October 15, 2010

Quinoa, White Bean And Kale Stew

by IsaChandra

Serves 8

Active cooking time: 20 minutes
Total cooking time: 40 minutes

This is one of my winter staples, especially if I’m having a busy week, have no one to impress and don’t want to use a million dishes (big ups to the disherwasherless!) You get your beans, greens and grains all in one pot; in this case I use white beans, kale and quinoa. You also get about 8 servings out of it so you can either freeze it or keep it in the fridge for 4 days or so, having it for lunch or dinner or… stew for breakfast? Why not!

It’s really versatile so make up your own spice blend, use different beans and grains (although cooking time may vary for the grain) and, you know, just do whatever you want, this stew is your canvas. Prep the herb blend before proceeding with the recipe, that way you just dump everything in at the same time without much fuss.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups leeks, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled, diced medium
1 large parsnip, peeled, diced medium
8 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, diced medium
1 cup dry quinoa
1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale (about a pound), rough stems removed, torn into bite sized pieces

Herb blend:
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed (see crushing fennel tip)
1 teaspoon dried majoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Fresh black pepper, to taste

Preheat a 4 quart soup pot over medium high heat. Saute leeks and garlic in oil with salt for about 3 minutes, or however long it takes you to prep your carrot and parsnip. Add carrot and parsnip, along with the herb blend, turn heat up to high and saute for a few seconds.

Add vegetable broth, potatoes and quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, until potatoes and quinoa are tender. Add kale and beans, and stir frequently until kale is wilted. Cover and simmer on low for 5 more minutes. Taste for salt

When you serve you may want to add a little lemon juice or a splash of balsamic vinegar or hot sauce – whatever your thing is. Or you may not.

  • October 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm: admin

    This is a test comment

  • October 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm: Badgermog

    what is the fennel crushing tip? Also I guess once you’ve crushed them you just add them with the dried herbs?

  • October 30, 2010 at 11:48 am: Libbie

    I crush fennel the same way I crush coriander–use a garlic press. Put the fennel in the press, crush it down a few times, works great!

  • October 31, 2010 at 6:42 am: Sarah

    I made this the other night because we had leeks from our CSA box to use, and it was FANTASTIC!!! And it feels like a big bowl of delicious nutrition with all those goodies in there! Reheating some as we speak. Thank you for a new fave recipe! =)

  • November 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm: Dynah

    I too want to know the fennel crushing tip! I despise cleaning garlic presses so I don’t have one do do it Libbie’s way.

  • November 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm: Souplover

    I used a mortar and pestle to crush it. This recipe is the bomb diggity.

  • November 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm: Cherita

    LOVE THIS. Even my very meat loving husband said several times how much he liked it. I might add mushrooms next time to bring it up another notch. Also we needed more stock. Thanks for this great recipe!

  • November 4, 2010 at 10:24 pm: holly

    The boyfriend’s not a huge fennel fan, so we made it fennelless, but it was deliiiiiiiish, especially on a rainy day.

  • November 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm: Linda C.

    I have some frozen kale..do you think it would work well as a substitute in this recipe?

  • November 6, 2010 at 10:22 pm: kat

    Yesssss…new recipes on the ppk! I made this tonight and am eating a big bowl with sriracha as I type, so good!

  • November 7, 2010 at 2:49 am: Rachael

    Not sure if I did this right–I’ve never made stew (or had it in a long time), but is it supposed to have a broth to it, or is it just supposed to be thick, delicious and porridge-y? Mine turned out really thick. So nice on a freezing rainy day, but I think I’m gonna reduce the salt next time–1 tsp was too much for me :)

  • December 2, 2010 at 1:48 am: Vanessa

    I made this tonight and it was delicious ! roommate and boyfriend approved. My local grocery store was out of white beans so I used romano, still tasted great. Also switched up the spice blend to what I had lying around.

  • December 2, 2010 at 6:57 am: ainslie

    Holy crap, I made literally almost exactly the same thing about a month ago without ever having seen this recipe. right down to the leeks and parsnips, a kale white bean quinoa stew. it’s a delicious fall concoction, that’s for sure.

  • December 3, 2010 at 12:02 am: Jo-Na

    I made this! Super delicious yummy times!

  • December 12, 2010 at 2:44 am: Laura in Taos

    Wow~ It looked kinda ordinary on paper, but taste amazing!!! Plus, it’s enough to last for a few days. Very nutritious, tasty – it’s got it all~ I used Japanese yams instead of potatoes.

  • December 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm: SmellyMess

    best. soup. EVER.

