Creamy French Lentils with Mushrooms & Kale

Created by Laura Wright
4.99 from 71 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 71 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Equipment

Notes

  • 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.

Instructions

  • 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

201 comments

4.99 from 71 votes (55 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating




  • Denise

    Hello! Can this be made in a crockpot/slow cooker? Thanks! 

  • Leanda

    5 stars
    I thoroughly enjoyed this recipe, thank you, Laura. I’ve no doubt I’ll be returning to it again when winter arrives, but I have to say I enjoyed it in the summertime… no bread required.

  • morgan

    5 stars
    wow, this soup was delicious, my partner and I are very impressed. we used a splash of white vinegar instead of white wine as we had none. other than that this is the first recipe where we haven’t had to add our own spices to make it taste better. 10/10 will make again!!

  • Tracy L

    5 stars
    Delicious! I didn’t have any milk so I used a dollop of Greek yogurt for creaminess at the end. 

  • eva arita

    4 stars
    I made this tonight.  Very delicious for a vegan mushroom soup.  Looked nothing like Laura’s photos, but I did blend most of it.  It seems to absorb as much salt, as you’re willing to add.

  • Michelle Mims

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe!

  • Jesseline Gough

    Just made this last night, and it was just the absolute perfect, warm, cozy autumn dish that I was craving. Thank you sincerely for all your nourishing recipes, and beautiful photos – your site (and book!) is always a joy to visit.

  • Ian Hobbs

    your hint on coconut milk. I am about to make this but using Grated Creamed Coconut. It seems a better option.Regards Ian. jw.org

  • L Rodrigues

    What an incredible recipe!!! It’s my first time trying French lentils! ( the lock down certainly is making me more adventurous) I was drawn by the picture but it’s the taste that’s gonna keep me coming back ❤️ This recipe is a keeper for sure. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

  • Kim H

    Wow! I just made this exactly as written and I’m so disappointed that I didn’t double the recipe. It tastes like the best gravy you’ve ever had, in stew form. So delicious. I might have to hide this from the rest of the family…

    Thanks, Laura!

  • Lori

    I found this on a dark and rainy January afternoon and made it immediately. I used beluga lentils that i cooked in my instant pot and I only had cremini mushrooms on hand. This is absolutely fantastic. It’s rich and filling. Very hearty. Like an old fashioned stew. I will make this again and it is good enough to serve at a dinner party. Simple ingredients that get along well together. I can’t wait to taste it after it has had a chance to sit overnight. Well done!!

  • erin

    We make this all the time. It is delicious.

  • Tab

    I just made this on the weekend after coming home with some kale and mushrooms from the Farmers’ Market.

    I doubled everything and used regular dairy milk, but otherwise stuck to the recipe.

    Turned out really well! It’s nice and comforting and serves well as leftovers, though mine had more of a soup consistency (I think this lentil variety needed less water than normal).

    I think this would also taste great with sage or tarragon.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Ellie

    This looks delicious! I was a little confused by the timeline of the kale, though. How long do you recommend cooking the kale?

    • Laura

      Just until it’s wilted–about a minute. By the time the stew comes back to a boil, you should be good.
      -L

  • Juanita

    Just made these tonight, earnestly wishing for fall weather. I thought I could pretend that it felt like fall if I could cozy up to a steaming bowl of lentils and shrooms, with some garlic toast to accompany. It worked! My outcome didn’t appear as creamy as yours but they tasted delicious. Just discovering your blog, and will work my way through many recipes. Thank you for sharing your efforts with us.

  • Merrymepenelope

    This is a lovely,rich, thick soup. This has been the perfect meal after a few hours working in the garden. I added some wild rice blend to give it more body as I decided not to blend any of it. I’m considering adding thinly sliced carrots and celery next time because, why not! This will be a standard in our house due to its versatility and delicious flavors. Thank you so very much.

  • April

    This was delicious, thank you!!

  • Cynthia (Insta @thefarflungfoodie)

    This has become one my winter go-to dishes! I sub cream (less than called for) and use roasted garlic. Thank you!

  • Mel

    This is one of the most delicious things I have ever made. Wow. It needed a little more acid so at the end I added a little red wine vinegar and it was lovely. I will be adding this to my regular dishes. Thank you so much for an amazing recipe!

  • Allie Nicole

    Loved this! Swapped a few things for what I had in hand (red lentils, spinach instead of kale, homemade cashew milk) and my boyfriend (who “doesn’t like mushrooms” by the way) said it was delicious! Thanks for this!

  • Deb

    I made this, and riffed a little. (more coconut milk, more lentils, and I don’t think I had the right kind of lentils. ) Still amazing and I will be making it again.

  • Sara

    This was delicious! Such wonderful flavor. Made it as the vegan entree for Christmas and it was devoured. I can’t wait to make it again.

  • Jeanette

    I made this and it was incredible. I used coconut milk as my plant-based milk. I blended about half of the soup, as instructed, abc it can’t out really creamy and thick. It looked nothing like the image where a lot if the ingredients were intact. Next time I make it (there will be a next time), I’ll blend less to see if I prefer it more soupy or more creamy. Either way, the flavor was spot on.

  • MELISSA

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it as written and it was delicious but I have a question for next time. I have some ‘better than bouillon’ mushroom base and was wondering if you have ever used it and whether you think it would be a good substitute for the veg stock in this recipe.

    • Laura

      I have used that product and I think it would be great in this recipe!
      -L

  • Jessica

    Any suggestions for skipping the wine?

