This simple vegan Cabbage, Lentil and Chickpea Stew recipe comes together quickly with mostly pantry ingredients. The addition of cabbage makes for a hearty and filling meal.
A delicious stew that is naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free.
Enjoy it with a loaf of easy to make no-knead bread and you have the most perfect meal!
I make something with lentils or chickpeas (or a combo of both) at least once a week. I happened to have cabbage on hand when I made this. But if you find yourself without any cabbage, no worries. You’ll have a lovely chickpea and lentil stew.
I made this right after the holidays and never got around to sharing it here. The intention was to share with you something nourishing after the holiday indulgences. If you’re like me, you maybe ate one too many cookies or holiday breads. Now all I’m doing is reminiscing about being with family and enjoying loud meals together at the table.
So gather up your ingredients and spend a moment stirring and savoring the scents of this lovely stew. We could all use a little bit of comfort right now.
What's needed to for a chickpea, lentil and cabbage stew?
This is what you need to make this delicious vegan stew. (full printable recipe is below)
- yellow onion
- smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
- fresh thyme leaves, minced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- French lentils (OR brown lentils)
- green cabbage
- canned chickpeas (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
- crushed tomatoes
- frozen spinach, (you could use fresh)
- gluten-free tamari soy sauce
What tomatoes work best for this stew?
I used San Marzano plum tomatoes. If you have crushed tomatoes, use that. If you don't have canned tomatoes and instead you have tomato paste, add a couple of tablespoons of that.
If you find yourself with fresh tomatoes and no canned tomatoes or paste, go ahead and add some chopped fresh tomatoes.
How do you make chickpea, lentil and cabbage stew?
I like to gather up all my ingredients and have them all out and ready to work with. The firs step is to heat up the olive oil to the pot and add the carrots, celery and onions.
Once they cook up for a few minutes on medium heat, I add in the lentils that have been rinsed off. I used dried lentils. They really don't take too long to cook up.
Next step is once it was all starting to cook up a little I added in the chopped up cabbage. I used green cabbage. I wanted to let it stir together with the rest of the veggies to get a little color and to get a little more flavorful from cooking up with the onions.
Next step after cabbage was softening a little I added in the canned tomatoes (I used San Marzano plum tomatoes) and then I added in the broth.
Let that all come together and simmer for a bit. If you notice that you have used up all your broth and the stew is too thick, simply add water (I would start with 1/2 cup at a time)until you reach a consistency that you like. It is a stew so it should be a little thicker, but I also like the broth and all of its rich flavor.
The final part of the stew is to add the spinach towards the last few minutes of cooking (I used frozen, but if you have fresh spinach on hand, you could use that).
You could also use chopped up kale, but it will take longer to cook up. Check the salt and pepper. Add on a splash of tamari towards the end to give it a final flavor burst (this is optional).
Can you freeze this vegan stew?
Yes, you can freeze this. Let it completely cool down and you could separate it in small freezer safe containers. Freeze for up to three months.
How do you defrost frozen soup?
The best way to defrost frozen soup to place frozen soup in the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. You could also do it in a microwave. Cover it and defrost in two minute blasts breaking up with a wooden spoon once it loosens a bit. Once it's nice and slushy, transfer to a sauce pan to heat up.
Other soup inspiration for you:
- French Onion Soup
- Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions
- Hungarian Goulash Soup-Gulyásleves
- Zuppa di Fagioli
Originally published April 24, 2021 and republished June 2022.
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Chickpea, Lentil and Cabbage Stew
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion small diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 celery stocks diced
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves minced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¾ cup French OR brown lentils rinsed
- 4 cups finely chopped green cabbage about ½ small savoy/green cabbage
- 1 15- oz can chickpeas drained & rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1 28- oz can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups frozen spinach (you could use fresh)
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once heated, pour in the oil. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and stir. Add the lentils. The vegetables will begin to get soft and break down and the lentils will crisp up a little, about 5 minutes. Lower heat if vegetables and lentils begin to brown too much.
- Add the paprika, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season everything with salt and pepper.
- Add in the cabbage, and chickpeas to the pot and stir to coat in the spices and oil. Season everything again with salt and pepper. Add the plum tomatoes and stir it all together, breaking up tomatoes with spoon a little bit as you stir. Add the vegetable stock to the pot and stir.
- Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes. You want all the flavors to meld nicely and for the cabbage to be very tender.
- Stir in the spinach and bring the soup back up to a low boil. Lower the heat. Stir in the tamari (if using). Add more salt and pepper if needed (and any hot pepper, if you like it spicy!). Serve the chickpea, lentil, and cabbage stew nice and hot!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.