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
  • 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.

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    Homestyle Sausage, Potato & Spinach Soup

    Homestyle Sausage, Potato & Spinach Soup

    On a cold and misty day, my mom and I meandered down a paved path in the bay area. My mom stopped on the side of the path and held a tree's leaves between her fingers. "Laurel trees," she explained, and when I still didn't quite get it she said, "Bay Leaves."

    I've never given bay leaves their dues: they are easy to skip, as a whole pot of soup usually only calls for one or two leaves. They are subtle, so skipping them is never the end of the world. But delicate flavors have always ranked high in my mom's book: florals, herbals, and creams. 

    In the winter she'd make soups with leeks and kielbasa, and stir in cream or (and) shredded provolone at the last minute before turning off the heat. She never skipped the bay leaves. 

    Homestyle Sausage, Potato & Spinach Soup
    Homestyle Sausage, Potato & Spinach Soup

    This soup is an ode to that day, when I discovered how beautiful laurel trees are and remembered why bay leaves are so important. It is nothing fancy: onions, potatoes, sausage, and spinach in a creamy broth. But simplicity is key here, as you can throw it all in the pot (along with two bay leaves), and let it simmer while you change into slippers, pour a glass of wine, or nibble on a cheese plate. 

    Winter officially "arrives" this week, which makes it the perfect time to make a simple cozy soup. Bites of spicy sausage and slurps of flavorful broth will warm you to the bone.

    Homestyle Sausage, Potato & Spinach Soup

    Homestyle Sausage, Potato & Spinach Soup

    Published December 19, 2017 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Serves: 8   |    Total Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 large yellow onion, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 stalks celery, diced small
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
    • 4 sausages (about 1/2 pound); I used Teton Waters Ranch Hot Links (available at Costco) but you can experiment here. Try kielbasa or spicy Italian to mix it up!
    • 2 cups new potatoes, quartered 
    • 2 large carrots, diced small
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
    • Dash cayenne 
    • 1 cup heavy cream 
    • 4 cups baby spinach 

    Directions:

      Instant Pot Instructions:
    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of your Instant Pot (affiliate link) on the sauté setting. Add diced onion, minced garlic, and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
    2. Slice sausages into bite sized pieces, and add to pot, browning for 3-5 minutes. Then, add potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, broth, pepper, salt and dash of cayenne.
    3. Turn Instant Pot to Soup setting, seal lid, and set timer for 10 minutes.
    4. When the timer goes off, release pressure and open pot. Stir in spinach and cream. The spinach will wilt from the heat of the soup. Add additional salt & pepper to taste, and serve hot.

      Stove Top Instructions:
    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, minced garlic, and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
    2. Slice sausages into bite sized pieces, and add to pot, browning for 3-5 minutes. Then, add potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, broth, pepper, salt and dash of cayenne.
    3. Bring soup to a simmer, and place lid on pot. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
    4. Turn off heat and, stir in spinach and cream. The spinach will wilt from the heat of the soup. Add additional salt & pepper to taste, and serve hot.

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    Tuscan Chicken Soup with Pesto

    Tuscan Chicken Soup

    Do you remember the first time you had chicken soup? I don't. It's a memory lost in time... lost somewhere in my mind. Did I even like it, or did I have to learned to love it? My mom made a lot of soups when I was kid, many of them with rounds of kielbasa, zucchini, or other veggies. She'd usually call it "everything but the kitchen sink soup," implying that she had pretty much emptied out the fridge when making the soup (and on purpose, too). On occassion, I'll eat a soup and think "This taste like my mom's soup." I can't put a finger on what flavor it is, or why it tastes the way it tastes, but I love it anyways. I think the flavor just feeds my soul.

    This soup is a pretty standard chicken soup, and it may just clean out your fridge with the number of veggies that get thrown in. But it also has one secret. It's secret isn't homemade broth or the fresh rosemary.

    Tuscan Chicken Soup
    Tuscan Chicken Soup

    Nope! This soup's big secret? A big BIG dollop of pesto, scooped right into the middle of the bowl, and then swirled into the broth until the entire bowl of soup is infused with all of that basil goodness. 

    Think it sounds crazy? I guess you'll just have to try it to find out! 

    Tuscan Chicken Soup

    Tuscan Chicken Soup with Pesto

    Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

    Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



    Ingredients:

    • 2 carrots
    • 3 stalks celery
    • 1 zucchini
    • 1 summer squash
    • 2 cups butternut squash
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 white onion
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
    • 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried)
    • 6 cups chicken broth
    • Pesto:
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    • 2 ounces parmesan cheese
    • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 cup fresh basil
    • Salt & pepper

    Directions:

    1. Set the Instant Pot to that “Sauté” setting, and heat the coconut in the bottom of the pot. Dice the onion and celery, and mince the garlic. Add all three to the pot.
    2. While the onion, celery, and garlic sauté, dice the zucchini, carrots, summer squash, and butternut squash.
    3. When the onions are transparent, use a wooden spoon to push them to the sides of the pot, and place the diced chicken thighs in the middle — cook until browned (about cook for about 5 minutes, then stir to brown the other side — 5 more minutes). Add the rest of the veggies to the pot, along with the salt, red pepper, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, and chicken broth.
    4. Lock the lid onto the pot, and turn to the soup setting. Cook for 12 minutes. Release the pressure. Meanwhile, make the pesto: Place the garlic in a food processor and pulse until it is finely minced. Add the nuts and parmesan, pulsing serval times. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse several more times, until pesto is finely minced but not pureed. To serve: use a ladle to scoop soup into bowl. Top each bowl with a dollop of pesto.

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