Smoky Chickpea, Cabbage & Lentil Soup with Kale

4.95 from 19 votes

Smoky chickpea, cabbage, and lentil soup with kale is hearty, deep and rich with flavour, rich in plant-based protein, and easy to prepare!


I love posting a hearty stew for you all on the first week of the year. Something to reset the body and mind, and to nourish the soul as well. If you have the time and space, lingering over a slow-simmering pot of goodness as it cooks is a very soothing activity. New year soups from the archives: seven spice chickpea stew with tomatoes and coconut, deep green lentil stew with tahini, and creamy white bean soup with lemon.

This time of year is pretty intense on an energetic level. A new year presents the opportunity to take stock and look forward with intention. I generally take every day as it comes, but we could all probably use a grounding meal to keep us in the moment right now.

With the indulgence and perhaps excess of the holidays behind us, a simple and flavourful pot of vegetables and beans feels like a wave of relief. Big batches of stew like this one can also conveniently feed you for a few days as well. I’m not a big leftovers person, but soups and stews are different. This one has lots of greens and a deeply satisfying hint of smokiness. I love finishing this stew with tamari for that extra layer of depth. This is a trick that I employ with a lot of my recipes!

Today is also the start of Veganuary! The mission of Veganuary is to inspire and support people abstaining from animal products for the month of January. It’s an incredible opportunity to try something new with a large community of people! There are lots of great reasons to participate: new cooking adventures, a mega-dose of vegetables after the holidays, positive climate impact, as well as a sense of peace, compassion & kindness. Lots of people try Veganuary and never go back, just sayin! I did a whole Q & A about Veganuary on Instagram and saved it to my story highlights if you’d like some further guidance or information!

Whatever goals, ambitions, or guiding ideas you have in mind for 2020, I hope to support you with wholesome food inspiration through it all. Happy new year! Make some soup :)


Smoky Chickpea, Lentil & Cabbage Stew with Kale

Smoky chickpea, cabbage, and lentil soup with kale is hearty, deep and rich with flavour, rich in plant-based protein, and easy to prepare!
4.95 from 19 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings 4 -6


  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup French OR brown lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups finely chopped green cabbage (about ½ small savoy/green cabbage)
  • 1 15- oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 28- oz can crushed tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chopped kale, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 3-4 drops liquid smoke (optional)


  • I realize that I am a broken record about vegetable stock, but I always recommend making your own! I have a great, simple recipe here. I’ve also made this slightly more involved one from Bon Appetit and it’s delicious.
  • I used Savoy cabbage, but regular green cabbage is great too.
  • This recipe freezes well minus the kale. Just stir in chopped kale as you reheat portions of it!
  • Optional, delicious things to add to this soup: chili flakes to taste, chopped rosemary (1 teaspoon), 1 chopped leek, chopped new potatoes (2 medium), chopped fennel (1 bulb)


  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once heated, pour in the oil. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and stir. The vegetables should sizzle, but just barely. Continue to saute until the onions are very soft and starting to break down, about 5 minutes. If vegetables begin to brown too fast, lower the heat a bit.
  • Add the paprika, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pot and continue to stir until the raw/tin-y flavour of the tomato paste is cooked out, about 1 minute. Season everything with salt and pepper.
  • Add the lentils, cabbage, and chickpeas to the pot and stir to coat in the spices and oil. Season everything again with salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pot and stir.
  • Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, remove the lid, and cook uncovered until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes.
  • Once the lentils are tender, stir in the chopped kale and bring the soup back up to a boil. Cook until kale is bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the tamari and liquid smoke (if using). Check the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve the smoky chickpea, lentil, and cabbage soup hot!

01/01/2020 (Last Updated: 01/01/2020)
Posted in: autumn, earthy, gluten free, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, salty, smoky, soup, sour, spring, umami, vegan, winter
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