To me, lentil soup is always a great idea. I make it often, a habit I think I got from my mother-in-law. For the past 8 yrs every time we visit my in-laws, my mother-in-law, Janice says, in her upbeat sweet voice, “I made you lentil soup.” I started looking forward to our visits and my lentil soup, made with love by Janice. Even when I call her and ask what she is doing on any given day, it seems like she is often in the kitchen making lentil soup to take to a neighbor, her brother, or her grandkids.
Janice is an amazing cook and makes so many great dishes, but I think her lentil soup is her comfort go-to-food to say, “I care about you you.” This past Christmas my husband and I got her a pressure cooker so she could make more soup in less time. She, now calls to tell me every time she uses it. I love it. More times than not she calls me now and, by no coincidence, I am making lentil soup. She has defiantly rubbed off on me, and that’s a great thing!
I think Janice and my recipe are pretty close to the same, give or take a few ingredients. This recipe is made in a pressure cooker, but I also included stove top directions in the notes. The pressure cooker that I am using is the Instant Pot.
This recipe is:
- packed with veggies
favorite lentil soup
Yield 6 servings
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 2 cups dried french lentils, rinsed
- 1 onion, small dice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 2 leeks, washed, green parts removed and chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoon maple sugar organic pure maple sugar
- 2 turkish bay leaves organic turkish bay leaves
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- RINSE. Lentils well, set aside.
- CHOP. Slice off the leek's dark green end, trimming to the part where the color is a pale green. Chop leeks and place them in a bowl of water and swish to remove any dirt. Strain. Chop all remaining vegetables.
- PREPARE. Gather remaining ingredients.
- SAUTE. Set your pressure cooker to the saute setting on low, add grape seed oil, and wait a few minutes for it to warm up. Add onions and a bit of salt and saute until softened (2-3 minutes). Add leeks and bay leaves, saute another minute. Add garlic and tomato paste, saute until it becomes fragrant. Do all of this without the lid on the pressure cooker, so you can stir often.
- PRESSURE COOKER. Set your pressure cooker to the pressure setting on high and manually set timer to 15 minutes. Then add broth, 1-cup of the water, remaining vegetables, seasonings, salt and pepper. Close lid. It will beep when it is sealed and will start to build pressure. The timer will start once the pressure cooker has built up enough pressure, about 5 minutes.
- ADD. Once the timer rings and you have released all the pressure, open lid away from you to avoid burning yourself. You may want to add more water or broth. We like it on the thicker side, but you may want it a little more soup like. Add acid of choice, like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and stir in.
- TASTE. Adjust, if necessary.
- SERVE. Garnish with fresh parsley.
- DIRECTIONS FOR STOVETOP. Place the grape seed oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, leeks, and saute until they soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute until it becomes fragrant. Add broth, 1 cup water, carrot, celery, bay leaves, lentils and remaining ingredients, stir. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Add acid at end. Garnish and serve immediately.
- ADDITIONS. This recipe is also great when you add a fat for a garnish, like slices of a ripe avocado or a bit of vegan sour cream. Also, to pack in more nutrients, put in a large handful of spinach or chopped kale at the end and stir in. It will wilt down quickly.
- LENTILS. I like to use French lentils because of how they retain there shape and texture, but you can use any lentil for this recipe. Keep in mind, if you use a larger lentil like green or brown lentils they will expand more needing more liquid. I would add another 1 1/2 cup of liquid to the recipe for larger lentils.
Courses lunch, dinner