Cooking barley in chicken broth with butter and onions gives the creamy grain a significant flavour boost. This versatile side dish is finished off with carrots, red peppers and grated lemon peel to brighten up the flavours.

Yield: Serves 8.



  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 4 cups canned chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add barley and sauté for 3 minutes. Add broth, bay leaf and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until barley is almost tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in carrot, red pepper and lemon peel. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and barley and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley.
Nutritional analysis per serving:


182 calories, 3.4 g fat, 5.4 g protein, 33.6 g carbohydrate, 6.8 g fibre, 434 mg sodium