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Lentil, Kale & Quinoa Stew (Vegan)

Did you know that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses?

lentil, kale, and quinoa soup in a bowl with a spoon

I wasn’t too familiar with the idea of “pulses” until recently, but the term encompasses chickpeas, lentils, dried peas, and beans– all things I’m very familiar with! This year, the United Nations is helping to raise awareness about this superfood because pulses are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and help with weight loss. They also contain twice the amount of protein as quinoa! (Which, by the way, had its moment in 2013 when the United Nations declared it the year of quinoa. Remember when everyone called it kwin-oh-a?)

Well, now it time for pulses to shine.

I’m thrilled to have teamed up with the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council this year to bring you more creative recipes using these cost-effective proteins. On average, one serving of lentils costs just 10 cents– compare that to one serving of beef at $1.49 and you have a very good reason to practice “Meatless Monday” each week!

lentil, kale, and quinoa soup in a bowl with a spoon

I’m kicking off our week with this hearty vegan stew, featuring nutrient-rich vegetables along with lentils and quinoa for a hearty, protein-packed bowl. I was inspired to make this soup when a reader emailed me asking for a copy-cat recipe of Amy’s Quiona, Kale, & Lentil Soup. I’ve never tried the canned soup myself, but the ingredients looked easy enough, so I gave it a shot– and the results are beyond delicious.

What I especially love is how the texture of the wilted kale blends seamlessly into this stew. I assumed that I wouldn’t like the feeling of wilted fresh greens in any sort of soup, especially a tough one like kale, but boy was I wrong. It’s such a great way to sneak an extra serving of dark leafy greens into your day! I hope you enjoy it, too.

Lentil, Kale & Quinoa Stew (Vegan)
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup dry quinoa
5 cups water
26.5 oz box of chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped kale, tough stems removed

Directions:

Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until tender, about 8 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and sauté another minute, just until fragrant. Add in the cumin, ginger, turmeric, salt, lentils, quinoa, water, and tomatoes and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and cover the pot to let everything simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.

preparing lentil, kale, and quinoa soup

Once the lentils and vegetables are very tender, stir in the chopped kale and cook until it’s wilted, just a few minutes. Season with additional salt, if desired, (I added a 1/2 teaspoon myself) and serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, and I think this would make a great packed lunch in a thermos for the week, too!

4.91 from 33 votes
Lentil, Kale & Quinoa Stew (Vegan)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
A hearty (and affordable!) vegan stew that's perfect for a packed lunch or weeknight meal.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 361 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon salt , plus more to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 5 cups water
  • 26.5 oz box of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped kale
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add in the minced garlic and sauté another minute, just until fragrant.
  3. Add in the cumin, ginger, turmeric, salt, lentils, quinoa, water, and tomatoes and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and cover the pot to let everything simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Once the lentils and vegetables are very tender, stir in the chopped kale and cook until it's wilted, just a few minutes. Season with additional salt, if desired, (I added a 1/2 teaspoon myself) and serve warm.
  5. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days, and I think this would make a great packed lunch in a thermos for the week, too!

Note: This recipe can be adapted to use any veggies and spices you like, but if you use anything other than red lentils, the cooking time and water amount will vary. Other types of lentils take much longer to cook, so be prepared for that when making substitutions!

For more information on the benefits of pulses and for even more recipes, visit PulsePledge.com and take the pledge to eat one serving of pulses each week.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite “pulse” recipe? 

This post was created in partnership with the USA Dried Peas and Lentils Council, but all opinions are my own. I can’t wait to share more affordable and protein-rich recipe ideas with you this year! 

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Comments

Kezia @ Super Naturally Healthy

Oh yay for pulses – common word to use in UK for it all.
I love a bit of roasted beetroot hummus = Yum!

Amy

I already have all the ingredients at home to make this! Yay!

Dee

I was already planning to make soup today. This just vaulted to the top of the list. Sounds great, Megan.

