Packed with earthy flavors, texture rich Smoky White Bean Kale and Wheat Berry Stew is quick to pull together with a long, slow simmer. Serve with the crustiest, seediest sourdough for a super cozy meal. This recipe is vegetarian + vegan.
Hearty, warming and super cozy, wheat berry stew is comforting and flavor packed. Subtle smoky flavors with chewy texture and vibrant flavors, this is a perfect stew to warm up with.
Ingredients For Wheat Berry Stew
This stew calls for wheat berries. They’re fiber rich with a chewy texture similar to barley. Find wheat berries in the bulk isle or online. Here’s what you’ll need to make this soup:
- Dry Cannellini Beans or Canned*
- Wheat Berries
- Olive Oil
- Smoky Paprika
- Veggie Broth
You’ll soak the beans (if using dry beans) and wheat berries overnight, so a bit of advance prep is needed.
How to Make Wheat Berry Stew
This stew is simple enough to make. With most of the cook time hands off, it’ll free you up for whipping up other things like a salad and/or dessert! If dry white beans are unavailable, canned can be subbed and added towards the end of cooking, just to warm through.
- First, heat oil on medium in a large soup pot or dutch oven to just shimmering. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and cook until softened.
- Second, stir in the garlic and paprika, then pour in the dry beans, wheat berries, broth, tomatoes and sprigs of thyme
- Next, bring the stew to a simmer, lid and cook on low for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes stirring a few times .
- Last, just a few minutes before the stew is finished, stir in the Kale and allow to wilt. Add a squeeze of lemon and cook for just a few minutes longer.
The soup’s ready when the beans and wheat berries are tender. Serve this wheat berry stew piping hot and with slabs of crusty bread for dippin’.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Most of the 1 hour 40 minutes to make this wheat berry stew is hands-off cooking time. Once the majority of the ingredients are added to the soup pot, it simmers away for about an hour and a half.
- To properly prepare dried beans and grains, they need to be soaked overnight. This is to improve their digestibility and nutrient absorption. However, I’ve prepared this stew with and without soaking, because I forgot or didn’t plan (almost always :/ ) , and achieved similar results.
- If dried cannellini beans are unavailable, use canned, but add them towards the end of cooking when the kale is added.
- Wheat berries are a slightly sweet, nutty and chewy whole grain. I love them so much, they’ve become a pantry staple. They add an earthy depth and heartiness to this stew. There are several varieties including hard red and hard white. I use hard white because that’s what I can find in the bulk bins, but either can be used (according to their package directions). Use the rest of your bag of wheat berries to make this Summer Garbanzo Salad.
- This wheat berry stew thickens as it cooks, so if a thinner stew is desired, add more broth or water towards the end of cooking.
Other Hearty Stews/Soups to Enjoy
- Lentil Mushroom Cabbage Roll Soup
- Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup
- Hoppin John Stew
- Moroccan Lentil Chickpea Stew
Smoky White Bean Kale and Wheat Berry Stew
- 1/2 C (125g) Dry Cannellini Beans* soaked overnight and rinsed
- 1/2 C (110g) Wheat Berries** (Hard White) soaked overnight and rinsed
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 C (145g) Leeks cut in half, lengthwise, and white and light green parts sliced thin (about 1 large)
- 1 C (110g) Carrots large dice
- 1 C (65g) Celery large dice
- 3 Large Cloves of Garlic minced
- 2 tsp Smoky Paprika
- 5 C (1.05kg) Vegetable Broth plus extra for thinning as needed (or water)
- 1 Can (411g) Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 4 Sprigs of Thyme
- 2 C (50g) Kale (I like Lacinato kale) or Swiss Chard chopped
- 1/4 C (6g) Parsley chopped
- 1 Lemon
- Heat oil on medium in a large soup pot or dutch oven to just shimmering. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and cook on medium-low stirring occasionally for 6-7 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic and paprika, just enough to coat the vegetables. Pour in the beans, wheat berries, broth, tomatoes and sprigs of thyme (the leaves will fall off during cooking and you'll fish out the stems later). Bring the stew to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes stirring a few times and checking to see if more broth (or water) is needed as the stew will thicken towards the end of cooking. Adjust as needed with broth or water. The soup is ready when the beans are tender and the wheat berries are tender yet still chewy.
- Five minutes before removing the stew from the heat, stir in the kale. It will wilt down slightly. Just before serving, stir in the parsley and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Season with plenty of pepper and salt to taste. Serve with more parsley and lemon wedges.
- Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat on the stove.