Smoky Chickpea, Lentil & Cabbage Stew with Kale and Chicken

Prep Time: 20 minutes MINS

Cook Time: 35 minutes MINS

Total Time: 55 minutes MINS

Servings: 4-6


  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 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 (I prefer fire-roasted)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups chopped kale, lightly packed
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 3-4 drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • Cooked chicken, shredded or diced (add to taste)


  1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once heated, pour in the oil. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and stir. The vegetables should sizzle, but just barely. Continue to sauté until the onions are very soft and starting to break down, about 5 minutes. If vegetables begin to brown too fast, lower the heat a bit.
  2. Add the paprika, thyme, and garlic to the pot and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pot and continue to stir until the raw/tin-y flavor of the tomato paste is cooked out, about 1 minute. Season everything with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the lentils, cabbage, and chickpeas to the pot and stir to coat in the spices and oil. Season everything again with salt and pepper. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken stock to the pot and stir.
  4. Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer, remove the lid, and cook uncovered until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes.
  5. Once the lentils are tender, stir in the chopped kale and bring the soup back up to a boil. Cook until kale is bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Stir in the tamari and liquid smoke (if using). Check the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add cooked chicken to the stew.
  6. Serve the smoky chickpea, lentil, cabbage, and chicken stew hot!

Recipe Notes:

  • I realize that I am a broken record about chicken stock, but I always recommend making your own! I have a great, simple recipe here.
  • I used Savoy cabbage, but regular green cabbage is great too.
  • This recipe freezes well minus the kale. Just stir in chopped kale as you reheat portions of it!
  • Optional, delicious things to add to this soup: chili flakes to taste, chopped rosemary (1 teaspoon), 1 chopped leek, chopped new potatoes (2 medium), chopped fennel (1 bulb)
  • Smoky chickpea, cabbage, and lentil soup with kale and chicken is hearty, deep and rich with flavor, rich in plant-based protein, and easy to prepare!