    • Laura

      Hi Jessica,
      Just leave it out and add a teaspoon or so of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar at the end.
      -L

  • Ilene

    Came across your recipe from a Pinterest search. Not only was this a hit (minus the kale, daughter doesn’t like it), we’ve been making it several times a month to take to work/school for lunch. Daughter eats it cold for lunch. Thank you!

  • Cyrilla

    I have just finished making this for the first time and simulataneously trying french lentils for the first time…Amazing!!! I think this is my favourite type of lentil. The taste of this dish is so comforting and earthy. I cannot wait to dig in. (PS I added a bit of ginger powder and chilli powder for a kick :) )

  • Natalia Wrobel

    Your photography is GORGEOUS.

  • Reba

    Can you use brown lentils?

  • Julie

    I made this tonight and it was so good, but it only made 3 servings and not four. I used a can of coconut milk since I can’t seem to find boxed anywhere! Definitely a redo.

  • Kelsey Fr

    Thank you for this recipe! This stew was so, so tasty and I was really impressed at the depth of flavor. I’ve been working on adding more plant-based meals to my diet, and comforting, hearty recipes like this make it so much easier. It’s only the second of your recipes that I’ve tried out, but definitely won’t be the last.

  • Lucy

    Can you include the Nutritional Value of this soup? Sodium is a concern of mine and hoping to make with as little sodium as possible. Thank you.

  • Ploy M

    Can I use regular dairy milk?

    • Laura

      Yes of course! Will work just the same.
      -L

  • Josh

    I’ve made this recipe now a half dozen times. It’s become a favorite veggie recipe of mine, so thank you! I’ve only ever used the “normal” brown lentils (I just have a ton of them, and happen to really like them). My favorite variation I’ve done is to make this using Black Trumpet mushrooms that I can sometimes find at the farmers market, their flavor is amazing!

  • Kate

    Any thoughts on creating this in the slow cooker?

  • Ollie

    I made this tonight and it was just what I was looking for. I had some mushrooms and some kale to use up, so I googled them and this recipe came up. Amazing! I’ll definitely be saving it as all the other ingredients are things I always have/use.

  • Lita Watson

    How great your dish is! I’m a big fan of mushrooms and i can’t wait to try it out! If i have some leftovers, how long will it last in refrigerator?

    • Laura

      About 3-4 days maximum.

  • Lena

    Hi i just wanted to thank you for this recipe!
    I stumbled across your blog today and your beautiful images inspired me to make this dish. I did adjust it to my carnivorous taste by sautéing diced speck in a generous amount of butter along with the shallot. I also used cows milk and served with a dollop of sour cream. My 7 year old cleaned up her bowl in record time! Will be adding to our Winter rotation as it cools down here in Australia

  • Sussi

    Hi Laura,
    It has been just over 4 weeks since I discovered your beautiful blog (why I have not found you sooner will eternally remain a tragic mystery). I have already made many of your recipes (including this one…just finished my second bowl). Delicious is an understatement I omitted the wine (by accident) and due to being in Perth (Australia) swapped shallots for straight onions, coconut cream – plus our Kale here is curly and dense so it needs longer cooking time. We are heading into Autumn here, and this dish was excellent. Thank you for such a terrific resource – your photos are exceptional. I can’t wait to get to book!! Thanks again

  • Abby

    We’ve made this so many times. We actually add the milk after boiling the mixture and use lemon to add the brightness since we never have white wine in stock. So good!

  • Lizzie || Wholehearted Life Coach

    This looks amazing!!! I can’t wait to get my hands on your new cookbook either – which i have just ordered. Thanks for inspiring my kitchen.

  • Eta

    I made this today and it was fantastic! My husband even liked it and he doesn’t like kale. This recipe is a keeper!

  • Ariel

    This is the first recipe I have made from your blog. I had an abundance of mushrooms on hand so decided to give it a whirl. I used cremini, shitake and white mushrooms, green lentils, a combo of butter and olive oil, sage along with the thyme, and regular whole milk. Also subbed lemon juice for the white wine. It was so delicious, and took no time to prepare for a fantastic meal. Thank you for making such a nutritious meal so attainable for regular pantry items.

  • Devon

    Congratulations on the launch of your cookbook tomorrow – we follow your blog for recipes (and I love the photos). This one is on our grocery list this week!

    • Laura

      Thank you so much, Devon!
      -Laura

  • Meghan

    I made this last night (doubling the recipe because I take leftovers for lunch and also because my boyfriend eats enough for four people) and it was WONDERFUL.

    We aren’t vegan, or vegetarian for that matter, and it was still one of the better soup/stews I’ve had in a long time. And so simple to make! Thank you for a great recipe, even if I’m a year late to it!

    (It helped me fall in love with lentils again. Mmm.)

  • devon

    Hi! Can this be made in the crockpot? Any adjustments if so?

    • May

      I’m curious to know if you gave this a try? It looks like it should be a crockpot-friendly recipe, I really want to try it.

  • Sarina

    My boyfriend hates kale – but he somehow loved this dish!
    I fell in love with your recipes and I can’t wait for your book to arrive!

  • kate

    I’ve made this twice now and loved it both times but forgot to comment. Even my super picky 18 month old loved this. Thanks for an easy, hearty, healthy recipe!

  • Vanessa Dupree

    Oh my goodness! This recipe is
    amazing. I just started eating vegetarian & need a blog like yours. I had to stop myself from choking down on the mushrooms after the tamari & wine were added.

  • Sandy

    Would spinach work instead of
    Kale? :)
    Thank you

    • Laura

      Yes totally!
      -L