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
   Print This Recipe

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
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (more if using homemade broth, less if using store-bought broth with sodium), plus more 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. Continue to cook on sauté setting until wine has cooked off.
    2. Add carrots, canned tomatoes, lentils, bay leaves, vegetable broth, black pepper, salt and thyme, and stir.
    3. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to “Bean/Chili” setting with timer set to 14 minutes and vent in the sealed position.
    4. When timer goes off, release the pressure. Stir soup and season with salt additional 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.

    Comment

    Baked Oatmeal Apples

    Baked Oatmeal Apples
    Baked Oatmeal Apples

    Breakfast already ready when you wake up. Seems like a dream, doesn’t it? But lately my approach to breakfast has been exactly that, batch making breakfast one or two times a week (things like casseroles, baked oatmeal, and frittatas) so that when I wake up there is one less thing to do as part of my routine. I usually do this on weekends, when there’s no rush to get out of the house.

    Mornings are the best. (Who’s with me?) They are the best for a pretty specific reason (IMO), and that’s the peace and quiet they bring (morning lovers will understand).

    That peace and quiet is largely possible due to routine for me. And it’s really hard to change something about your morning routine. I’ve tried adding in meditation (lasted about 14 days), journalling, and stretching, but none of them stick. What I usually find that adding more in just brings unnecessary stress during those early hours. When it comes to mornings, I’m all for simplifying.

    Baked Oatmeal Apples
    Baked Oatmeal Apples

    Batch making breakfast fits perfectly into that scheme: as soon as I’m done making my morning coffee, I’m serving myself breakfast. No decisions necessary. No thinking. Just something absolutely delicious to eat. And in this specific case… something perfectly fall, too! Cozy apples filled to the brim with baked oatmeal and warm spices, like nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

    If you like cinnamon apples, or apple pie, but maybe don’t want quite that much sugar for breakfast, you’re going to love these apples. They’re not as a sweet as the “inside out apple crisp apple” recipes you may have tried, truly more like baked oatmeal stuffed inside of an apple, with the natural fruit juices leading the way in flavor.

    That said…. with a little whipped cream they could make a cozy dessert later in the day.

    My favorite types of apples are the crisp and juicy ones, and those are also the ones that work best in this recipe. Think Honey Crisp, Jonagold, or Granny Smith (that last one will be a big more tart, for those of you that love tart flavors). I used some Gala here.

    Baked Oatmeal Apples
    Baked Oatmeal Apples

    Baked Oatmeal Apples

    Published October 25, 2018 by
       Print This Recipe

    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 60 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 6 crisp apples
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • To serve: plain or vanilla yogurt

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Using a paring knife, cut the tops off the apples and save for step 5. Using a spoon with sharper edges, such as a melon baller, scoop out the apple core and some of the flesh. Be sure the leave at least a 1/4-inch thick outer wall of apple all the way around. Reserve the flesh you’ve removed from the apples, discard of the seeds and pith.
    3. Chop up the reserved apple flesh and place in a medium mixing bowl, along with the melted butter, maple syrup, milk, yogurt, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
    4. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl: rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, salt, and chopped pecans. Stir until full combined.
    5. Arrange apples in a baking dish and scoop oat mixture into the cavity of each apple. Place the apple tops back on, and place baking dish on center wrack in oven. Bake 35-45 minutes, until apples are baked though.
    6. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve on plates with yogurt (for breakfast) or whipped cream (for dessert).

    Comment

    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad
    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    This salad is made of three quintessential mid-summer crops: corn, zucchini, and basil.

    Zucchini is one of my all-time favorite veggies, because it’s so versatile. It’s good sautéd, raw, zoodled, or in this case, roasted (any grill masters out there? You can do the roasting over an open flame if that’s more your style!). Use young zucchini in this recipe. They are more tender, have smaller seeds, and you can simply cut them in half (the long way) rather than into strips. Yellow summer squash would work well too! 

    Roasted zucchini needs little in terms of seasoning, but there’s not that’s not made better by a littler fresh basil (Right?!). We've been swimming in basil, harvesting handfuls every night, and adding it to salads is SO good.

    There’s a saying, “things that grow together go together,” and it’s certainly the case with zucchini, corn and basil — Good warm or cold, this salad is the perfect backyard grill out side dish!

    To turn this recipe into a heartier salad, one you could eat for lunch, try adding shredded parmesan and diced avocado. 

    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad
    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    Have even more zucchini to use? Try these zucchini bread pancakes.

    Roasted Zucchini, Corn & Basil Salad

    Published July 24, 2018 by
       Print This Recipe

    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 small zucchini
  • 3 cobs of corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Slice the zucchini into long strips, about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Brush zucchini and corn with olive oil and place on sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until softened. Turn oven to high broil, and cook for 3-5 more minutes, just to get the corn and zucchini really roasted. (Note: You can also do this step on your grill, and skip the oven!)
    2. Allow zucchini and corn to cool so that you can handle them with out burning yourself. Arrange zucchini in a salad bowl, and then use a knife to cut the kernels from each corn cob. Add kernels to the bowl. Cut basil chiffonade style, reserving a few whole leaves for garnish, and add to the bowl. Toss everything to combine.
    3. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake. Pour over salad, top with reserved basil leaves, and serve.

    Comment