The bowl overfloweth with mushrooms in this mushroom lentil soup. If you’re looking for a savory, hearty, healthy, comforting, and delicious soup, this one has your number. It’s full of French green lentils, cremini mushrooms, and loads of fresh kale. As a 6+ year resident of the Pacific Northwest, I may be biased, but this soup tastes like the PNW in a bottle. By nature, soups are associated with fall and winter for their warmth, but this one carries the year-round quality of a much-needed light rain–a cleansing reset of sorts whether you knew your needed it or not.
what mushrooms are best for soup?
In the process of making this mushroom lentil soup, those who know me well will not be surprised to learn that I researched several mushroom options for the best flavor profile. I love learning and am notorious for geeking out on knowledge. So, low and behold, I learned something cool! Most folks are familiar with white button mushrooms, creminis, and portobellos. I didn’t realize that they’re all the same species of mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, that are simply at different stages of development. White button mushrooms are the babies, creminis are the young adults, and portobellos are the mature adults. Creminis are also nicknamed “baby bellas” so if you run across that at the store, you’re staring down a cremini. I went with creminis for this soup because they hold up to the demands of cooking better than baby buttons and have a meatier, savory taste profile.
why is this mushroom lentil soup with kale good for you?
Let’s start with the mushrooms. You can’t go wrong here. They’re fat-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, and cholesterol-free. They’re also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. On top of that, they’re loaded with antioxidants, B vitamins, and Potassium (Source). Lentils are rich in fiber and protein. And kale. Yes, kale. It brings fiber, antioxidants, calcium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, just to name a few (Source). Add these three elements together and you’ve got a soup recipe that is super healthy and delicious.
If you’re feeling the vegan soup vibes, try this vegan asparagus soup, homemade tomato soup, hearty minestrone soup, vegan cream of mushroom soup, creamy broccoli soup, and Moroccan chickpea stew. If you make this mushroom lentil soup recipe or experiment with a different type of mushroom, leave a comment, rate the recipe, and and tag a photo with #plantandvine on Instagram.
mushroom lentil soup and wine
This creamy mushroom lentil soup is bursting with umami, or savoriness, thanks to the focus on mushrooms. Wine choices for mushroom dishes are really exciting because you can go to town on wines with savory profiles – think leather, earth, tobacco, clay pot, roasted “meat,” and cedar. Oftentimes, these wines will benefit from wine decanting so make sure you’ve got a decanted on hand. Mushrooms are also hearty enough to let big wines shine:
- Pinot Noir: Cool climate Pinot Noirs bring flavors like cranberry, mushrooms, and cloves while not overwhelming the dish. Light-bodied and low tannins. A great match.
- Suggested Regions: Burgundy, France, Pfalz, Germany, or Willamette Valley, Oregon
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Cool climate Cabernet Sauvignons exhibit red currant and cranberry flavors with a lighter body, less fruit-forward approach than than warm climate peers.
- Suggested Regions: Bordeaux, France or Washington state
- Bordeaux: Red wine from France, made from blending Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Black cherry, black pepper, graphite, and bay leaf flavors. The coconut milk helps to smooth out the grippy tannins. For this dish, I prefer the Merlot heavy Bordeaux.
- Suggested Regions: Médoc and Graves for Cabernet Sauvignon heavy Bordeaux or Libournais for Merlot-dominant bottles.
If you want to learn more about wine pairing, check out my vegan food and wine pairing guide.
Mushroom Lentil Soup with Kale
Savory and hearty mushroom lentil soup recipe. Perfect for fall and winter comfort food but light enough for a year-round go-to.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American, Vegan, Healthy
- 1 cup dried French Green Lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pound mushrooms, quartered (we used Cremini)
- 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (we used a dry Chardonnay)
- 1/2 cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 6-8 ounces kale, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped green onions for topping (optional)
- Rinse lentils using a strainer. Put lentils and bay leaves in a soup pot with 3 cups of the vegetable stock (reserve remaining 1 cup for later). Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and soft, about 3-5 minutes).
- Add the mushrooms and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan. Cook until most of the wine has evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and add the coconut cream, remaining 1 cup of vegetable stock, cooked lentils (I added the remaining lentil liquid but you can choose depending on how thick you want the soup), and kale. Cook until kale begins to wilt. Season to taste with plenty of salt and pepper and serve warm.
- Store in covered container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. Adapted from Dishing up the Dirt’s Lentil Mushroom & Kale Stew.
Keywords: lentil soup, mushroom soup, vegan lentil soup, french lentils