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This recipe for Mushroom Lentil Soup with Fennel and Sage is earthy, hearty and richly spiced. Delicious and vegan! Video. See our 25 Cozy Vegetarian Soup Recipes.
We feel like separate water droplets but we are also ocean.Jane Hirschfield
This Mushroom Lentil Soup is chock full of mushrooms giving it so much texture and depth. The combination of herbs and spices creates flavors reminiscent of Italian sausage -though this stew is completely vegan!
Earthy-flavored brown lentils boost protein and substance. The onions are lightly caramelized giving rich depth. Fennel bulb and fresh sage add delicious savory goodness. Using this flavorful vegetable broth will heighten this soup even more.
Most of the effort here is in the chopping, after that it is stirring and simmering. I find a lot of comfort in a pot of soup simmering on the stove. Just breathing in the fragrant aroma feels nourishing!
Mushroom Lentil Soup | Video
Table of Contents
Ingredients in Mushroom Lentil Soup
Mushroom Lentil Soup Ingredient notes
- fennel bulb– this adds a freshness and such good flavor.
- fresh sage– try to use fresh if available! Dried sage loses flavor fast.
- red pepper flakes-use to taste, gives a nice bite.
- ground anise seeds (or use ground fennel seeds)- just a hint really is delicious.
- mushrooms– cremini mushrooms (or a mix with shiitake, oysters, chanterelles, lions mane).
- dried brown lentils– sure you can use other lentils. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
- vegetable broth– flavorful broth makes a big difference!
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
This interesting blend of herbs and spices creates an amazing synergy of flavor providing a little spice and deep complex richness to this vegan stew.
How to make Mushroom Lentil Stew
The onions are sliced and chopped first and added to the soup pot. Slicing them thin will help them caramelize more thoroughly.
We are going for deep flavor here and start by sautéing the onions in olive oil for about 20 minutes. They will start to caramelize and brown lightly and smell heavenly. Meanwhile prep the rest of the vegetables.
Chop fennel, celery and garlic. Chop mushrooms roughly in small chunks. Gather spices.
To the sautéed onions add the chopped fennel, celery, garlic, and chopped mushrooms.
Mix in fresh sage, red pepper flakes, anise, black pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, and salt.
Saute for another 15 minutes. Stirring frequently until veggies soften and mushrooms wilt. Add a little more olive oil if needed to keep from sticking to the pot.
Add lentils and vegetable broth.
Simmer 30 minutes, with lid vented, until lentils are cooked through.
Ways to elevate
- use homemade veggie broth
- use a variety of fresh mushrooms
- make sure your onions cook until softened and start to caramelize.
Variations On Lentil Mushroom Soup
- add 1 cup carrots and potato chunks in to cook with the lentils
- add 1/2 cup cooked barley
- serve over mashed potatoes!
Mushroom Lentil Soup FAQS
You do not have to soak the lentils, though soaking for a couple of hours will help them cook faster and can make them easier to digest.
The lentils will break down if cooked for over an hour. Sometimes this consistency is preferred. If you want your lentils whole but soft, start checking them after cooking for 1/2 hour and cook to your desired preference.
Full of macronutrients as well as anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, high in d and b vitamins that are essential for cell growth and formation. Just a few of the benefits include: boosting your immune system, skin repair, better cognitive function, increasing white blood cells, and cardiovascular health.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MUSHROOM LENTIL SOUP
- Cauliflower Rice!
- Savory Leek Bread
- Soft Sourdough Rolls
- Easy Sourdough Bread
- Sourdough Biscuits
- Cheddar Scones with Caramelized Onions
Hope you enjoy!
More Lentil Recipes You May Enjoy
- Lentil Soup with Garam Masala
- Lentil Bolognese
- Indian Coconut Lentil Curry
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- Mulligatawny (Curried Indian Soup)
Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.Print
Mushroom Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: Stew, soup, vegan
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: mediteranean
- Diet: Vegan
This recipe for Mushroom Lentil Stew with Fennel and Sage is earthy, hearty and richly spiced. So satisfying and vegan!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, about 2 cups chopped small
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional-adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground anise seeds (or use ground fennel)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, (Greek or Italian)
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms (or a mix with shiitake, oysters, chanterelles, lions mane etc.)
- 1/2 cup dried brown lentils
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 4–6 cups vegetable broth (see notes)
- In a large pot, heat oil and saute onions letting them cook on low for 20 minutes while you prep the vegetables. They should be caramelized and lightly browned.
