I’m already declaring THIS my favorite recipe of the winter of 2018/2019, and we haven’t even gotten to winter yet! That’s just how excited I am about this Vegan Winter Lentil Stew. I’ve made it twice in a row and am not even tired of it yet. I’ve even eaten it twice for breakfast. My want for this stew knows no boundaries.
I had been craving beef stew, but felt like I’d been eating a bit more meat than usual lately, so I decided to try to craft something just as rich, hearty, and flavorful, without meat. I modeled this Vegan Winter Lentil Stew recipe after my Slow Cooker Rosemary Garlic Beef Stew, but made a few substitutions to make it 100% plant-based. The medley of vegetables and herbs creates a thick, flavorful, and comforting stew that is just begging for some crusty bread to sop it all up. I served mine with a batch of No-Knead Bread, and was in heaven.
Big Batch Benefits
This recipe makes a huge 12-cup batch (8 1.5 cup servings), but don’t let that intimidate you! I’ve successfully (and easily) made half-batches of this Vegan Winter Lentil Stew as well. To make a half batch, just change the number in the “servings” box below to 4, and all the ingredients amounts will automatically adjust. BUT, if you want to go all in and make the full batch, this stew freezes really well!
How to Freeze Vegan Winter Lentil Stew
To freeze, I suggest dividing the stew into single portions, cooling completely in the refrigerator over night, then transferring to the freezer. And don’t forget, always label and date your freezer food!
Vegan Winter Lentil Stew
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
- 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
- 4 carrots (about 1/2 lb.) ($0.45)
- 4 stalks celery ($0.75)
- 2 lbs potatoes ($0.70)
- 1 cup brown lentils ($0.49)
- 1 tsp dried rosemary ($0.10)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.09)
- 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.09)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.04)
- 6 cups vegetable broth ($0.78)
- 1 cup frozen peas ($0.38)
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic to a large soup pot and begin to sauté over medium heat.
- While the onion and garlic are sautéing, dice the celery, then add it to the pot and continue to sauté. As the celery, onion, and garlic are sautéing, peel and chop the carrots into half rounds. Add the carrots to the pot and continue to sauté.
- As the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots are sautéing, peel and cube the potatoes into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces. Add the cubed potatoes to the pot along with the lentils, rosemary, thyme, Dijon, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vegetable broth.
- Briefly stir the ingredients to combine, then place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring the stew up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Toward the end of the simmer time, when the potatoes are very soft, begin to mash the potatoes a bit as you stir. This will help thicken the stew.
- Finally, after 30 minutes, stir in the frozen peas and allow them to heat through. Taste the stew and add salt if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth, I did not add any extra). Serve hot and enjoy!
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make Vegan Winter Lentil Stew – Step by Step Photos
Begin by dicing one yellow onion and mincing four cloves of garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium heat.
While the onion and garlic are sautéing, dice or slice 4 stalks celery (depending on how chunky you want your stew). Add the celery to the pot and continue to sauté. Peel and chop four carrots into half-rounds, add them to the pot, and continue to sauté.
While the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic are sautéing, peel and cube 2 lbs. potatoes into 3/4 to 1-inch cubes. Add the potatoes to the pot along with 1 cup brown lentils, 1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar.
Finally, add 6 cups vegetable broth to the pot and give everything a brief stir. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring it up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for 3o minutes, stirring occasionally.
Toward the end of the simmer time, when the potatoes are very soft, begin to mash them a bit against the side of the pot as you stir. This will thicken the stew. After 30 minutes, add 1 cup frozen peas, and allow them to heat through. Finally, taste the stew and add salt if needed (I did not add any salt because the broth I used had enough).
Enjoy your Vegan Winter Lentil Stew with a big chunk of crusty bread to sop up all that richness!
Is 2 Tablespoons of Dijon correct? I’ve got this cooking now and am nervous – seemed like a lot! And it just smells like mustard
Yep! Don’t worry, as it cooks all of the flavors blend and mellow a bit. :)
I just made this and omg I’m in love! I usually make a tomato based lentil soup and often add sausage. I wanted a vegan version for Lent and found this recipe which has a completely different flavor profile. It’s fantastic! I added some corn just because I had it. I think there are a lot of veggies you could add to clean out the refrigerator!
I am excited to make this, and would like to use some frozen mirepoix I have on hand. Any recommendations on how many cups to use in place of the fresh veggies? (Or, if that’s a bad substitute idea, I’ll skip it!) Thanks!
That would be a great substitution! You just might want to reduce the cooking time slightly if the pieces are smaller than the veggies in our photos. You will need about 4 cups total. ~ Marion :)
I love this recipe. 2 questions, do you simmer it 30 min, then simmer another 30 minutes? You give prep time 10 min, how do you peel and chop potatoes so fast? I always prep my vegetables first, takes me close to an hour, maybe I’m just slow? I usually end up adding chilli flakes, but that’s just me.
So I have made this about 6 or 7 times, I’ve lost track at this point. I made it first in November and now it’s February and I’m making it again tonight. I can’t explain how much I love this stew! It’s wholesome and flavorful and warm and the perfect texture, not super watery but not too thick either. You can add whatever you like but it stays perfect, and it helps me not let staple items like mirepoix and potatoes go to waste. I love making a batch of it and eating it all week. It’s the perfect college student meal! If I could marry a recipe it would be this soup.
Delicious and easy. My 11 year old loves this and makes if for our family.