Vegan Instant Pot Lentil and Cabbage Soup
I love making lentil soups and stews. They are one of the easiest recipes to make in the Instant Pot and usually affordable. As with most of my dried ingredients, I usually purchase lentils in bulk to save money. And I use a ton of cabbage in this recipe because cabbage is one of the cheapest vegetables per pound you can find! Plus, it’s rich in nutrients and fiber, which helps you stay full.
I use standard green lentils in this recipe to save money, but if you have a bit more room in your budget, you can also you use French green lentils. They tend to hold their shape more under pressure cooking so you’ll have more distinct pieces of lentils, as in this recipe.
Another money-saving trick is to use a vegetable bouillon cube instead of buying vegetable broth. Of course, if you make homemade vegetable broth using veggie scraps and water, that’s your best option from a taste and affordability perspective! But for those of you who don’t have homemade broth on hand, using a vegetable bouillon cube with water instead of using vegetable broth can save you a couple dollars.
I love making this soup on Sunday and eat leftovers throughout the week. It’s especially delicious paired with some whole grain bread or a baguette!
What you need to make this recipe
Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Cabbage Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil or neutral cooking oil of choice
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt + more to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup green lentils
1 head green cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced or chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube (can use 2 for more flavor)
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes ($1.29)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For serving: whole grain bread or baguette
Crush the canned whole tomatoes by hand into a bowl.
Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and let the pot heat up for a few minutes before adding the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion is browned and completely soft, about 6 minutes.
Add the carrots, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Cook until the carrots are just starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the lentils, cabbage, water, vegetable bouillon cube, remaining salt, and bay leaves. Stir to combine, pressing the cabbage down with a long spoon to ensure everything is below the Instant Pot’s maximum capacity line. Select the Cancel setting.
Pour the crushed tomatoes on top and stir to combine.
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 10 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release.
Open the pot and stir in the vinegar and taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with bread.