Lentils and Kale with Spring Vegetables on a Bed of Cauliflower White Bean Puree

I love lentils. Soft and delicate orange lentils. Hearty and forthright green French lentils. Nutty and stable black lentils. I’m not a lentil snob; I just love them all. So, when I got a text from California friend, Debbie, telling me about a lentil dish she had that was outstanding, I knew this had to go into my recipe rotation….and soon!

Using any Spring vegetables you like, and you have a creamy and filling dish that’s so luxurious.

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes


Lentil Ingredients

  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb. (two 8 oz. containers) white or crimini mushrooms, chopped (around 2.5 cups)
  • 3 large stalks of kale, stripped and chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional and may sub balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (I use vegetarian Worcestershire sauce to keep this vegetarian/vegan)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cauliflower Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper

Spring Vegetable Options

  • 8-12 baby carrots with tops, not the packaged ones
  • 2 cups French beans
  • 2 cups snap or snow peas
  • 2 cups asparagus, sliced


  1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils and bay leaves, then reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, or until they’re cooked through and water is absorbed. At the 15 minute mark, stir in the chopped kale to soften. Set pan aside when done.
  2. Meanwhile, heat another large saucepan over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, and dry seasonings and stir, cooking for around 5-7 minutes. Stir often and add small amounts of liquid to keep it from sticking.
  3. Add tomato paste, stir to coat, and let cook for another minute. Add red wine (or vinegar) and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable broth and lower heat to simmer, adding the lentils, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves, stir in Worcestershire sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. While your lentil stew simmers, prepare the cauliflower bean puree. Add cauliflower and garlic to a steamer basket and steam over boiling water, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer cauliflower to a food processor, add white beans, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Now, add more water to your pan with the steamer basket and bring to a boil again. Baby carrots and asparagus pieces take about 7-8 minutes, French beans 6 minutes, snap or snow peas no more than 5 minutes, so coordinate the steaming time according to your choice of vegetables. You want the beautiful Spring vegetables to remain ‘al dente’ with a slight crunch.
  8. Serve lentil stew warm over pureed cauliflower, topped with your chosen Spring vegetables, perfectly cooked! Garnish with chopped parsley or chives and a squeeze of lemon, if desired. Enjoy!