Pressure cooker hearty lentil beer soup stars black and red lentils both, plus tender potatoes and carrots, and the beverage dear to my heart, beer! This soup is quick and easy to make, high-in-protein, plant-based, and tasty as all get out—a home-cooked meal for this busy time of year. Happy holidaze!
Hi there. I’m Letty from Letty’s Kitchen blog. I develop seasonal vegetarian recipes along with desserts with a healthier twist. Soup made in a pressure cooker is practically my middle name, and I’m delighted to share this recipe with you.
I’ve been changing up this vegetarian lentil soup since I was old enough to drink. (Not that that would have stopped me from pouring beer into my soup.) Named “lentil wunderbar soup”, the recipe is scribbled in an old notebook, at the top of a tattered yellowed page. If you know where this recipe originates, please write. What I know is wunderbar in German means wonderful.
With carrots providing sweetness, and a sour spoonful of vinegar to finish, pressure cooker hearty lentil beer soup is classic German sweet and sour food. For more wunderbar-ness, another flavor dimension, stir in the beer of your choice. I used a pale brown ale.
Back in the day, we knew lentils that cook into soft mushy rustic soup, regular brown lentils. Was it seasonal-cooking pioneer Alice Waters and her restaurant Chez Panisse that introduced American cooks to French green lentils, lentils that hold their shape when cooked?
Now we can easily find many lentil varieties, from black belugas that also hold their shape, to red and yellow lentils that cook to a creamy texture. For this soup, it takes seven minutes in the pressure cooker for red lentils to melt into sweet creaminess, while black lentils keep their chewy soft texture. Wunderbar!
To increase awareness of the highly nutritious lentils and their bean cousins, the United Nations declared 2016 the Year of the Pulse. With the best of intentions, my goal was to come up with a recipe showcasing pulses every month this year. Thanks to my pressure cooker, I covered 7 out of 12 months.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried black lentils
- 3/4 cup dried red lentils
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, about 20 grinds
- 1 (12-ounce) beer, your choice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Stir in the onions and carrots and sauté for a few minutes. Add the vegetable broth, black and red lentils, potato, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure 7 minutes. Quick release the pressure. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the beer and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Taste, adding more salt and pepper if you think it’s needed.
- Serve garnished with parsley.