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.

This recipe for Mushroom Lentil Stew with Fennel and Sage is earthy, hearty and richly spiced.  Delicious and vegan!

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

Ingredients in Mushroom Lentil Soup

ingredients in stew

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

Chopping onions.

Step one

The onions are sliced and chopped first and added to the soup pot.  Slicing them thin will help them caramelize more thoroughly.

Sautéing onions.

Step two

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.

Chopping celery, garlic and fennel.

Step three

Chop fennel, celery and garlic.  Chop mushrooms roughly in small chunks.  Gather spices.

Onions caramelized, adding all ingredients to onions.

Step four

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.

Sautéed soup ingredients.

Step five

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.

Adding vegetable broth and lentils.

Step six

Add lentils and vegetable broth.

Simmer 30 minutes, with lid vented, until lentils are cooked through.

Cooked stew.

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!
This recipe for Mushroom Lentil Stew with Fennel and Sage is earthy, hearty and richly spiced.  Delicious and vegan!

Mushroom Lentil Soup FAQS

Do you have to soak lentils before making soup?

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.

Can you overcook lentils in soup?

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.

What are the benefits of eating mushrooms?

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.


This recipe for Mushroom Lentil Stew with Fennel and Sage is earthy, hearty and richly spiced.  Delicious and vegan!

Hope you enjoy!


More Lentil Soups You May Enjoy

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

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This recipe for Mushroom Lentil Stew with Fennel and Sage is earthy, hearty and richly spiced.  Delicious and vegan!

Mushroom Lentil Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 36 reviews
  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • 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!


Units Scale
  • 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)
  • 46 cups vegetable broth (see notes)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add lentils and 4 cups vegetable broth.
  4. Simmer partly covered for 30 minutes, until lentils are soft and tender.  If needed add more broth to desired consistency.
  5. 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 soup, use just 4 cups of broth. If you prefer a more brothy soup, add up to an additional two cups to achieve the 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

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  1. My husband made this soup on the weekend and it was super yummy and comforting on a wintery Sunday night. His comment went something like, ‘this is so good I want to go back and check out their other recipes!’ so it sounds like you have a new fan 🙂 Much to my surprise, my 10 month old also really enjoyed it blitzed up in the blender. Thanks for the tasty recipe!

    1. Hi Pierrette, be sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post. 🙂

  2. The recipe is delicious! I added a sweet potato and the bit of barley. I didn’t make my own veg broth but used Fire & Kettle. Extra EVOO at the end- we had with crusty sourdough baguette and red wine. Loved it, thank you!

  3. I wish I liked the taste of sage, but I have tried and tried and I just can’t stomach it! Would you suggest just leaving it out or should I substitute another herb in its place?

    1. I have not tried this in an instant pot. I bet it would work great! I’d probably pressure cook for around 10 minutes. Let us know if you give it a try.

  4. This recipe was fast easy and flawless. I didn’t even have all the ingredients but it still is a winner. Thanks for all your great recipes.

  5. My grocery stores don’t carry brown lentils. They’ve got green and red mostly. Do you have a substitute you can recommend? Thank you!

  6. Sylvia,
    First off, thanks for your wonderful endeavors to share your flavor pallet with the world!
    Would your recommend ground fennel or fennel seeds?

  7. Such a uniqlue flavor, very hearthy! Definitely had to cook in longer than half an hour though 🙂 Thanks for a great recipe again.

  8. Amazing! I used tsp of fennel seeds (as I didn’t have ground fennel) & just used water instead of broth. It was perfect! Will definitely make again. I’ve made dozens of your recipes & never once been disappointed! Thank you 🙂

  9. Really wonderful recipe you guys! You guys are brilliant, I love all of your very innovative recipes. (You should have a look at the Patreon. I’d be willing to pay a small monthly fee for no ads.)

  10. Satisfying and delicious! Trying hard to add more plant based recipes to my diet. It’s not so difficult when they taste this good. I served it with rice cauliflower, but will try it again someday with potatoes. Used only 4 cups of liquid and this worked out to be enough.

