• 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g pearl barley
  • 1.2l vegetable stock
  • 140g pea
  • 100g light cream cheese with chives
  • small bunch chives, snipped


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large, deep pan, then gently fry the onion for 3-4 mins. Stir in the pearl barley, sizzle for a few mins, then pour in about a third of the stock. Simmer fiercely for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, adding more stock gradually as it is absorbed. With 5 mins to go, stir in the peas. After 20 mins there should be some liquid left and the barley should be cooked through.

  • STEP 2

    Turn the heat off under the risotto and let it sit for a min, then stir in the cream cheese and most of the chives. Season well and serve scattered with the rest of the chives.


Pearl barley is rich in minerals, including calcium, iron and potassium. It’s also a useful source of B vitamins, especially B3 and B6 – important for energy, healthy red blood cells and the functioning of the nervous system.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2008


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