Preheat & Render Bacon: Before you turn on the heat, layer 6 slices of bacon in Instant Pot's inner pot. *Note: We are using the preheating heat to render & crisp the bacon. Heat up Instant Pot using "Sauté More" function. Flip bacon occasionally. Once Instant Pot says "HOT" (~12 mins), the bacon should be done. Place bacon on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.
Saute Onions & Garlic: Keep the flavorful bacon fat in Instant Pot. Add in diced onion, then saute for 3 minutes. Add in minced garlic, 1 tsp (2.7g) ground cumin, 1 tsp (0.6g) dried thyme, and 3 bay leaves. Saute for another minute.
Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Give it a quick mix.
Pressure Cook Lentil Soup: Add 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce and 5 ½ cups (1375ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot. Add in 2 cups (400g) green lentils, chopped carrots, and chopped celery. Give it a quick mix. Layer 14oz (400g) crushed tomatoes on top. Do not mix. With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure 8 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure. Open the lid carefully. While the soup is pressure cooking, cut bacon slices into bacon bits.
Season Lentil Soup: Taste the lentil soup, then adjust seasoning accordingly (for reference, we added roughly 4 - 5 pinches of salt to balance & open up the flavors).
Serve Instant Pot Lentil Soup: Garnish Lentil Soup with freshly chopped parsley and bacon bits, then serve immediately. *Pro Tip: You can also add just a bit of sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar for another layer of flavor just before serving. Enjoy!~
1. Vegan Lentil Soup: substitute the unsalted chicken stock with vegetable stock, and substitute fish sauce with regular soy sauce. Skip the bacon and use olive oil to saute the onions.
2. Dump-it-all-in Version: Simply place all the ingredients in Instant Pot (except crushed tomatoes & bacon slices). Then, layer crushed tomatoes on the very top and do NOT mix. Close lid and pressure cook as directed. Crisp bacon in the oven (see directions).
*Rate the Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you!
Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 1038mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7012IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 5mg