I’d never heard the term “pulses” before – got a new recipe and learned something new today – what a deal. 😉

    Laura ~ RYG

    Can I pop over to your place to sample? Just kidding. But seriously, I’ve been thinking about suggesting my my nearest neighbors about getting on a meal plan, making a Humongous bowl of a stew such as this one and sharing with them all. Then they take a turn and you end up cooking once or twice a week instead of every day and you eat healthy. It never ceases to amaze me how healthy food can taste so delicious and still be good for you.

Claudia

I made this for dinner tonight and it was sooo delicious! I didn’t have any kale so I used spinach instead, which worked well too. I’ll definitely make this again!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

Andrea

Thank you for another great recipe. I made this tonight using a mix of spinach, baby kale, and chard and also added a bit more water to make it more soup-like.

Next time I might substitute amaranth for the quinoa to see how it turns out (I’m always struggling to find a use for amaranth!).

Lindsay

I just made your paleo carrot cake and LOVED it! I’d really like to know the calories/nutrition of your recipes.

Can I find that anywhere?

Thanks!
Lindsay

Gia

This is perfect to warm things up with the recent 10′ Pittburgh weather- can’t wait to try it! Question- I have a birthday occasion coming up and wondering if you have any ideas or a go-to celebratory dessert that I could make in lieu of the typical birthday cake scenario. Anything you do for a birthday dessert? Or make, like vegan/Paleo cake? Or is it a “cheat” meal treat?:)

    Megan Gilmore

    My favorite desserts are my French Silk Pie and Peanut Butter Cup Pie! Both don’t taste like a “healthy” alternative at all. 🙂

    Melissa

    I made her cupcakes from her book for my daughter’s birthday- both the chocolate and vanilla and both kinds of icing. Everyone loved them ! They were sooooo delicious!

      Megan Gilmore

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear that everyone enjoyed the cupcakes and frostings, Melissa!

Claudia

I made this last night and it was amazing! I like it better than the curry dish from last week! Definitely a “make again”! Thank you!

Abbi*tarian

I made a simplified version of this, because of lack of ingredients & for my recovering tum’s sake, 2 nights ago. It was fantastic! I look forward to making your exact recipe when my tum is back to normal. Thank you so much!

Gia

That’s ‘Pittsburgh’ lol…ugh- that’s what happens when you type comments hastily on your iPhone!:( Thanks for the b-day suggestions…Megan, your French silk pie was amazing- made it a few times already. I’m a vanilla loving girl, rather than a chocoholic, and have always had an addiction to traditional yellow cake with buttercream frosting, so maybe I will use your cupcake and frosting recipe to make a homemade layer cake- hope it will work!:)

Kelly

This was so good! It was actually added to our go to meal list. Thank you! We were actually out of town when I first read the recipe and my husband stated how it sounded so good we needed to make it when we got home. We are so glad we did!

Gia

Miss your “What I ate Wednesday” posts! More soon?:)

marja

This soup is delicious! I sprinkled it with nutritional yeast before serving it along with some hawaiian salt and fresh cilantro. Thank you for the recipe. Yay for pulses!

marja lehua

…one more thing…i made the almond butter fudge, but used organic peanut butter instead because thatʻs all I had in the pantry…itʻs setting in the freezer at the mo…tasted a bit of it before I placed it on the wax paper…DELISH! Oh, and of course, added 1 TBSP of dark chocolate chips to the mix =-). Canʻt wait to try the finished frozen product!

Aloha,
marja

aimee

Is there any reason I couldn’t use a broth instead of water? Making this tonight, sounds delicious!

Erika

Hi Megan,

I am loving your cookbook and can’t wait to try this recipe next week. If I can’t get organic celery any suggestions on substitutions or anything else I can add. Thanks, Erika

Shawnee

This was delicious!! I had an Ethiopian spice mix that complemented this dish so well and added the perfect amount of heat. I love your recipes.

Lisa

Another delicious recipe!! I only made half a batch and it’s awesome, great with the kale a smart way to add extra greens!
Thanks for the recipe!!

Erika

I made this the other day, it was delicious. My five year old ate three helping, then said you made this Mommy…very good job! 🙂 This is a hit and I will make it again next week!!

Teresa

Excellent spice combo, Megan. I used some potatoes from my garden in place of the lentils and quinoa, and it turned out great. Thank you!

