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!

4.94 from 16 votes
Print
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

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.

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