  • December 21, 2010 at 12:43 am: Erin

    I love this recipe- thank you for sharing! Especially that is it a blank slate and let me be a bit of an artist in the kitchen. I used it to clean out my pantry so I substituted orzo instead of quinoa, canned carrots instead of fresh, onion for leeks, garbanzo as my bean and a russet potato instead of yukon gold. All but the potato worked out and made for a great treat after work! Off to bring the leftovers to a friend.. thanks again!

  • December 21, 2010 at 9:26 am: Libbie

    I made this stew last night and it was DELICIOUS!! I didn’t have any Yukon Gold potatoes, so I used Russet instead. It probably changed the flavor slightly, but not enough for me to dislike it. I also subbed spinach in for the kale because I didn’t have any. Wonderful flavor, very versatile. I can’t wait to start playing with this recipe and coming up with my own concoction.

  • January 3, 2011 at 2:57 am: Curlygirl6

    Wonderful recipe. I’m so excited to have this for lunch all week. I’m not very good at following directions, so I added cumin and turmeric for added kick and corn for some extra veg. I just discovered your site. It’s fantastic! It’s my new daily fave.

  • January 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm: Mandy

    This was completely and totally awesome. I added the juice of 1/2 a lemon at the end… even my husband– who hates “stews” LOVED it. Kudos and thanks!

  • January 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm: Molly

    you should totally make a vegan soup cookbook

  • January 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm: ganounou

    Hi, I discover your sitr from natural awakenings . I am to try the recipe. I keep you posted.

  • February 5, 2011 at 8:29 pm: Mi

    Amazing. This is what I’ll be eating for lunch all week. Yum…

    Also, I love the way Isa writes the recipe. It feels more like a good friend giving me advice than a dry and linear cookbook, which is awesome. <3

  • February 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm: Jess

    My husband and I love this soup!! it is a wonderful recipe and added to our faveorite’s list. One bowl fills you right up!

  • February 7, 2011 at 3:13 am: LaRee

    This turned out super yummy and it looked really pretty in the bowl to boot! Super flavorful!

  • February 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm: susan

    you’re a breath of fresh air. thank you

  • February 28, 2011 at 1:40 am: Kimberly

    Thank you for this recipe. It was delicious! I would definitely recommend the addition of lemon juice and some fresh parsley before serving.

  • March 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm: Leigh

    Just Made it …delish!

  • March 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm: Les

    Has anyone tried this in a slow-cooker? Good or bad idea?

  • March 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm: ep

    ive made this a couple of times..it truly is delicious. swapped ingredients about a little today. same herb blend, sweet potato, white cabbage, onions,potatoes, chickpeas and then the kale. a splash of balsamic vinegar and soya sauce at the end perfected it.

  • March 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm: Lulu

    Just made this today and I love it. The herb blend is terrific. I used water and two cubes of vegan bouillon (Rapunzel brand) instead of the veg broth, and needed to add 2 cups of water toward the end so there would be enough liquid to cook the kale. Even with the extra water, this turned out so, so flavorful and delicious. I’m going to take some to share with my omnivore parents tomorrow.

  • April 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm: Kimberly

    I made this a couple months back but just pulled some leftovers out of the freezer and oh man…. so good! It was great because I had never used parsnip before. I think the herbs really make this soup though. You don’t need to use vegetable broth (kind of redundant anyway). I used a fennel bulb instead of fennel seeds but next time I’ll try it your way. Thanks!

  • May 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm: Connie Fletcher

    I just bought this book, and as expected, Isa has, once again, outdone herself. I have always thought I was a good cook…and I am, but Isa is a FABULOUS cook!!! Thanks for the recipes and keep on cookin’……..

  • May 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm: Heatha'D

    ISA – what brand of vegetable broth did/do you use?

    I have tried college inn and swanson… did not like either of them :(

  • August 6, 2011 at 9:28 am: Et

    Hey would you be able to give me the Nutritional info for this? it looks good :)

  • September 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm: Erin

    This may be the next soup that I’ll have to try. My husband and I absolutely loooove Veganomicon’s Baked Potato and Greens soup; it will be a regular meal in our household, especially as the weather gets cooler. This one sounds just as yummy.

  • October 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm: Patricia Sjöberg AKA Arlyss

    I modified this to make it in my slow cooker. (left out the olive oil.) Also didn’t have any fennel, so omitted that. I had red quinoa, so that should be interesting. It will cook all day. I can’t wait to try it. Since this is the VeganMoFo, I’m going to veganize the Irish Soda Bread recipe from Recipes for a Small Planet & have that with it.

