Macrobiotic Barley Bean Stew

This barley bean stew recipe was created by Susan Waxman, and was also featured in our latest newsletter. So, sign up to receive more recipes!

Macrobiotic Foods

Here is a recipe for “Barley Bean Stew” which will provide you with gentle warmth, inner strength while staying light so you can enjoy all the activity that this Spring has to offer.

Barley Bean Stew

Preparation time: 1½ hours
Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 cup pearled barley, washed
  • 1 cup pre-cooked white beans with ⅓ cup of their cooking liquid.
    • Non-Gmo, BPA free Canned beans work well too, as does Organic fried tempeh.
  • 1½ cups diced onions
  • 1 cup diced root vegetables.
    • Choose a combination of carrot, daikon, or parsnip.
  • 1 cup diced leeks or celery
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or light sesame oil


  • So, start by placing the onion in a pot with ¼ cup of water.
  • Turn on the flame and begin to cook the onions. While the onions begin to glisten, add a small pinch of sea salt (about 1/16 teaspoon).
  • Then, allow the onions to cook on their own for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Finally, layer the leeks or celery on top of the onions followed by the root vegetables and barley.
  • In addition, add more water and bring to a boil.
  • Add another ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, cover, and then place a flame deflector under the pot.
  • Lower the flame and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  • Add the white beans and the remaining amount of salt.
  • Gently fold the beans into the stew to blend the ingredients and the seasoning.
  • Cook for another 20 minutes.

For a richer flavor

Most noteworthy, you can make some adjustments depending on your taste preferences. Maybe you prefer a more rich flavor. As a result, you can sauté ½ cup diced onions and/or leeks together with the white beans, then mix to combine with the barley and vegetables.

For more recipes and macro tips, check out Susan’s blog!