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This recipe for Mushroom Lentil Stew with Fennel and Sage is earthy, hearty and richly spiced. Delicious and vegan! Video.
We feel like separate water droplets but we are also ocean. ~Jane Hirschfield
This Mushroom Lentil Stew 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 Stew | Video
Ingredients in Mushroom Lentil Stew
- yellow onions
- fennel bulb
- fresh sage
- red pepper flakes
- ground anise seeds (or use ground fennel seeds)
- smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- dried oregano
- dried brown lentils
- vegetable broth (learn to make your own here!)
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 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.
- add 1 cup carrots and potato chunks in to cook with the lentils
- add 1/2 cup cooked barley
- serve over mashed potatoes!
What to serve with mushroom lentil stew
Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic
Hope you enjoy!
Other lentil recipes you may enjoy:
- Our 25 BEST Lentil Recipes! (Plus how to cook Lentils)
- Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup with Saffron and Preserved Lemon
- Lentil Bolognese
- Indian Coconut Lentil Curry
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Mushroom Lentil Stew
- 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.
- Serving Size:
- 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
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!
Love it Emma!
I love this soup, thank you for sharing this recipe!
Thanks Amy! So happy you are enjoying.
Where does it tell you how much of each ingredient to add
Hi Pierrette, be sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post. 🙂
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!
Oh- I used Whole aniseed instead of ground because we like that!
Oh yum, I’ll have to try that!
Nice Gayle, sounds great!
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?
rosemary would be nice!
Can you make this in an instant pot and how long would you cook it for?
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.
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.
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!
The green lentils will be fine!
First off, thanks for your wonderful endeavors to share your flavor pallet with the world!
Would your recommend ground fennel or fennel seeds?
Ground fennel seeds. Thanks Mary Ellen!
Such a uniqlue flavor, very hearthy! Definitely had to cook in longer than half an hour though 🙂 Thanks for a great recipe again.
Glad you enjoyed Anna!
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 🙂
Nice! Thanks Jessica!
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.)
Thanks! We will consider your suggestion 🙂
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.
Thanks Ingrid, that’s great to hear and so helpful!
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
Yet another winner. Served with mash last night and really looking forward to topping a jacket potato with the leftovers for a lovely lunch
Wonderful! Thanks Kim!
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.
Thanks for your feedback! The recipe is now updated to better customize soupiness. 😊 So glad you enjoyed the flavors!
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.
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.;)
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
That is awesome Meg! I have selective palettes here too, so gratifying to find a recipe everyone will eat!
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.
Glad you enjoyed the flavor. Thanks for the helpful comments!
What are your thoughts about adding raw barley and coking in the soup??
PS Love all your recipes!!!
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. 🙂
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.
Thanks Rob, super helpful comments!
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.
Great! Love hearing this. Glad you enjoyed the fennel!
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!
Thanks Christine. Sodium content of the stock definitely makes a difference, I noted the recipe😊. I love that you foraged your mushrooms!
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.
Great to hear!
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.
Love it Linda! So happy this worked for you!
Amazing!! I don’t like sage so I used thyme. I also doubled the lentils. It was incredible delicious!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Perfect Mónica! So glad you liked it!