Tiffany

I made this tonight, so beautiful and nourishing. My 2 year old enjoyed it too! I’ve been following and making your recipes for years but this is my first time commenting. I can honestly say I’ve had great results and really enjoyed everything I’ve made. My friends are always asking for the recipes I use and it’s always the same answer… Detoxinista?.

    Megan Gilmore

    That’s so nice to hear! Thank you for letting me know. 😉

Laura

I added this recipe to my “try it someday soon” list when you first posted and finally got around to cooking it up last night. My family was so surprised how tasty and satisfying it was! (They don’t even know how inexpensive and nutritious it is, and I’ll leave it that way.) Satisfied with another great recipe — am certainly adding this one to my recipe box.

Anne

I thought I would let you know that the EXCELLENT Kale, Quinoa and Lentil Stew is missing, in the directions, when to add the kale. I thus forgot to put it in. I am having the stew again tomorrow and will add kale this time!

    Megan Gilmore

    Thank you for letting me know!

      Megan Gilmore

      Actually, I just checked and it’s in step #4. 😉 Hope you enjoy it with kale the next time around!

C Nieves

I recently had Amy’s soup and liked it so much I went back to the store to hunt down more of it. Oddly it reminds me of a soup my mother used to make which uses very different ingredients. She made what is known in the Caribbean as “asopao” a chicken, rice and tomato based soupy stew. As I’ve become a vegetarian that is no longer an option and so I was happy to find Amy’s delicious soup but it can be costly to buy in quantity.. Glad to find a version online that may match or surpass the canned version. Thank you for providing a recipe!! Like another person mentioned I will add cilantro, and preferably “culantro” (otherwise called “recao”) another very flavorful herb found in Hispanic supermarkets that I detected in Amy’s canned soup much to my surprise. It is used as part of a base for flavoring many dishes. Like cilantro it has a distinctive flavor, but grows as a spear shaped leaf with a strong central rib on the underside. It adds a dimension to this already very good soup that will take it over the top. A little goes a long way for those curious enough to try it one day.

Nora

Delish! I used a red onion instead of a yellow onion, and didn’t have the large box of Pomi tomatoes, so used a can of chopped tomatoes. It’s sSOOOO hardy especially here in Chicago which is still cold and just had some more snow fall. Keep up the great and always tasty recipes!

Ieva

I was wondering if it’s possible to add some meat in there? What would go best with it?

Rach's Recipes

Fantastic, hearty dish. Made this for the family dinner last night, but added a cinnamon stick and loads of cilantro. It was a real winner thanks for sharing.

Kelly

wow I honestly didn’t expect much flavor from this but I am shocked! This is soooo good and I can’t stop eating it. This is a definite keeper. One of the best soups I have ever had.

nikki casey

Hi! can I use red quinoa with regular lentils? don’t have the red ones. also I have tons of tomato but not boxed. can I just chop those up? sorry I am a newbie to cooking. 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    Red lentils are the fastest type of lentil to cook– if you use any other variety, I’d plan on doubling the cooking time. The recipe should work just fine, you’ll just need to wait longer! 😉

Donna

Do you rinse your quinoa before using? It seems to have a bitter undertone when it is not rinsed…
Also, I will be adding some black pepper to pair with the turmeric… I put turmeric in EVERYthing, and the black pepper helps in the absorption of the turmeric.

Arlene Keeler

This looks so yummy! I’m allergic to tomatoes; what do you think I could successfully use in place of the 26 oz box of tomatoes?

Pam

I just made this soup and can’t believe how delicious it is! I substituted chicken broth for the water and only used 1/4 cup of quinoa so it would have a thinner consistency. We also topped it with cayenne pepper and cilantro. I’m so pleased that I took a chance on it. My husband and boys say it is one of the best things I’ve ever made. Thanks!

Brent P.

This recipe is delicious! I was wondering why in your photos it looks so red. I have made it twice now, following your recipe exactly and other than a sprinkling of carrot, tomato, and kale, the overall color is yellow/golden.

    Megan Gilmore

    Hmmm… maybe it’s just the lighting? Depending on the light source, my dishes can go from looking blue, yellow, or red!

