be about 1/4” deep. Turn the heat to medium and allow the oil to reach 350ºF. Add half of the parsnips and cook, turning regularly with tongs for 1–3 minutes until golden brown all over. The parsnips are very thin and will burn quickly, so keep an eye on them and turn them regularly! Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Fry the remaining batch, add to the paper towel-lined plate, and season with salt.

To serve:

  • Ladle the stew into shallow bowls and pile the crispy parsnips on top. Serve with microgreens or minced parsley. Enjoy!


If you don’t have a thermometer, check the temperature of the oil by placing the end of a wooden spoon of chopstick into the oil. If it bubbles steadily, it’s ready. If it is bubbly vigorously, the oil is too hot. Turn the heat down and let the oil cool off for a minute. If there are no bubbles, allow the oil to continue heating.


Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 30mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 20mg
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