  • October 7, 2011 at 4:33 am: angela

    just made this…came out great!
    things i changed- i added a zucchini, and used herbs de provence….which is basically the same thing as isa’s herb mixture….instead of 8 c. veg broth i used ten cups of filtered water, and added yellow miso paste…i used whole wheat orzo instead of quinoa and butter beans (baby limas) instead of white beans.
    its really chunky, even with the extra water, but good good good!!
    i really recommend the miso broth….fermented things are good for vegans!!! ;)

  • October 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm: Emily

    I just have to say that we are brand NEW to eating vegan (my husband doesn’t claim to be so…yet), and ALL of these recipes on this site have been delicious! Looking forward to trying more :)

  • October 30, 2011 at 6:16 am: Danielle

    Why isn’t there a handy link to e-mail this to myself and family???

  • November 4, 2011 at 2:16 am: Kelly

    I didn’t change a thing in this recipe, and it was amazing. My whole family loved it. I’ll be making this again for sure, we just made the switch over to vegan food last week and this is definitely one of our favorite recipes. Vegan or not, this is genuinely good food.

  • November 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm: Ramona

    The only thing I added was mushrooms (when I added the potatoes and quinoa)…….amazing! Squeezing lemon juice over your bowl at the end is a must! It was the first time I had parsnip or kale…. Very hearty, soothing and comforting….it will be my ‘go-to’ stew from now on. Thank you!

  • December 25, 2011 at 8:23 am: Ginny

    Fantastic recipe from the ppk, as usual! made this for Christmas Eve dinner with friends tonight. It was a hit! And bonus – I doubled the recipe and have plenty left for hubby and I for Christmas tomorrow. Soup’s always better the next day ;o)

  • February 5, 2012 at 12:38 am: camdenlondon

    made this, its delicious comfort food that doesnt leave you feeling too full afterwards! a really versatile recipe, i substituted parsnip for cauliflower and was delicious, will definitly make this again!

  • February 21, 2012 at 12:27 am: Tanya

    We just made a huge double batch of this for dinner and it is truly amazing. As someone who has recently had to go gluten free, I truly appreciate these recipes. Thank you so much.

  • February 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm: Therese

    I love this stew so much… It’s just great. Another reason to get a freezer bigger than a shoebox!

    I like it with double the carrots, parsnips and beans; and half the potato. =)

  • March 5, 2012 at 3:04 am: joelle

    My husband just made this for dinner and it was fabulous, just like everything else we’ve tried from your site. Thanks!

  • March 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm: Kiki

    Just made this last night, added a bit of chunked tomato I had left over, used garbonzos ’cause I was out of white beans, left out parsnip and potato and fennel (because I didn’t have them on hand) but can’t wait to make the recipe as written — and also to try some of the amazing additions left in the comments. So divinely delicious! And so very versatile! And so naturally nutritious and fabulously filling! Thank you — just found your site from googling kale and white bean soup — can’t wait to see what other savory stews and tantalizing treats await me herein! Thank you so much.

  • March 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm: Vicky

    I’ve been on the look out for more quinoa recipes since learning about all the health benefits but this is the first time I’ve seen quinoa used in a stew! I’m intrigued!

  • April 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm: Audrey

    I had to move mine to an 8 qt pot, i’m not sure if I did something wrong… it made a billion servings. It’s delicious though, so I’m not too worried :)

  • May 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm: missbear

    ive finally made this from my AfR and i am so pleased that I did. the best stew in the world, so fresh and light and yet intensely satisfying and filling. i couldnt get kale so used spring greens, increasing cooking time slightly, but, oh my, how amazing this is

    stand by for sense memory story triggered by the stew, sorry if this is oversharing but wanted to let you know the emotions this tapped into

    when i was a little girl my mom moved away and I stayed with my dad. she didnt know but he was a terrible dad in many ways, one of which was in malnourishing me. when i would visit her fortnightly i would be spoiled with lovely food, puddings, dinners heaving with fresh and beautifully cooked vegetables, she was the most wonderful cook. this stew tasted like one of her autumnul roast dinners, the occasional bites of parsnip and the rich greens, the broth a light gravy. i was transported back to her kitchen when i would be happy once every 2 weeks.

    she passed away a couple of years ago at a tragically young age, and since then i have been craving her food. i cannot cook like she could, no one i know can. I realised that as i dont want to eat meat or dairy that opening Delia Smith and cooking fish pie or lasagne, or making her own recipe cauliflower cheese with cayenne are no longer possible options. however, since finding your books I am cooking food which i enjoy, which i know she would enjoy, which tastes like i know how to cook – and occasionally i find a gem like this stew which tastes like “home”

    thanks Isa, sorry for oversharing!! xx

  • August 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm: karen knight

    i would like calories/fats/fiber counts for all recipes posted.