DonMari

Red or yellow, color this dish delicious!My hubby made it a few days ago and I get to devour the last delectable bowlful! Yum! Love, love , love red lentils which cook up so creamy and add that satisfying succulence to soups and stews. This is definitely my new favorite! Thank you for the spreading the joy of delicious, healthy plant-centric food!

Daniella

Can I use a red onion? Is there any difference in taste? Thank you so much for your recipes! I’m just learning about plant based diets and your recipes make me feel like I may be able to make a complete lifestyle change. They are super yummy and my family loves them!

Katie

Delicious! Of course, it is even better the second day! I use chicken bone broth in place of the water and add just a smidge of chipotle powder. Yum!

Vicki

Hi! I found this bc I love the Amy’s soup so much. Just made this and my hub and I love it!!! Love how fresh, hearty and balanced it is. I did use Trader Joe’s veg broth and added fresh ginger (about an 1″ piece, fine,y chopped in addition to the dry) and one jalapeño finely diced w some seeds bc the canned soup has a nice heat to it. Oh and added 1/2 tsp pepper for the turmeric. Looks thicker than I was expecting but as we ate it we couldn’t stop raving about how fresh and perfect this is, and so nourishing. Took me about 45 min to chop and sauté everything, then about 30 for the boil, simmer and kale wilt. Nice Sunday meal and will last us several days. For those wanting same as the can, maybe add another cup of water, but even though was different, was great as its own combo. Definitely going in our regular meals rotation. Thanks so much!!! <3. Ps our grocery had that brand of tomatoes avail organic which was nice. I think I will try w fresh turmeric root as well next time.

Laura

Just made this and it was so easy and delicious!! This is a keeper for sure!! Thank you!

paige

can i freeze this?

Jordan

Do I cook the quinoa and rinse it first ? Or add it in uncooked ? I have heard quinoa can have a bitter taste if not rinsed.

    Rene

    You can also get sprouted quinoa which has already been soaked & rinsed

Marc

My celery never got soft and i think i used too much tomatoes/water, but it was tasty still 🙂

Sarah

I’m newly vegan so am in search for recipes I’m gonna want to eat often until I find enough recipes to have more variety. The reviews of this one were so good I wanted to try it. The garlic was so overpowering, I luvv garlic but 4 cloves was way too strong for me. I added a tin of baked beans and more tomatoes but I couldn’t get it to weaken. Very disappointed although I’m not dissing ur recipe at all and am still glad I tried it 🙂

antara

I doubled the ingredients and only then discovered my pot isn’t big enough for 5×2 cups of liquid. So went on making it with only the half liquid and it turned out perfect. Would be way too soupy for a “stew” if used all, so if you guys also like thicker foods, be careful with the water / stock. Otherwise – a very good recipe 🙂

Marilyn Sibley

This looks so yummy, putting in on my list to try later this week. May sub a sweet potato for the carrots (I only like them disguised). Will post report then. Thanks!

Jane

I love this soup. I just made some i make it often. Its so easy to make. Thank you

Betty Malone

I give 4 Stars to this recipe! Delicious! (I’m eating it as I type.)

whitney

I’m making this right now and it smells sooooo yummy!

Rosa

I made this using green lentils and baby carrots. I didn’t have a box of chopped tomatoes so I used a can of diced tomatoes plus fresh halved cherry tomatoes to complete the 24 oz needed. All was perfect. I doubled the amount of salt and used Diamond kosher. Should’ve made a double batch. My pregnant belly plus my two toddler boys gobbled most of up in one sitting.

Jeanette L

Amy’s Quinao, Kale, & Lentil Soup has been a staple in my pantry for years so I decided to finally recreate it myself. Your recipe exceeded my expectations and is way better! I now have doubled up recipes in my freezer. So good!

Trish

Can you freeze this receipe??

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t done it with this one yet, but in my experience soups and stews freeze very well. I bet it would work!

      tRish

      Great thanks Megan! Can’t wait to make this! I was just worried about freezing cooked kale!! Don’t normally freeze food but this be handy to make for big batch!!

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