Heat oil in a large casserole dish. Add shallots and garlic. cook for 5-6 mins until starting to soften -careful not to burn. Add leeks for 5 mins, then stir in swede, parsnips and carrots and continue on low heat for 10 mins.
Slowly pour in white wine & add barley, cook until wine has reduced by half. Add stock, bay, thyme, and seasoning. Cover pan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 mins until barley and veg are tender to your liking. Stir occasionally to stop it sticking to the pot.
Serve with grated cheese if desired and toasted bread.... French baguette is the best!