French Green Lentils Soup Recipe (called soupe de lentilles vertes), prepared in Instant pot. Hearty, one pot quick dinner with delicious French legumes. Ready in about 30 minutes time.
Today we are making a favorite of mine – French green lentils soup in the Instant pot. Preparing legumes and soups in my Instant pot is a preferred way to use it. It’s convenient, easy and quick – for those busy weekdays when everyone is hungry at an earlier time than usual. That happens a lot lately. First, however lets start with the fun facts.
FUN FACTS about (French) Green Lentils
French green lentils (also known as Lentilles du Puy) are a popular food item that can be seen in many European stores. This lentil variety is know for its distinctive flavor, small grain and green-brown-ish color. French lentils from le Puy region have thicker skin than other lentil varieties, which leads to longer cooking times. Luckily Instant pot French green lentils require only half an hour to cook.
Since green lentils are thick-skinned, they retain their shape well during cooking (even in Instant pot). Thus, they are perfect for salads, sides and appetizers too.
France and Spain are the largest European producers of legumes, including lentils. France itself is one of the largest lentil producers nearly 50% of production volumes for the European Union. Green lentils dominate amongst other lentil varieties in France in terms of production. There are two distinct regions in France where green lentils are grown – Le Puy-en-Velay in southern France and former province called Duchy of Berry located in central France.
If the label does not specifically state green lentils are from le Puy or Berry regions (ex. the term “Lentille verte du Puy”), fear not, they are still delicious and are ideal to make in an Instant pot. However, they most likely come from Greece, Italy or elsewhere in the world. In fact, many regional products are protected under the European Union’s designation of origin indication. It was created in 1992 with the aim of linking foods with the region where they were grown and produced. Yup, we like to know where our food comes from.
Ingredients & substitutions
- (French) Green lentils – substitute with red lentils with skin on if needed
- Olive oil – for sautéing. Use vegetable oil or pork lard/duck fat if preferred
- Onions – white or yellow onions
- Kale, optional – I like to add some greens whenever available
- Tomato paste
- Sweet paprika – or throw some chilies in if you are a fan
- Savory spice – substitute with dried oregano, parsley and mint
- Cumin powder
- Coriander powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Water (and stock cube) or bone broth
How to cook Green lentils – Instant pot
Sauté chopped vegetables in some olive oil on high. Deglaze pot (important step do not miss) with some water.
Add remaining ingredients and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow natural release for additional 5 to 10 minutes ( lentils continue to cook for that period).
Remove from Instant pot and more broth or spices as needed. Serve warm. You can also keep warm (in IP) for a few hours till dinner time. Note: We like our soups on the thicker side, however if you’d like feel free to adjust the liquid quantities to suit your preferences.
Frequently asked questions:
- Can I prepare French green lentils on the stove? – Yes, follow directions – 1st sauté vegetables, then add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Let simmer until fully cooked. You may need to add more water/broth to the meal as it cooks. Stir from time to time to prevent lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- How long to cook green lentils? – depending on the method used the cooking time varies. For Instant pot version – refer to recipe below. For stove top version – it may take 60 to 90 minutes depending on heat, stove top and cooking dish.
- Can I cook Green Lentils in slow cooker? – Yes, you would need to sauté vegetables on the stove, then combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Depending on the type of slow cooker used you may cook lentils on ‘low’ for 6+ hours or ‘high’ for 4+ hours. If using Instant pot as slow cooker make sure to cook on ‘medium’, even ‘high’ setting as the ‘low’ function keeps the dish warm, but does not cook it. Adjust cooking time and thickness depending on the variety of green lentils used.
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French Green Lentils Soup – Instant Pot
- 1 Instant Pot
- 300 g French green lentils washed
- 4 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 carrot diced
- 1/2 cup kale leaves (2-3 leaves) chopped
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 liters water/vegetable broth
Spices & Seasoning
- 1 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tbsp. savory spice
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- water/ broth until line 2 of the inner pot
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Chop vegetables, the pour olive oil in inner pot. Turn on SAUTE function and sauté veggies while stirring frequently. Deglaze the pot with a few tbsp. of water/broth.
- Next, add all remaining ingredients, including water and spices. Turn pressure cooker on custom. Set to HIGH PRESSURE for 15 minutes. Close the lid and set knob to 'sealed' if not using Instant Pot Pro.
- Allow 5 to 10 minutes NATURAL RELEASE of pressure after pressure cooking is over. Switch knob to vent position to release remaining pressure.
- Adjust thickness and taste if needed. Keep warm or serve immediately.
- I cook with Instant Pot Pro.
- Spices and seasoning are a main pillar for a good taste, however adjust those according your own preferences.
- Sautéing can be skipped, however it gives soup a better taste.
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