Put a large casserole pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Finely slice and add 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, strip in the leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and leave to get golden, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, start prepping your veg. The idea here is to chop everything roughly the same size – around 2cm – stirring each veg into the pan as you prep it. Peel, chop and add 2 onions, followed by 2 carrots, then 400g of new potatoes.
Stir in 100g of pearl barley and cook everything for 10 minutes, or until starting to soften but not colour, stirring regularly.
Stir in 1 heaped tablespoon of plain wholemeal flour, followed gradually by 500ml of chicken stock and 500ml of semi-skimmed milk.
Simmer for 10 minutes, while you trim and quarter 2 courgettes lengthways, trim the woody ends off 1 bunch of asparagus (350g), trim just the stalk end off 200g of green beans, then chop it all into 2cm chunks. Chop 4 x 120g of chicken breast into 2cm chunks, too.
Stir the chicken and courgettes into the pan, cover with a scrunched sheet of wet greaseproof paper, and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Give it a good stir, add the asparagus and beans, replace the paper and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until thickened and cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Stir 1 tablespoon of mint sauce through the stew, taste, season to perfection, and serve.