Today we’re sharing one of our favorite healthy recipes, our Easy Swiss Chard Lentil Soup Recipe. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and was made in our Instant Pot! You’ll be impressed at how much goodness is packed into one bowl. It’s the perfect meal for a cold day. And, it’s definitely a great meal to get your eating back on track if you have strayed from healthy eating habits. And have you heard about the Instant Pot?
Today we’ve also teamed up with some other bloggers to bring you a roundup of great healthy recipes to start the new year. The roundup and links can be found at the bottom of this post.
I have to admit it, I’m positively giddy when I come across fresh produce. Unfortunately, it’s a rarity in the our local supermarkets where sad and wilted too often wins the day. I swear, sometimes when I shop locally coming home with fresh produce feels about as like as coming home with a unicorn. I might as well be trying to photograph a unicorn. Luckily, sometimes the local produces stands and farmers markets save the day. And when I see beautiful all the fresh produce and colorful bundles of swiss chard I’m positively bursting with joy. They’re like the elusive double rainbow after an early summer evening thunderstorm. But today I’m giddy for an entirely new reason…a new way of preparing one of our healthy favorites, our easy swiss chard lentil soup recipe.
What is an Instant Pot?
Do you have one of these things? You do realize the instant pot is one of the hottest trends in home cooking, right? An instant pot is essentially one machine that does the job of many. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer, and saute pan all rolled into one! Interested yet?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that kitchen gadgets can sometimes be a little trendy. High on flash, low on everyday usefulness. I’ll admit to having more than one kitchen gadget that gathers dust. But, the instant pot screams functionality. And, hey, sometimes you have to live a little and jump on board!
I looked at one over the summer when I heard they were having a discount on Amazon and heard tons of people online raving about it. But, with an eye on the family budget, I resisted the urge. Only to regret it later. I knew then, I really wanted one of these things! 🙂 Some time passed, but finally, when my birthday rolled around in early November and I received a few cash/check presents, I noticed the Instant Pot was on sale and I knew what I had to do. When you buy something on sale, you’re actually saving money, right? :/
Upon arrival of my new toy, my excitement momentarily gave way to overwhelm and the thoughts of “what do I make?” and “how do I use this thing?”. But then as I passed those colorful green leaves my easy swiss chard lentil soup recipe came calling and I knew it was time to open the box and get to work. Our lentil and swiss chard soup is one of our favorite healthy cold weather recipes and perfect when the farmers market is still selling chard (although spinach and kale work well also). I knew it would be a great recipe to break the seal on my new instant pot. If you’re interest is peeked, here’s an amazon affiliate link to the instant pot we purchased.
Beyond the instant pot inspiration, we also just wanted to get our healthy eating back on track. I think we all reach those times after the holidays or after bad stretches of eating when we turn to our old reliable recipes and try to get back into a healthy eating routine. We make lots of smoothies like this tropical kale green smoothie and this Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie, but soups might even get a higher billing when we are looking for healthy options. We absolutely love and rely on healthy and hearty soups like this Vegan Asparagus Soup and this Mulligatawny Soup. And today’s Easy Swiss Chard Soup in another of our favorites.
Our Lentil Swiss Chard Soup recipe isn’t overly complicated. First saute your vegetables in oil in your Instant Pot or pan, giving your onions a head start. Add broth, seasoning, and lentils and close up the lid and set for pressure cooking for 10 minutes. After the cycle runs (this will take longer than 10 minutes because it needs to get up to pressure, cook, and then slowly release pressure), open the lid and add the chard and lemon juice to the still-hot soup. If you are not using the Instant pot, you can make this on the stove. Cook the vegetables as you usually would, add the broth and lentils, and let simmer for approximately 30 minutes. This time will depend on what type of lentils you use. I have found that the french lentils tend to work better than some of the generic unlabeled bags of “lentils” at the grocery store. Although, if you are using the Instant Pot, they should be fine. If not using the Instant Pot, they may need extra simmer time. Just make sure they are cooked and not crunchy before adding the chard leaves.
If you are unable to find good chard (I definitely cannot always find it), both spinach and kale should work.
Serve with your favorite crusty bread to dip in the soup if you like (and I do).
The easy swiss chard lentil soup recipe:
Easy Swiss Chard Lentil Soup Recipe
- 2 T . oil
- 1 onion , chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 bunch of swiss chard , stems removed and chopped, leaves roughly chopped
- 3 stalks of celery , chopped
- 3-4 carrots , chopped
- 5 c . water or broth
- 1 15 oz . can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 c . lentils
- 1 tsp . fresh thyme leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
Instructions for the cooking in the Instant Pot
Press saute and add and heat oil.
Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add celery, chard stems, and carrots and saute for 3-5 minutes.
Add water or broth, tomatoes, lentils, salt and pepper and thyme.
Put on lid and make sure vent is in the sealed position.
Hit the soup button and adjust time to 10 minutes--after a few seconds, the display will say "on" and there will be three beeps.
The soup should be ready in approximately an hour--the instant pot will heat up and let the pressure build, then cook for 10 minutes, then cool down until the float valve drops.
Open the lid, add the chard leaves and lemon juice, and enjoy!
Instructions for stovetop cooking:
Follow instructions in a large soup pot on stove through placing the lid on the pot.
Let simmer until lentils cook-approximately 30 minutes depending on your lentils.
Once lentils are cooked, turn off heat and add chard leaves and lemon juice.
Stir and let sit for a few minutes and stir again.
Serve and enjoy.
Recipes clockwise from top left:
Easy Swiss Chard Lentil Soup – Melissa, My Wife Can Cook
Salted Caramel Chia Oat Balls – Kirsten, Treat Yourself Sweeter
Chickpea and Eggplant Dip with Dill Pesto – Julia, Imagelicious
Super Simple Green Smoothie – Sarah, The Fit Cookie
Easy Healthy Spicy Sweet Shrimp in Endive Cups – Gloria, Homemade and Yummy
Cheesy Buffalo Ranch Cauliflower Casserole – Arlene, Flour on My Face
Quick and Easy Black Bean Coconut Curry – Veena Azmanov