In a saucepan, soften the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the oil with the paprika and saffron. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the barley, chickpeas, and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently, stirring frequently, for about 50 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed and the barley is tender.
Add the tomatoes and peas. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.
If desired, serve the barley stew with pan-fried or steamed salmon steaks, grilled scallops or grilled skinless chicken breast. Shrimp goes very well with this dish but are less advised for people who have high cholesterol.
Recipes with the "Healthy Pick" stamp have been evaluated by a registered dietitian member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec.