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!
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.