This is a delicious, easy, and, most importantly, FAST way to make a hearty, nutritious, stick-to-ribs soup. As with most bean soups, a good broth is they key to flavor, so use your own homemade, or a good quality brand that is sold a carton, not canned! I like Pacific Foods mushroom broth for a good, meaty flavor. If you like spinach and appreciate an extra kick of iron, pick up a bag of prewashed baby spinach, or else buy regular spinach and clean and stem it while the soup cooks.
- In your pressure cooker, sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
- Add the carrots and celery and saute for a minute or two.
- Add the ground cumin and stir well.
- Add the vegetable broth, lentils, and bay leaves, close the pressure cooker, and bring up to pressure.
- Cook for 20 minutes.
- Open the pressure cooker via the quick release method (see your cooker's owner's manual!) or let the pressure come down on its own.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- If desired, stir in the spinach, and stir until it wilts. (Additional heat is not necessary.).
- Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.