This is the time of year where my Instant Pot is always on my kitchen counter. Between quick soups for dinner or making a thing of beans for Vander, it’s not worth the extra effort in lugging it up and down the basement stairs.
I’m getting at least 3-4 uses out of it per week; I like to refer to it as my winter work horse.
This lentil soup is for those kinda of nights. The times when you are so tired to make dinner, but don’t want to settle for another pantry meal of scraps. To be honest, we usually have one of those meals a week. A dinner of crackers, cheese, hummus and maybe some vegetables. Sometimes I tell BL that we’re having a mezze dinner but he knows the truth: I’m just too tired to put something together.
This soup changes all of that. There’s little that has to be done besides chopping up a few vegetables. Or, you can do what I do and spend a little more money to buy the precut ones. I know that it’s a waste of both plastic and a few dollars but these days I’m usually happy to fork over more moolah if it means I can make dinner one-handed.
Vander has separation anxiety on high right now so if I’m in the house, it’s a good bet that he’s in my arms the entire time. Therefore, precut vegetables save a lot of tears (from both of us.) P.S. Trader Joe’s usually sells a mirepoix blend of cut onions, celery and carrots that is life-changing this time of year.
Add in some dried lentils, a can of tomatoes, some spices and ta-da! Dinner is served. This one is more on the spicy side because I love, love, love spicy food but it’s easily tamed down for those of you who don’t. Either reduce or omit the red pepper flakes.
I hope you love this one as much as I do! And, because I’m obsessed with letting my appliances cook for me this time of year, I’ve got a slow-cooker curry recipe coming your way on Friday. xo
Instant Pot Lentil Soup! This vegan lentil soup recipe is perfect for fall and winter. Healthy, delicious and so easy to put together! Throw everything in the pressure cooker and dinner is ready.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1 cup brown or green lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Turn the Instant Pot on and hit ‘saute.’ Add the olive oil, onion, carrots and celery and cook for ~5 minutes until vegetables have softened.
- Add in the garlic and spices, then hit ‘cancel.’ Add the tomatoes with their juices, lentils, broth, salt and cover. Bring the soup to high pressure for 15 minutes (turn the vent to sealing and hit manual and the + sign to 15 minutes).
- When done, turn the vent to venting and let the pressure come down naturally for 10-15 minutes. Gently remove the cover, then place 2 cups of the soup in a blender and puree until creamy. Add back to the soup along with the chopped spinach and place the cover back on. Let sit for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
- Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and chopped parsley and serve!
- To cook in a slow cooker: Saute the vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a skillet, then add to the base of a slow-cooker along with the spices, tomatoes, lentils and salt. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until lentils are tender. Before serving, remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the slow cooker. Add in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve.
- To cook on the stove: Saute the vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a large stock pan. Add in the spices, tomatoes, lentils, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the stock pan. Add in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve!