1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
pinch crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, smashed & chopped
1 28 oz can puréed tomatoes
2 pounds peeled, 1/4 inch diced butternut squash
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups quick cook barley
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
Coat a large sauce pan generously with EVOO. Add onions & bring to med-hi heat. Season with salt & add red pepper. Saute until the onions are translucent & very aromatic – about 7 to 8 minutes.
Add garlic and saute for another minute.
Add tomatoes and fill can with water to add as well. Season with salt & pepper cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes, or until the water has reduced.
Add squash, stock, and bay leaf. Taste for seasonings & re-salt if needed. Cook until the squash is cooked thru and most of the liquid has absorbed, 20-30 minutes over medium heat partially covered.
In the mean time, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add barley & cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Strain and add to tomatoes & squash. Stir to incorporate. Add more stock or water if the mixture is dry and cook longer if it’s too soupy. It should have a stew-like consistency.
Stir in the chives.
This is even better left-over.