Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

Cozy.

  • Noun: giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.

  • Adjective: a soft covering to keep a teapot, boiled egg, etc., hot.

  • Verb: give (someone) a feeling of comfort or complacency.

The dictionary definition might as well include French Lentil Soup, too. It fits right in there between "giving a feeling a comfort” and “keeping warm.”

Red lentils are a regular in our house (dal, or this stew) but I was feeling explorative and grabbed French lentils at the store one day. It was a very, very good impulsive decision.

In addition to French lentils, bay leaves, white wine, and fresh thyme go into the pot. What comes out is this steaming hot, broth-y stew that boasts every flavor a “French” soup should. It’s amazing what a splash of wine can do!

Lentils are not the first thing I think of when I imagine French food (maybe brie, or baguettes, or wine) but lentils are a huge part of French culture. Even though lentils originated in the Middle East, Le Puy Lentils (French Lentils) are specific to France and have the same Protected Designation of Origin as Champagne — to be called lentilles du Puy, they must be grown in Puy.

Instant Pot French Lentil Soup
Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

The classic French preparation of lentils is with Dijon Mustard and Red wine vinegar, though on a cold day — ehem, virtually every day from mid-October to March, here - the lentil soup is the most satisfying, warming thing you could lay your eyes on.

This recipe is also plant-based, making it perfect for #MeatlessMonday or your everyday, if that’s your thing. But the flavor is so rich and the lentils so satisfying, that no one at your table will miss a thing. (Psst…. if they do, it is common in some countries to serve sliced sausage over lentils).

One more thing! This whole recipe comes together in your Instant Pot. 12 minutes pressurized, a sprinkle of parsley, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and you have your self a very pretty little meal. Weeknights? Conquered. Lazy Sunday evenings? Done and done.

Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

Published December 6, 2018 by
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Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups french lentils, rinsed (also called Le Puy or French Green Lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Splash white wine (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: minced parsley

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Add onion, garlic, and celery, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent and starting to brown. Add the splash of wine and stir.
    2. Add carrots, canned tomatoes, lentils, bay leaves, vegetable broth, black pepper, and thyme, and stir.
    3. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to “Bean/Chili” setting with timer set to 12 minutes and vent in the sealed position.
    4. When timer goes off, release the pressure. Stir soup and season with salt to taste. Serve topped with minced parsley.
    5. Tip: For extra veggies in your meal, place a handful of baby kale or spinach in the bottom of your bowl when serving, and spoon the hot lentils over top.

    Instant Pot Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

    Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup
    Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

    Pairs well with grey days, warm slices of sourdough toast, and your favorite mug. We’re talking about this Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup.

    Often times, sweet potato soups (and for that matter, pumpkin and butternut squash soups) are too sweet for me. This one employs a generous amount of shallots, roasted garlic, fresh ginger, and a dash of cayenne to balance that out. Plus, it’s velvety smooth, thanks to a can of coconut milk.

    The result is a soup that is like one big creamy autumn hug. Which, sometimes you just need.

    We keep our house at a brisk 62°F during the winter months, and I’ve grown used to living in my slippers and wrapped up in a blanket. (That’s not a complaint, I do like being all bundled up and cozy!) Something warm to sip on or slurp is definitely a bonus on the chilliest days!

    Keep things simple, by topping your mug with cilantro and cayenne, or if you’re feeling fancy try crème fraîche (I love a good dollop of crème fraîche, though I’m never quite well enough prepared when the time is right.)

    Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup
    Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

    Instant Pot Spicy Ginger Sweet Potato Soup

    Published November 1, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2-3 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 pounds sweet potato, washed and peeled
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash ground cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional, to serve: minced cilantro, additional cayenne, and/or crème fraîche

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of your Instant Pot (affiliate link!) on the sauté setting.
    2. Sauté the shallots, ginger, and garlic until fragrant and shallots being to turn translucent.
    3. Roughly chop sweet potatoes and place in pot, along with coconut milk and broth.
    4. Add nutmeg, cayenne, ground black pepper, and salt. Place lid on Instant Pot and set to “Soup” setting, with the timer at 7 minutes and the vent sealed.
    5. After the timer goes off, release the pressure. Using an immersion blender (I use this one (affiliate link!)) puree soup to desired consistency. You can make it super silky smoothy, or leave a few small chunks if you prefer.
    6. Serve soup hot, topped with cilantro, additional cayenne, and/or crème fraîche as desired.

    Vanilla Chai Spice Dried Pears

    Vanilla Chai Spice Dried Pears

    A big box showed up in our dining room in mid-September with my name on the shipping label. 

    It was my birthday but I still scratched my head. This September, I had been so stressed that I mostly avoided the topic of my birthday or gifts with anyone that asked— I certainly didn’t need anything, but I also just couldn’t find a minute to think about it clearly.

    I had ordered nothing from Amazon myself (though in the same minute that thought entered my mind I also started doubting myself— had I hit “buy now” on that Dehydrator I had been eyeing instead of “add to cart?”). 

    When I got halfway through opening the box with a paring knife and found it was a Dehydrator, I doubted myself even further. So much so, that I stopped right there and pulled out my phone to check my Amazon order history.

    Vanilla Chai Spice Dried Pears

    Relief washed over me when I saw I had placed no orders in the last month, but I still had a mystery on my hands. I finished unpacking the appliance before drilling Oliver on who had bought it. It probably took me four tries to get it right, but when I did land on my dad it all made sense. I had given him a non-answer when he had asked about my birthday in general, so he had asked Oliver.

    This new dehydrator was about five times nicer than any of the ones I was planning to buy myself! Quieter, easy to use, and has a timer (key, if you ask me!). It’s the Excalibur 5-Tray Dehydrator (affiliate link!). (THANKS DAD!)

    So far, my absolute favorite thing to dehydrate has been pears.

    This recipe is inspired by one I found in Dried and True (affiliate link), a cookbook that takes dehydrating to the next level, moving it from boring old-fashioned recipes to new, inventive, and tantalizing flavors. I made the Dried Vanilla Pears from the book twice before venturing out on my own.

    Vanilla Chai Spice Dried Pears

    As soon as our first fall day hit, I immediately was dreaming about warmer flavors, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Chai. And that’s how these pears came to be — a day dream, like most of my recipes 😉

    In real life, each slice of pear was such a treat, I savored every one. We took them hiking, ate them around the house, and packed them in our bags for outings around town. I always looked forward to those delicious pears. I thought, for about 5 seconds, about sharing them with a few coworkers but greed got the best of me and I kept it to myself. Sharing the recipe is almost as good, right?!

    This recipe is good for dehydrating-pros or a newbies like me. Make it while the pears are at their peak! I used Starkrimson Pears one round and Colorado Heirloom Pears another; Bartlette and D’Anjou would also be great.

    Vanilla Chai Spice Dried Pears

    Vanilla Chai Spice Dried Pears

    Published October 16, 2018 by
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    Yield: 20 slices   |    Active Time: 8-9 hours



    Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe pears Starkrimson
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger - each about the size of a nickel
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • Directions:

    1. Combine all ingredients but the pears in a sauce pan, and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
    2. Wash pears and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Remove seeds and cut of stems as you go.
    3. Work with 3-4 pear slices at once: submerge pears in syrup on the stove, simmering slices for 10 minutes. Pears should be softened through but should not fall apart easily.
    4. Use a slotted spoon to remove slices from syrup and set on a plate to cool for several minutes.
    5. When all of the pears are done, spread them out on the wracks of your dehydrator (I use this one - affiliate link!), with at least 1/4-inch of space between each slice.
    6. Place wrack in dehydrator and set to 135°F for 8-10 hours, until pears are dried but still chewy.