Lentils are a go-anywhere, anytime legume, and a hearty soup of them is especially welcome when the air is chilly. Here are two ways to cook up a pot of
delicious, vegetarian, filling lentil soup, recipe, one using a pressure cooker and another using a conventional stove top method. The time difference between pressure cooking and conventional simmering is not large, 5 to 6 minutes. Pressure cooking, however, is more energy efficient as the accumulated heat in the pot is sufficient to finish the last 15 minutes of cooking off the heat, so I usually choose the pressure cooking method.
1 organic lemon, very thinly sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup French green lentils
6 cups filtered water
2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, with juices
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups packed thinly shredded kale
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/ 2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/ 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/ 2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Lightly sprinkle the lemon rounds with salt and set them aside.
2. Melt the butter in a large soup pot or pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and carrot and sauté until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the lentils, water, tomatoes, tomato paste, kale, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper and stir to mix.
3. Cover the pot or lock on the pressure cooker lid.
If pressure cooking, bring to pressure over high heat, 6 to 8 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-high and cook for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes to finish cooking. Gently release any remaining pressure.
If cooking in a soup pot, partially cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-high and cook until the lentils are soft but not collapsing, about 25 minutes.
4. Stir in the lemon juice, garnish with the lemon rounds and feta, and serve.