Photo of Slow cooker winter vegetable & farro stew by WW

Slow cooker winter vegetable & farro stew

Total Time
4 hr 30 min
30 min
4 hr
This vegetarian stew cooks relatively quickly in the slow cooker and yields six large and hearty bowls full of delicious tender winter vegetables and filling grains. The initial saute of the mushrooms and fennel bring out a roasted mushroom flavor and allow the fennel to develop a wonderful sweetness that mellows its natural licorice flavor. The parsley mixture that tops each serving adds a fresh bite. The raw garlic is a source of spicy heat that adds a zing to each spoonful. Using shaved Parmesan cheese makes the presentation very pretty but shredded or grated Parmesan will work equally as well. Feel free to mix up the vegetables here, using any kind of winter squash and mushrooms you like.



6 clove(s), chopped, divided

Fresh parsley

½ cup(s), flat leaf variety, coarsely chopped

Table salt

½ tsp, or to taste, divided

Black pepper

¼ tsp, or to taste, divided

Olive oil

2 Tbsp

Fennel seeds

2 tsp

Uncooked fennel bulb

1 item(s), chopped

Uncooked onion

1 medium, yellow, chopped

Cremini mushroom

10 oz, button or shiitake, cut into bite-size pieces

Uncooked kabocha squash

2 pound(s), or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-in pieces (4 c)

Canned tomatoes

28 oz, whole San Marzano variety, crushed

Low sodium vegetable broth

4 cup(s)

Uncooked farro

¾ cup(s), rinsed

Dry lentils

¾ cup(s), black, green or brown variety, rinsed

Parmesan cheese

1 oz, shaved


  1. Combine 1/3 of garlic and parsley in a small bowl; season with a pinch each salt and pepper, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel seed and remaining garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant and fennel and garlic begin to smell toasty, about 2 minutes. Add fennel bulb, onion, and mushrooms and season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add squash, tomatoes, broth, farro, and lentils to slow cooker; season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste). Cover slow cooker and set heat to high; cook until farro, lentils, and squash are completely cooked through, 4 hours. Uncover, stir and season to taste, if needed. Serve topped with garlic-parsley mixture and cheese.
  4. Serving size: 2 1/2 cups


This can be made stovetop as well - just make sure to use a large, heavy bottomed pot. Cook as instructed (replacing slow cooker with a dutch oven or soup pot) and reduce the cook time to 1 ½ hours.