True abundance is the freedom that comes from wanting less. Yung Pueblo Inward
Happy Weekend! Here’s a fast and healthy recipe my Egyptian father used to make that is nourishing to body and soul and will help make busy lives a little more manageable. Make Life Simple Instant Pot Lentil Soup. Packed full of veggies, this delicious, vegan soup is seasoned with Middle Eastern spices and is satisfying and filling, yet low in calories. Humble yet abundant. Make a big batch and have it on hand for lunches or dinners during the busy workweek. Serve it like my dad would, with a drizzle of olive oil, a little squeeze of lemon, fresh Italian parsley, chili flakes, diced tomatoes and a side of toasted pita bread to mop up all the tasty juices.
The best part . . . the soup can either be made on the stove top or in an Instant Pot- using the pressure cooker setting- in just 12 minutes! Yup. It’s true.
Many of you have been asking for Instant Pot recipes, so many in fact, I went out and bought one just to see what all the hubbub was about. If unfamiliar, an Instant Pot is basically a pressure cooker and slow cooker in one, with a saute function. The pressure cooker function comes in especially handy if wanting to cook dried beans or grains very quickly, or make stews out of tougher cuts of meat in under an hour. For people with families who are short on time, I see how this could be a great tool in the kitchen. For me personally, I’ll admit, I guess I’m a little old-school and much prefer to cook meals like this one in a dutch oven on the stove – nice and slow. But I don’t have 4 kids and a 9-5 job. So I get it.
The recipe calls for 4 cups of chopped veggies – any combination of carrots, celery, parsnips, bell pepper, potato, or even cabbage – in this nutrient dense soup.
After 12 minutes in the Instant Pot, the lentils are perfectly cooked, as well as the veggies.
Here I’ve used tiny Caviar Black Lentils, but any lentil will work fine. Smaller lentils cook much faster so keep that in mind. If going with a conventional large brown lentils, increase time to 20 minutes.
Make sure to add the finishing touches – olive oil, lemon, parsley and fresh tomatoes . . . so good!
The leftovers are even more delicious as the flavors have time to meld.
Make Life Simple Instant Pot Lentil Soup – a fast healthy recipe to make our busy lives a little easier.
If you try this recipe, be sure to let us know by leaving a comment, rating, and tagging a picture #feastingathome on Instagram.
Make Life Simple Instant Pot Lentil soup
This Middle Eastern-inspired, Make Life Simple Instant Pot Lentil Soup is vegan and gluten free and can be made on the stove top or in an Instant Pot in with 12 minutes of cook time! Flavorful and healthy!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 12
- Total Time: 27 minutes
- Yield: 5
- Category: vegan main
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: middle eastern
- 1 onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots)
- 6 -8 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups diced veggies – any mix of carrots, celery, parsnip, bell pepper, potato, cabbage (I normally use 1 -2 carrots, 1 parsnip, 1-2 celery)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, more to taste.
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)
- 1 bay leaf or 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence or Italian herbs
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced with their juices (one can diced)
- 4 flavorful cups chicken or veggie stock (or use 3 bouillon cubes w/ water)
- 2 cups water
- 1 ¼ cup small Black Caviar lentils or French Green Lentils (You can always use bigger, brown lentils, but increase pressure cooking time to 20 minutes.) You can also substitute split lentils for ¼ cup of the lentils for a creamier texture. 🙂
Finish with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped Italian parsley (or cilantro), diced tomatoes and optional chili flakes (Aleppo chili is nice here) and toasted pita.
Saute onion and garlic in the Instant Pot in 2 tablespoons oil until fragrant and tender, about 2-3 minutes. (Or cook in a dutch oven on the stove, over medium-high heat)
Add the veggies, spices and salt. Saute 4-5 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and brown it a bit. Add the tomatoes and their juices, stock and water, scraping up any browned bits. Add the lentils, stir and cover, setting the Instant pot to Pressure Cook on Normal for 12 minutes. (Alternately if cooking on the stove top, bring to a simmer and cover, simmering on low for 20-25 minutes)
Let the pressure release either manually or naturally.
Divide among bowls and drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, chili flakes, fresh parsley and fresh diced tomato (optional)
Remember little Black Caviar lentils (or French Green Lentils) cook much faster than regular brown lentils. Red lentils have been split and will work here too, and will cook fast, but will give a different consistency. Sometimes I’ll substitute a ¼ cup of split red lentils for the Black Caviar lentils for a creamier texture. The larger the lentil, the longer you will need to cook.