Make sure you add all the seasoning ingredients to this recipe or you may find it tastes bland.  It took alot of experimenting to get the flavours right!

Serves 4 to 6

200g pearl barley
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large leek, outer layer removed and finely chopped
1/2 swede, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 1/2 ltrs vegetable stock
500g carton of passata
Large sprig of thyme
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp lemon juice
A few drops of tabasco
Bunch of parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

Place the stock, passata, thyme sprigs, tomato puree, tabasco, lemon juice and smoked paprika into the slow cooker and stir thoroughly.  Add the vegetables and barley and stir thoroughly again.  Put the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours.  Stir in the fresh parsley before serving.  Season to taste.

Serve in warmed bowls with shavings of pecorino or parmesan cheese.