if you thouGht we’d get you through winter without a classic, cozy lentil soup, think again. Lentils will always have their day with us. You’ve been well-schooled about this unsuspecting legume’s A list appeal. To refresh, lentils are a nutrient-dense powerhouse jam-packed with fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium and iron. Hearty enough to be the star of the show for dinner and perfect to pack for work tomorrow to side-step afternoon slump.
There are some classics better left untouched — unless that touch is the press of an InstantPot button. This simple, cozy recipe from Coco Morante’s The Ultimate Instant Pot Healthy Cookbook includes some zing with a dollop of tomato paste. Chop. Toss. Press button. Savage.
GREEK LENTIL SOUP
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dried green or brown lentils
4 cups low-sodium chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, for serving
2 Tbsp fresh chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving
Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and the garlic for 2 minutes, until the garlic is bubbling but not browned. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and salt and sauté for about 3 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the oregano and pepper and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the lentils and broth and stir to combine. Add the tomato paste in a dollop on top. Do not stir it in.
Secure the lid and set the pressure release to Sealing. Press the Cancel button to reset the cooking program, then select the Pressure Cook or Manual setting and set the cooking time for 25 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot, then stir the soup to incorporate the tomato paste.
Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the vinegar, and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve right away.
Note: The more vegetables the merrier—add chopped bell pepper or parsnip. And if you’re using the last few stalks of celery (near the heart) from a head, chop the leaves and add them, too.
Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate Instant Pot Healthy Cookbook by Coco Morante, copyright © 2019. Photographs by Jennifer Davick. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.