  • September 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm: Carolyn Watson

    any chance of getting the nutritional value?

  • October 14, 2012 at 11:19 pm: Tanya Whitner

    Made this again tonight! A huge double batch. It is wonderful as always and we had a friend over that is quite nearly a full time carnivore and he LOVED it. Ate every last drop in his bowl. Thank you Isa, you truly are amazing and keep my Gluten Free, Vegan belly very well fed and happy.

  • October 31, 2012 at 2:26 am: Katie

    Yummy!!! My 4 and 7 year old daughters were delightfully surprised that they enjoyed soup with kale on it.

  • November 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm: Joanne

    This soup is OUTSTANDING!!! I use a product from Quebec called Herbs de Salee (organic herb blend and sea salt) instead of the herb blend. And finish it off with a squeeze of Lime juice. :D

  • November 15, 2012 at 2:25 am: Melanie

    Whenever I am bored with my current lineup of dinners, I come here. I look in my weekly veggie box, and figure out what will work. Tonight it was this, and HOLY COW is it ever fantastic!! Will be adding this to the Fall/Winter rotation for sure. Thanks!

  • January 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm: Kristine

    I made this 2 nights ago and it was awesome. I added some red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.

  • January 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm: Mocha

    I made this last night and I think it’s a really good base. I didn’t have any parnips, marjoram and fennel. Instead, I added extra carrots, italian seasoning, red bell pepper flakes and cumin. The cumin gave it a beautiful color and flavor. Turned out great!

  • March 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm: Kristine Frey

    Tried this for the first time the other night. Delicious! And hearty :) By any chance, has the nutritional information been worked up on this? I’d love to know. Thanks again for sharing this recipe! We LOVED it!

  • April 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm: Mary

    For everyone looking for nutrition info – there are lots of websites available that allow you to enter the ingredients of a recipe and get the nutrition info. I use http://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator but there are plenty of others if you don’t like that one.

  • May 3, 2013 at 10:40 am: Anna

    If I wan to double the recipe, do I double the spice amount? Not sure how this works. Thanks!

    • May 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm: IsaChandra


  • June 20, 2013 at 3:09 am: Ben


  • August 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm: Kemp Stroble

    What a great recipe, and website and general! Thanks so much for doing it!

  • September 2, 2013 at 12:58 am: Karoline

    Had this soup for dinner tonight and it was great! Super yummy, and pretty too, if you use red quinoa and mini colored potatoes. (-: Thanks for posting.

  • November 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm: Elizabeth

    I didn’t have fennel or marjoram, so I used an Italian seasoning instead (which included thyme, rosemary and marjoram in addition to basil and orgeano). I wasn’t sure how this would come out, but went with all the positive reviews and have to agree, it is FABULOUS! I think it’s fine on it’s own, but it seemed to be missing something (maybe it was that fennel) so I added some red pepper while cooking it and sriracha when I was eating it, and I just love it. I’m not vegan (or even a vegetarian, though I’m trying to eat less and less meat), but I have vegan friends and I will make this for them, and I’ll even make it again for myself. Wonderful on a cold day!!

  • December 8, 2013 at 1:09 am: Krista

    Hi Isa! Do you think sweet potato could be used as a substitute for the yukon gold or would it throw off the flavor too much?

  • January 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm: Monika

    A new favorite/go-to! Thank you, Isa! We’re not big on “spices” so I just added a pinch of thyme, and a pinch of salt, no pepper. The other big and successful change: we used hulled barley instead of quinoa — fantastic!

    I used my flavorful veggies from the greenmarket (parsnip, 2 special heirloom carrots instead of 1 carrot, leeks, garlic, some kind of white potato). White beans from the can. I find if I use greenmarket veggies, the flavors are so powerful, you often don’t need that many herbs/spices but maybe that’s just me. :) Definitely making this again and again, with many variations to come! :D

  • March 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm: Sarah

    I made this for lunch – omitting the fennel and marjoram for lack of – and it is DELICIOUS. I halved the recipe, adding more kale than it called for. My 10-month old daughter loved it (I pulse pureed her portion).

  • April 21, 2015 at 3:57 am: Emily

    Yum, what can I serve this with at a dinner party so that I’m not just serving stew?

  • September 25, 2015 at 9:09 pm: Kit

    Is there any chance that the book includes nutrition content? I have a pancreas issue and tracking fat grams for the day is a must. Your recipes looks so flavorful! I so hope to purchase the book! Thanks!

  • December 6, 2015 at 8:31 pm: Elle

    ISA, you are the bomb! I love your recipe and your quirky look ! If I met you, we would become best friends. Keep cooking my friend, you rock!