I was craving a savory, hearty soup. I knew what I wanted. I wanted Beef Stew without the beef. Armed with my favorite veggies and determination, I got a delicious, vegan soup with a nod to the traditional beef stew.
How can you make a beefless stew? I used my favorite beef substitution, lentils.
For me, lentils are down right magical. They make great tacos, taste wonderful plain or seasoned, cook quickly and are easy to prepare. I’m a huge lentil fan!
The first time I made this Lentil and Veggie Soup I did it quickly in my Instant Pot with Massel beef flavored broth (but it’s actually called concentrated liquid stock). I was blown away by how good it was. My husband took all the leftovers to work (which was slightly devastating) because it was so good.
I knew I had to recreate it for my friends who didn’t have an Instant Pot and wanted to cook it on the stove. I also wanted to season it with only spices instead of a ready made broth. This soup is delicious with my Dry Broth Mix but that doesn’t lend a “beefy” flavor that I was wanting. I came up with something a little different, and I didn’t even use nutritional yeast.
“Beefy” Lentil and Veggie Soup
I’ve made this a few times now and I’ve used different potatoes each time. I always find it difficult to estimate potato sizes for recipes. I’ve made it with 2 huge potatoes and with 6 small potatoes. The important thing is to think about serving size. If you were going to serve potatoes as a side dish, how many of your potatoes (whatever size you have) would you need. This soup needs 3-4 side dish serving sizes (or 2 main dish serving sizes) of potatoes.
You could add more veggies to this soup. I make it this way because these are the veggies I usually have available. If you want to try something else I recommend celery and green beans.
If you are making this in your Instant Pot, you’ll add all the ingredients as directed, then cook on manual with high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow it to release pressure naturally. Stove top directions follow below.
- 1 cup diced onions
- 6 small potatoes, diced (see note above)
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 3 cups chopped broccoli
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 2 quarts of water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Add all of the chopped veggies to a large pot on medium heat. I like to do this as I'm cutting them but if you pre-cut them you can do it all at once.
- Add the dry lentils, careful to sort them for debris. I found a stick in mine.
- Add the water and all of the seasonings and cover with a lid.
- Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Check soup, make sure the carrots and potatoes are soft.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve.
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