Heat a couple of tablespoons of water in the base of a medium-sized pan. Add the chopped onion and celery with a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes on a medium heat, adding more water so the veggies don't stick.
Add the broccoli stems and garlic to the pan and sauté for 2 more minutes before adding the cherry tomatoes and chopped asparagus stems. Cook for 3 minutes then stir in the dried herbs, grated lemon rind and barley. Stir well and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in the wine (if using) or 150ml of veg stock and allow it to bubble away for a couple of minutes before pouring in enough stock to cover the barley. Simmer for 15 minutes adding more stock as needed.
Add the chopped broccoli florets to the pan and more stock and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until the barley starts to soften.
Add the peas and remaining stock to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes before finally adding the asparagus tips. Leave these on the top of the mix to lightly steam for a few minutes whilst the remaining stock is pretty much absorbed.
Season with salt and pepper and add a little lemon juice. Turn off the heat and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. Serve with a garnish of parsley and a little extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed flaxseed oil if desired.