- 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½” cubes (approx. 4 C)
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 8 C chicken stock
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 C pearl barley
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ C grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 C walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a bowl, toss the butternut squash with the olive oil and cinnamon and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, flip the butternut squash and roast for an additional 15 minutes, until the squash is tender.
Once the squash is in the oven, pour the chicken stock into a medium stockpot and place over medium heat, reducing heat to low when it begins to simmer.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and soft. Add the barley and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the thyme and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Pour 1 C of the warm chicken stock into the barley and stir constantly while the stock simmers and is absorbed.
When the stock cooks out and the barley pot begins to look dry, add another cup of chicken stock. Continue stirring, cooking and adding stock until all the stock is used and the barley is creamy and al dente, approximately 35 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Gently stir in the roasted butternut squash. Top each serving with walnuts.