What do vegans eat? #5: Beans, peas and lentils

Beans, peas and lentils are great! They are highly nutritious and can be used in almost any dish; casseroles, patties, soups, stews, spreads, baked goods etc.

Some beans, peas and lentils include:
Soy bean
Green bean
Kidney bean
Chickpea/Garbanzo bean
Mung bean
Black bean
Red lentil
Green lentil
Beluga lentil
Green pea


Learning to cook with beans, peas and lentils may take some time and practice. I’m still not great at it, but I learn more all the time. Some types pf legumes are easier to use than others, and since the flavors of the different legumes vary it’s also a lot up to your own taste.

You can choose to cook your legumes from scratch – buying them dried in bulk – which is definitely the cheapest way. You will need soak them in water for at least 4-8 hours, depending on the legume, and then boil on low heat for at least an hour. A list of soaking and cooking times for different legumes can be found here. Some lentils – such as red ones – don’t need soaking, and usually don’t either need to be boiled for that long time.

As a beginner when it comes to cooking with legumes it might be a good idea to start with canned ones. They are a bit more expensive, but much faster and easier to use if the soaking and boiling part seems too hard or time-consuming. When you use canned legumes, be sure to pour out the liquid that they have been preserved in and rinse the legumes, since this will make them easier for your body to digest.

Some legumes, mainly peas, can also be found fresh or deep frozen.

Some of my favorite dishes with legumes include; sweet potato and lentil soup, spicy bean soup, falafel, hummus, different types of patties and marinated beans. Recipes for some of these dishes are coming up soon!

Earlier in the “What do vegans eat?”- series:

#1: Tofu
#2: Plant-based milk & cream
#3: Ice cream
#4: Fruits and vegetables


On my plate

I have wanted to post some pictures of different foods we have made or eaten recently, just to give an idea of what I eat, maybe give someone a little inspiration, and show how changing vegan food can be, if you let it. So here it comes:



Sweet potato and lentil soup

Today I made sweet potato & lentil soup for lunch. It’s a very basic soup that is simple to make, but I must admit I have never tried it before. I’ve for a long time had the wish to make more basic food, using more vegetables and beans and not so much prepared products, and this is a step in that direction.

The recipe I used comes from the membership magazine of one of the Finnish animal rights organisations.

You will need:
3 big carrots
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes (900 g)
1 onion
1 dl red lentils
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp bell pepper powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cube of vegetable stock
olive oil

How to prepare it:
1. Peel and chop the onion, carrots and sweet potatoes
2. Heat the oil in a big pot. Sauté the onions.
3. Add carrots, sweet potatoes and part of the water. Boil the vegetables for about 10 minutes, add water if needed.
4. Reduce the heat of the stove. Add lentils, chili powder, bell pepper powder, ginger powder and cumin, and about 8 dl of water. Mix in half a cube of vegetable stock.
5. Simmer the soup for about half an hour, until the lentils and vegetables are soft.
6. Mix the soup in blender. Carefully add salt, pepper and other spices according to own taste. Add water to get a more fluid consistency to the soup.
7. Serve the soup with a tasty white bread.