Nourishing Lentil Soup (Instant Pot or not)

New Years Eve marks my lentil soup making for the winter season. The Italian’s believe it brings good luck, so each and every year I remember having my fix of lentils on this day to mark the occasion. But a bowl of lentils not only bring good luck, they offer dietary fiber (to help prevent cancer and other diseases), and a satiating meal that nourishes you to your core. Never worry if you don’t have all of the ingredients (zucchini, shitake and spinach aren’t a must, just healthful additions). I offer both Instant Pot directions and stovetop to accommodate your kitchen. Just know, when you cook beans/legumes in a pressure cooker, it helps remove the lectins in them (which is a great thing, because lectins aren’t helpful towards our good health).

NOURISHING LENTIL SOUP (Instant Pot or not)
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or ghee
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 zucchini, diced
Half container of shitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups broth of your choice (I opt for bone broth)
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt & 1/4 ground pepper (then to taste after it cooks)
Organic spinach, chopped (optional at end)
Fresh parsley, parmesan cheese, and lemon for garnishing

Directions:
INSTANT POT – Add extra virgin olive oil or ghee to bottom of Instant Pot and turn on SAUTE function. Stir in diced onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute until onions are translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Turn OFF.
Add in the rest of the ingredients (except for the spinach greens or garnish).
Place your IP lid on and turn vent to SEAL. Cook on Manual HIGH for 15 minutes.
Quick release when the timer goes off.
If you’d like to add spinach here, you can stir it right into the hot soup and it will wilt then and there.
Garnish with parsley if you have it, plenty of parmesan cheese, and a squeeze of lemon if you desire.
Serve it warm and enjoy!

STOVETOP – Add extra virgin olive oil or ghee to bottom of large saucepan, heated at medium heat. Stir in diced onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute until onions are translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
Add in the rest of the ingredients (except for the spinach greens or garnish).
Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 40-minutes, stirring every so often.
After 40-minutes, if you’d like to add spinach, you can stir it right into the hot soup and it will wilt then and there.
Garnish with parsley if you have it, plenty of parmesan cheese, and a squeeze of lemon if you desire.
Serve it warm and enjoy!

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