- Add the chopped fennel, celery, garlic, mushrooms, sage, red pepper flakes, anise, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, and salt. Saute another 15 minutes. Stir frequently until veggies soften and mushrooms wilt. Add a little more olive oil if needed to keep from sticking to the pot.
- Add lentils and 4 cups vegetable broth.
- Simmer partly covered for 30 minutes, until lentils are soft and tender. If needed add more broth to desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Soup can be kept up to four days in the fridge- a nourishing meal to have on hand.
Adjust salt to taste depending on the type of salt you use and the saltiness of the broth you use.
If you prefer a thicker stoup use 4 cups of broth adding more if needed for desired consistency.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 142
- Sugar: 3.8 g
- Sodium: 389.1 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.4 g
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Protein: 8.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: mushroom lentil soup, mushroom lentil stew, lentil mushroom soup, lentil mushroom stew recipe
how much is one serving?
Hi Ashley, 1 cup is a serving.
Another absolutely delicious dish. Full of rich flavor (I used a beef bouillon and white button mushrooms because that’s what I had), this is a wonderful and satisfying meal. Thank you!
So great to hear!
Outstanding recipe! Added a cup of water and two red potatoes to tame the salt level. I recommend scaling back to 1/2 teaspoon and adjust as needed before serving.
Thanks Staci, glad you were able to make it work!
We love this recipe. And it will become one of our regulars. But my husband and I experienced an unusual frequency of urinating later in the evening.. It was not harmful to us but was a puzzle. Initially I thought it was just due to the amount of liquid associated with the recipe’s ingredients. But a little search on anise and fennel suggests some diuretic effects. Who knew?
Perfect for a cold night with some crusty bread. A splash of sherry vinegar took it to the next level.
Love that Pam!
This is the most amazing stew. I have made this several times and both times everyone has ranted about it. My husband HATES fennel and celery and he LOVEs this stew. Go figure? (Don’t even ask how I got him to try it :). This recipe sounds so simple (and it!) but something about these flavors are magical.
As with most soups and stews, this is 100% better the next day!
We love this one too! Yes, a good synergy of flavors here. Happy you and hubby enjoyed.
YUM!! I only had brown lentils, so I ended up simmering for 30 minutes. Then put some parmesan on top. Wow – this is a keeper!
Glad you enjoyed Amy!
I am going to make this recipe over the weekend.Can you confirm only 1/2 cup lentils ??? And where does the 1018.9 sodium come from. That sounds high
Yes the lentils will expand. The sodium was way off, recipe is adjusted now- thank you!
Thank you !! Cannot wait to try this recipe
Am I meant to use Greek oregano or Mexican oregano? I may be incorrect, but I think the link in the Ingredients goes to the Mexican variety, while the link on the Instructions takes me to theGreek one.
This looks delicious, thank you!!! 🙂
Oh that is confusing! Greek Oregano but really either will do. We will adjust the recipe.
Okay, great! Thank you!
I made this to use up some mushrooms and fennel I had in the fridge. Super delicious!! I’ll make it again for sure.
Great to hear Alex.
This is my winter time ‘cook a large batch and take to work for lunch’ stew recipe. Believe me, when I warm it up, I am the envy of the office :-))
Ha! Thanks Irina, nice to hear.
One of the variations you suggest is “serve over mashed potatoes”, but consider this… use a little less liquid, then serve it UNDER mashed potato, and it makes a pretty good Shepherdess Pie!
Could I freeze this? I am hoping to serve for a few friends dinner but want to freeze for following weekday meal. Looks amazing!
Yes, it freezes well!
Would you be able to used canned lentils in this recipe? I have dried but have a can I need to use up as well. Thank you!
I don’t see why not!
I’d love to make this tonight, but I have green lentils on hand. Will they work? If so, any suggested adjustments? Thank you!
Hi Jenny, green lentils will work fine, they just may need a little longer cooking time.
Kind of a dumb question but – By stalks of celery, do you mean like an entire grouping of celery sticks like buy at the store? So like two entire ones of those?
Hey Erin, That’s a fair question! Not the whole “head”…Just two single ribs or pieces off of the celery bunch.
I added carrots, potatoes, thyme, and a jar of tomato paste.
I love the way the fennel comes through in this dish – and so simple to make…. I don’t often use lentils, but I think that I have been converted.
So happy you enjoyed this Felicity!
Just made this soup. Love the earthiness and the combination of texture and flavor. Since I recently had bought a big jar of dried mushrooms (Costco) I threw some in as well and used the soaking liquid with the broth to make it even more mushroom-ey.
Sounds great, glad you enjoyed Karin!