Saturday, February 10, 2018

Lentil Bean Soup With Spinach [Instant Pot]

Lentil Bean Soup With Baby Spinach in the Instant Pot

 Bean soups make a great addition to a health diet. This recipe contains no meat or daily so it's also a good choice for those who follow a Vegan or vegetarian diet.

Lentils cook quick with no soaking time required and, along with other beans, contain a good amount of dietary fiber (1g. per tablespoon). The American Heart Association says that Americans only consume about 15g. of the the 25-30g. recommended amount.

This is a great beginner recipe for those new to the Instant Pot. There's not a lot of ingredients and a short cook time. This isn't a large batch of soup but if there's leftovers you can store it in your fridge for a few days or freeze it in portion sized containers for a longer storage time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 cups baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


Instructions:

  1. Start by putting your Instant Pot in the "Saute" mode on medium heat (keep pressing Saute to choose the desired heat level). Once the Instant Pot reads "Hot" add the oil. When the oil is hot add the carrots, onion, and celery and stir occasionally until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Once the vegetables are cooked add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. 
  3. Pour a 1/4 cup of broth in the pot and deglaze the bottom of the pot to ensure proper heating and preventing overheat errors on the Instant Pot. 
  4. Add the rest of the broth then stir in the cumin, turmeric, thyme, salt, and black pepper until mixed well.
  5. Add the lentil beans and stir to mix well.
  6. Press cancel on the Instant Pot and lock on the lid. Now select "Pressure Cook" and set the time for 15 minutes. Make sure the vent is in the "Sealing" position.
  7. After the cooking time has counted down you can do a "quick release" of the pressure. Always turn the relief valve slowly when first letting out steam. 
  8. Once the pressure has been released and pressure indicator has dropped remove the lid and add the spinach. It will look like a lot at first but will quickly wilt down as you stir it into the hot soup.
  9. Enjoy!

Notes:

  1. For newbies to the Instant Pot "quick release" means the pressure is released immediately after cooking vs. "natural release" which means to let the pressure release on its own after cooking.
  2. If there is resistance when trying to unlock the lid it could be from too much pressure in the Instant Pot verify that the pressure is completely released before unlocking the lid.
  3. Turmeric will stain things yellow, even wooden spoons. Be careful not to spill it.