Chanterelle Stew with Spinach and Barley

6 servings

Autumn is my favorite time of the year! The crisp air makes me want to curl up in the bed with a big bowl of hearty stew.

The only thing that was bothering me is the flu. Luckily I know that antibiotics don’t kill viruses, but they do upset the normal balance of bacteria in our gut. So I went for traditional remedies, instead of conventional medicine. I made myself a big cup of ginger, lemon, honey and buckhorn tea; I soaked my feet in mustard water and rubbed them with eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary balm. All of the above accompanied with loads of water and tones of rest. Wouldn’t you know it; I was up in two days.

On days like those, all I wanna do is lie in bed and eat comfort food. For me, comfort food is closely associated with my childhood memories. Every year my family and I would go mushroom hunting. My grandmother would clean the mushrooms, cut them up and make an amazing stew or fry them with potatoes, onions and eggs.

That’s why this dish is special to me, as it brings back a lot of beautiful memories.

I used barley, but it can be replaced with beans or lentils. You can also add any mushrooms you like if you can’t get your hands on chanterelles.


You don’t have to wash chanterelles unless they are very dirty. In that case soak them in cold water for 10–15 minutes and rub the dirt off with your fingers. Alternatively, you can clean them with a soft brush.

Don’t forget to soak all your grains prior to cooking to soften and release the phytic acid. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that binds with other nutrients and inhibits their absorption by the body. This can lead to nutrient deficiency. Soaking opens up the grain and releases acids. Add 1 tbsp. of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to neutralize the phytic acid. Soaking also helps to break down gluten.


How to soak: pour grains into a bowl, cover with room temperature water, and add 1 tbsp. of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 7 hours. Drain and rinse the grains before cooking.