  11. This was absolutely the most scrumptious dish! I have made many of your recipes but this was in the top two! My husband had three helpings and it’s good that I made a lot!
    We finally got rain in California so it was perfect cozy meal for staying inside! Judith

  12. Yet another winner. Served with mash last night and really looking forward to topping a jacket potato with the leftovers for a lovely lunch

  13. I loved this recipe. I was not expecting the soupiness as I had not read the comments prior to making it. I have a bit left over and hope to enjoy it on quinoa (perhaps too strong) or rice for breakfast. I suspect giving the flavours a chance to meld will only enhance it.

    1. Thanks for your feedback! The recipe is now updated to better customize soupiness. 😊 So glad you enjoyed the flavors!

  14. Hi there. Love the recipe. So yummy and hearty.
    FYI, words that are underlined in recipe such as salt does not print out just blank spaces.

    1. Hi Heather- thanks for pointing this out. I can’t seem to replicate this problem though. Did you happen to print in black and white? I’ve printed it both in color and then black and white, and the underlined words (links) still show up for me. I’ll keep digging here.;)

  15. I made your vegetable stock recipe first and then made this recipe exactly, using the stock. The depth of flavour in this recipe is off the charts. I used all organic ingredients and a shiitake/cremini mushroom mix. I can’t wait to eat this deliciousness over mashed potatoes. Can’t thank you enough for a new staple recipe at our house that’s got some picky palettes…haha

    1. That is awesome Meg! I have selective palettes here too, so gratifying to find a recipe everyone will eat!

  16. Very yummy. Mine was a little too salty.(use low salt broth) Mine was also more soup like than stew like. After reading reviews went back and added more lentils.
    Wondering if I could have added raw barley to soup to thicken??
    Chickened out and cooked barley separately since the flavor of the soup was so good and was afraid the starch from the barley might have ruined it.

        1. I would be afraid it would soak up too much of the liquid, mess with the flavor and as you mentioned, it might make it starchy. Because I have not experimented on this, I think it is easier to control when you cook the barley separately. 🙂

  17. Tasty. I used both baby bella and shitake mushrooms. This was a good combination. The recipe also provides a good mix of herbs and spices.
    I don’t like licorise, so I substituted a whole leek for fennel. If I had ground anise seed, I would have added a little bit for depth of flavor, but they were out of it at the store. Maybe next time.
    If I make this again I will double the lentils to one cup and maybe cut back on broth to five cups. I was looking forward to stew, but this is soup.

  18. This is so good. I cannot wait for leftovers tomorrow night after the flavors have had time to develop. I’ll definitely be putting this over some mashed potatoes. Thank you for getting me cooking with fennel bulb. I’ve wanted to try it, but just never knew a recipe that included it.

  19. Loved it but too much salt! I used organic veggie stock and there’s probably enough salt in that. I used 1 teaspoon and it was too much. I also doubled the lentils…perfect! I’ll be making this again! Oh…and we used mushrooms we foraged…so good!! Next up, your mole’ recipe!! Love your recipes!

    1. Thanks Christine. Sodium content of the stock definitely makes a difference, I noted the recipe😊. I love that you foraged your mushrooms!

  20. Made this last night – I needed to use up the last of fresh sage. Followed the recipe but included the variations of adding carrots, potatoes and barley. This has a wonderful depth of flavor that should be enhanced when I have it this evening. With the barley and potatoes it’s quite filling. I’m adding this to my fall recipe rotation.

  21. Love this! So tasty, ‘meaty’. I used black lentils (urad dahl) which took longer to cook, but really yummy! I also used 1 tblspn fresh oregano instead of dried. I’ll definitely be making this again. Thanks, Sylvia. All your recipes have so much flavour.

  22. Amazing!! I don’t like sage so I used thyme. I also doubled the lentils. It was incredible delicious!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe.


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