Last week, we had a brief taste of spring. A tease if you will, where we had two glorious days of warmth. Then Mother Nature laughed and laughed and plunged us back into freezing temps with a sprinkle of ice and a thick blanket of snow. In short, she brought us soup weather. Think of how nice it would be coming how to a big, steamy bowl of hot soup. Think of how even better it would be if that soup was a piping hot bowl of lentil taco soup?
There are so many ways to make taco soup, so many recipes, from emptying several cans into a crock pot to soups that are more like queso, thick with cheese and ground beef, but with most of us still holding strong to our new years resolution, there needs to be a flavorful taco soup that doesn’t kill the waste line and lets us add another meat-free option to our meal planning.
Lentil taco soup can be made in about 35 minutes in an instant pot or another electric pressure cooker, making it easy to put together after a long day of work or before having to get the kids out the door for dance practice, but it can also be made in the slow cooker, ready to go when you are. The recipe is the same and most of the method is the same, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your schedule.
It starts by sauteeing a large onion, some garlic, a jalapeno and a bell pepper in a touch of oil. Then it’s followed up with some tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, green lentils some. Some taco-esque spices like cumin and oregano round out the list. The instant pot or slow cooker is set and dinner is ready when you are.
Topping this lentil taco soup with a bit of diced avocado some fresh cilantro keeps it vegan, but it is just as easily topped with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a swirl of sour cream, the choice is yours.
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Chase away the winter blues with a big bowl of lentil taco soup. Easily made in the instant pot or a slow cooker so dinner will be ready when you are.
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced (leave the seeds in for more heat)
1 tbs veg/canola oil
1 (29oz) can tomato sauce (about 4 cups)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes (about 2 cups)
1-quart chicken stock
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
8oz (about 1 1/2cups) French green lentils
1 tsp salt
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
Top with diced avocado
In the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker):
- Select the sautee function and heat the oil.
- Add the onions, garlic, and both peppers. Cook until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the fresh cilantro, close the lid and select the manual pressure butter.
- Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, then use a quick release.
- Stir in the fresh cilantro, ladle into big bowls and top with some diced avocado.
In the Slow Cooker:
- In a saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the onions, garlic, and both peppers, cooking until soft. About 3-5 minutes.
- Add into the slow cooker insert along with the remaining ingredients except for the fresh cilantro.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours.
- When the lentils are soft, stir in the fresh cilantro and ladle into big bowls.
- Top with some diced avocado.