Weekend Cooking: Instant Pot Vegetable Stock and Spiced Lentil Soup

Like many cooks, I keep a gallon-sized Ziploc bag in my freezer to save vegetable scraps, which I then use to make vegetable broth when its full. (I once thought this was a rather complicated process but in actuality, it’s really easy and convenient.)

Today was the perfect day to do this. It’s one of those rainy, windy and just all-around miserable November days, the kind where you just crave a big bowl of soup for dinner (something that sounded perfect to me, since I’m dealing with a stupid, pesky cold).

I’ve only made broth in the slow cooker, but today I decided to try Laurel Randolph’s recipe from The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cookbook

I started by dumping my entire bag of frozen vegetable scraps into the Instant Pot.

I added enough water to cover the vegetables, some dried parsley and garlic pepper seasoning blend, a bay leaf and set the Instant Pot to cook on the Soup setting for an hour. Did a natural release for 15 minutes and voila!

Gorgeous vegetable broth! (After straining the vegetables, that is. Important step.)

(That’s a 1/2 cup.)

Obviously, this made A LOT of broth.

My choice of soups was the Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale Soup from Oh She Glows. Minus the kale, that is. I’ve tried it in many recipes, I’ve wanted to like it,  I know it’s super-healthy, but I just don’t have any affection for kale. I do have a strong affection for Angela Lidden’s blog Oh She Glows, which is one of my favorites.

Again, I wanted to convert this to an Instant Pot recipe. I found a few variations online and used them as a guide. You start off sautéing onion and garlic in olive oil. Then, add ground cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and coriander. I didn’t have the last two so I just left them out. Add a can of diced tomatoes, 6 cups of vegetable broth, and a cup of red lentils.

I wasn’t sure how long to cook this for. One converted recipe said 3 minutes and another said 15 with a 10 minute natural release. That’s kind of a wide range, so I just went with 15 minutes and a 5 minute natural release.

This was absolutely excellent (as have been every recipe I’ve made from Oh She Glows.) You know how good this was?

So good that The Husband requested to see this soup again — and soon.

He usually likes most things I make but he was especially enthusiastic about this, so we’ll put this on the regular rotation.

Speaking of the Instant Pot, I’ve been thinking of doing a series of blog posts focusing on the Instant Pot — recipes, common questions, etc. I don’t necessarily want to start a separate blog. Any ideas what to call this feature?

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: Instant Pot Vegetable Stock and Spiced Lentil Soup

  1. mae

    The vegetable broth does look very instant — most recipes call for adding the spice in a separate step in conventional cookware with longish cook times. Interesting.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  2. Judee

    This post really intrigues me as I am new to using my Instant Pot ( and loving it). I’ve also make a similar lentil soup in my Instant pot that I converted from an old family recipe. Perhaps you could use fresh spinach instead of kale and just wilt it in at the end.
    On another note- Just like your feeling toward kale ( you want to like it but don’t) , I want to like the broth from scraps but have tried it so many times in the slow cooker and just don’t like the taste. I save my scraps ( onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, parsley, etc) and excitedly cook them in the slow cooker and the results just don’t taste good to me. I’ll give it a try in the instant pot ( does it really need 15 minutes? -). thanks.

  3. Beth F

    Ha! It must be Instant Pot weekend! I’ve made chicken and turkey broth in my cooker but haven’t tried vegetable stock. Now I have to give it a try. The tomato soup sounds perfect for this time of year. Kale seems to be one of those love it or hate it vegetables. I’m in the love camp.


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