One pot wonders: Pearl barley, chorizo and winter vegetable risotto

Why pearl barley? It's perfect for busy families. Unlike risotto rice, which you have to stir constantly, you can just chuck the stock in and leave (almost) alone while you ponder the glaring gender inequalities in Paw Patrol. 

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids


250g butternut squash, peeled and diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced


1 onion, roughly diced

150g chorizo, sliced into 1cm slices and then halved

Small handful of sage

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3 handfuls of pearl barley 

600ml stock (veg or chicken) 

Glug of olive oil 


Heat a good glug of oil in a large pan.

Add the squash, onion and carrot to the pan and cook over a low heat for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and chorizo and sage and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the pearl barley, stir into the mixture and then pour in the stock. 

Cook on a low heat for 45-50 mins, stirring occasionally. It's ready when the pearl barley is soft but still has a little bite. Season to taste. 

For babies: This is a great weaning recipe. Leave out the chorizo and chop the veg a little smaller, if you'd prefer. Freeze in individual portions straight after cooking. Once defrosted, heat to piping hot, then allow to cool before serving.

Alternatives:  leave out the chorizo for a veggie version. Cook this the day after you have roast chicken, stir in the left over meat with about ten minutes to go. Make sure the chicken is piping hot in the middle.