Ayurvedic Shiitake Lentil Stew – Immune Enhancing…

Ayurvedic Shiitake Lentil Stew – Immune Enhancing

This tasty dish is earthy. It’s grounding for Vata and satiating for Pitta, and immune enhancing.

This is a long time Saumya client favorite. Lentils provide fiber and potassium making them a great choice for managing blood pressure and cholesterol. This stew is also immune enhancing making it perfect for this time of year.

According to WebMD, “Shiitake are rich in polysaccharides like lentinans and other beta-glucans. These compounds protect against cell damage, help your immune system, and boost white blood cell production for fighting off microbes. Polysaccharides also have anti-inflammatory properties.”


  • 1 cup dry French green lentils (about 3 cups once they’re cooked)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • ½ cup red onion, roughly chopped, optional
  • ½ cup leeks, white and light green parts chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped, or more.
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 T fresh thyme (1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 cup carrot, sliced
  • 2 cup shiitake mushroom caps, sliced (8-10 caps), I use many more to make the stew very earthy.
  • 2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cup (32oz) organic vegetable stock, or make your own.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste (Himalayan pink salt and real black pepper)
  • 1 T red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Pour the cup of lentils onto a plate and sift through, removing any stones. Rinse in a fine wire strainer. Add the lentils to the boiling water, and reduce heat to simmer 30 minutes.
  2. In a soup/stock pot, melt butter and add olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, leeks, cumin and thyme – cooking and stirring for about 8 minutes over medium-low heat (you don’t want anything turning brown or getting crisp – just softened).
  3. Add chopped carrots, cooking 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in the mushrooms and tomatoes, cooking another 5 minutes.
  5. Pour in the 4 cups (entire 32oz box) of good quality organic vegetable stock, and add the bay leaves. Bring back to a gentle boil.
  6. Drain the cooked lentils and add them to the soup pot. Taste and season with salt and pepper – start with 2 tsp salt and several grinds of pepper and work from there.
  7. Simmer another 20-30 minutes, and add more cumin if needed. Try to find and remove the bay leaves, using tongs helps. Add the vinegar.
  8. About 5 minutes before serving, add the spinach to the pot and stir until wilted.
  9. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper if you like things spicier. Serve with a nice crusty baguette for dipping.

Or, place it all in the crockpot in the morning, go about the day, and have a delicious hearty meal later in the day just waiting for you. Cook until nice and soft. Enjoy it in the cooler months for a warming, hearty, grounding, Vata soothing and Pitta satisfying breakfast, lunch/main meal, or dinner.

I view recipes more as an inspirational template, than a must follow it to the letter. Deck out your dish to make it suit your doshic picture and your palate. 

Ayurvedic Tastes that are most balancing for each dosha:

  • Vata: focus on its best tastes which are sweet, sour and salty
  • Pitta: focus on its best taste which are sweet, bitter and astringent.
  • Kapha: focus on its best tastes which are pungent, bitter and astringent


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Veena Haasl-Blilie


Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner As a child, Veena fell in love with Ayurveda in her family’s home, learning about herbal remedies…

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