Creamy French Lentils with Mushrooms & Kale

Created by Laura Wright
4.99 from 70 votes

Creamy French lentils with mushrooms and kale is a hearty vegan dinner recipe that will satisfy all types of eaters with only 10 core ingredients.

Overhead shot of creamy French lentils with mushrooms and kale in a small turquoise pot with a blue napkin. A wooden serving spoon is scooping up a bit.
An overhead shot shows creamy french lentils with mushrooms and kale in an individual serving bowl. A slice of baguette is sticking out of the stewy mixture.
Overhead shot of dry French lentils in a copper measuring cup
An overhead shot of different mushrooms and a small bowl of fresh thyme leaves on a wooden cutting board.

We finally got some snow in Ontario! Like, a ton of it. Three rounds of driveway shovelling in one day? No problem. I had my tea cupboard stocked and plenty to eat (including these creamy French lentils) to keep us going through a snow day or two. Another one of my favourite cozy recipes is my 30-minute easy lentil bolognese.

When I see the flashing red alerts on my weather tracking app this time of year, my instinct is to stock up on some produce, assess the pantry stores situation, decide whether I have enough non-dairy creamer for my coffee/tea, and then I get out there to make sure we’re prepared. This whole process is secretly one of my favourite things about Winter. It’s just super cozy.

If we’re on the topic of pantry stocking, I have to mention beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas (or pulses). Along with whole grains, these make up the bulk of my dry storage. Perfect for plant-based dinners! I eat these in some form at least 3-4 times a week—they’re economical, sustainable, easy to prepare/integrate within plenty of meals, full of protein and fiber, and they’re so delicious. The United Nations has declared 2016 as the international year of the pulses, so the momentum and love is strong with these crops.

As part of an ongoing project for 2016, I’ll be partnering with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to get more people on board with incorporating legumes into their meals. My hope is that at least a few of you can gather up some inspiration to try something new. I keep a variety of dry pulses on hand, all purchased from the bulk section of my local health food store. I have pre-cooked cans of chickpeas and black beans around for the crazier days as well. If you’re really, really on board with all of this, you can even take the Pulse Pledge.

When I was getting some produce together on a little weekend outing, I grabbed an assortment of mushrooms with the intention of mixing them with lentils. I wanted the mixture to be creamy without adding too many ingredients. So I just made a soup-y mixture of thyme and garlic-spiked mushrooms and pureed half of them with a bit of plant-based milk. Creamy results with very minimal effort! Once the lentils were folded in and I had some warm toasts on hand, it was cozy bliss! Hope you try these creamy French lentils!

An up close, overhead shot of mushrooms stewing in broth.
A 3/4 angle shot of a mushroom stew with a pile of ribboned kale added to the top.
An overhead shot of a creamy vegan mushroom stew with lentils and kale against a beige linen backdrop. The stew is photographed in a white bowl with a slice of baguette sticking out of one serving.

Creamy French Lentils with Mushrooms & Kale

Creamy French lentils with mushrooms and kale is a hearty plant-based dinner that will satisfy all types of eaters.
4.99 from 70 votes
An overhead shot of a beige stew in a turquoise pot. The stew contains sliced mushrooms, kale, and cooked lentils. A wooden spoon is sticking out of the pot.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • ¾ cup French green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, fine dice (roughly ⅓ cup diced shallot)
  • 1 lb (454 grams) mixed mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • cup unsweetened plant-based creamer or rich milk (such as soy or cashew)
  • 3-4 kale stalks, stems removed and leaves sliced (1 ½ packed cups of sliced kale)
  • fresh bread or toasts, for serving



  • If you don’t have any white wine around or you choose not to consume it, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice will substitute just fine.
  • I serve this as a thick, stew-y mixture fit for serving over toast, but you could add extra vegetable stock/non-dairy milk to make it more soup-y if you like.


  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the lentils to the water along with a fat pinch of salt. Simmer the lentils until they’re just-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a braiser or medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots to the pot and stir. Cook the shallots until slightly softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot and let them sit for a full minute. Stir the mushrooms up and season with pepper. Let the mushrooms sit in the pot for another full minute.
  • Stir the mushrooms until they start glistening slightly. Season the mushrooms liberally with salt. Add the garlic and thyme to the pot and stir. Once the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the white wine and tamari to the pot. Stir the mushrooms. Add the drained lentils, vegetable stock and plant milk to the pot. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Ladle half of the mushroom mixture into your blender pitcher, ensuring that you include enough of the liquid. Blend on high until completely smooth. Scrape the creamy blended mushroom mixture back into the pot. Add the sliced kale and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and check it for seasoning. The texture should be like a thick and creamy stew and the kale should be slightly wilted..
  • Serve the creamy French lentils hot with toasts or other accompaniments of your choosing.
An overhead shot of a creamy vegan mushroom stew with lentils and kale against a beige linen backdrop. The stew is photographed in a white bowl with a slice of baguette sticking out of one serving.

*This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

13/01/2016 (Last Updated 09/05/2024)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, kale, lentils, main course, mushrooms, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, umami, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Aa

    5 stars
    This soup has been a regular at our house- it’s SO good and the only way I’ll eat mushrooms

  • Ross

    5 stars
    Absolutely terrific.

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    This soup is so delicious and simple to make, I added about 3 times the amount of shallot and threw in some extra herbs and a little red pepper flakes. It’s so good. I also used a stick blender to purée my soup because my blender won’t take hot liquids and it worked really well

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Sarah!
      So glad that you enjoyed this and am glad that the stick blender works as an option for you here.

  • Julie

    5 stars
    This was amazing! The whole family loved the creamy thick texture of the soup. I didn’t have kale so I replaced it with broccoli, very delicious. Thank you.
    Can you freeze this soup?

  • Christa

    I love this recipe! Does it freeze well? I would love to have it on hand.

  • Dancing Nerd

    5 stars
    I really don’t like lentils, but I do like their nutritional value! I have been looking for a recipe to make lentils not taste like wool socks, and this is THE ONE! I followed the recipe exactly except that I cooked the lentils in water with salt, 3 crushed cloves of garlic, and a bay leaf. I also stirred them in with the onion and garlic when they were sautéing.
    Not only did the recipe look like the food porn pictured, it tasted excellent—vegan restaurant level excellent. My meat-eating family loved it, my budget loves it, it’s a keeper!!

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  • Veronica

    5 stars
    Good hearty stew. Flavours spot on. Love your recipes
    with thanks, Veronica

  • Rainah

    5 stars
    Yum! So much more than it’s parts.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I love it, as does my daughter. My husband approved, though he will add some meat to his bowls…(at least for now?)…

    Now, please understand…. that that’s a triumph in my home!

    Made this this evening. Am moving towards vegetarian with an eye towards a plant-based diet. Still have cream in my kitchen, and so I used it, adding it as the pot was removed from the heat so as not to destroy the dish. Looking forward to a plant based creamy solution instead! I also included the mushroom stems and used mild mustard greens instead of the greens called for. Would happily do the same again.

    Didn’t have french green lentils, so I very carefully, on very low heat so as to not agitate the lentils, simmered green lentils to avoid the mushy lentil issue. While I arguably overcooked them by a tad, when the soup came together, there was a nice depth surrounded by a fresh fullness. Am trying to imagine how much better this soup could be with the proper lentils… Wow!

    Copied the recipe into my recipe notebook forthwith!

    This is a keeper!

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  • Roschelle

    5 stars
    I just want to say that this is my FAVORITE soup recipe. I make it weekly all through the year.

  • Camila

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe!

  • Tricia

    5 stars
    I just made this and DAMN it’s delicious!! Will be in heavy rotation from now on!