So I’m going to tell you a secret.
I’m a lazy cook.
I love food, don’t get me wrong, and I love to cook that’s for sure. Sometimes I could even spend hours in the kitchen playing around with food… and eating it… BUT I still like what I’m doing to be relatively easy. A lot of nights, the easier the better. I would venture to guess that 4 out of the 7 nights a week I would actually rather not cook dinner… or have someone cook it for me.
No matter how much you love to cook… and eat… I maintain that a side effect of life is the want/need for easy dinners.
So my version of easy may not be anywhere near what someone else’s idea of easy is (although I’ll admit sometimes my version of easy is getting Jeff to pick up pizza), but I promise I spared no effort in making sure this was no effort, while also looking surprisingly like effort at the table!
**Now this is an instant pot recipe, but of course you can always throw these exact same goodies in a large stock pot on the stove, bring to a boil, cover and then let simmer on med-low for about 45 minutes, or until your lentils are cooked and veggies are tender!
We’ll call it Lazy Veggie Soup (because my laziness in cooking sometimes, translates to my laziness in dish naming)
Lazy Veggie Soup
What You’ll Need
-Some vegetables! In this case I had pre-cut broccoli and cauliflower for extra laziness, whole baby carrots, 1 whole chopped sweet onion, and about 3-4 celery stalks. But you can use whatever veg you have on hand that you might enjoy in soup! (try green beans, or add some cubed potatoes!)
-6 cups veggie broth (or 3 veggie bouillon cubes dissolved in 6 cups of water) + an additional 1-2 cups of water
-1/2 cup dried lentils
-1 tbsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
-2 “squares” of rice noodles
What You’ll Need to do
Eye ball everything. I put “about” 2 cups of each veggie in the instant pot, very loosely estimated, except for the onion which was one whole one, and the celery which ended up being 4 stalks. But basically I just threw stuff into the pot until I thought it looked “good enough”. I know, I know… I should be a cooking instructor.
Cut up your veggies… and also don’t cut your veggies. If you have pre-cut veggies like I did then there is obviously no need to cut it again. Otherwise just roughly cut up your broccoli and cauliflower, keep your baby carrots whole, and roughly chop your celery and onions into large-ish pieces. If you’re catching the point of this all, it’s that everything is done with the upmost-minimal effort.
Dissolve your bouillon cubes in hot water first… if you are not using veggie broth… otherwise you don’t have to do that either.
Toss everything in the instant pot (or stock pot) as you go, along with your extra cup or two of water if needed (just to make sure all your goodies are drowning nicely), and don’t forget to add your tablespoon of garlic powder and 1/2 cup of lentils!
Close your instant pot, set to manual on high pressure for 10 minutes, and when it peeps “done” at you follow it with a quick release.
THEN add your rice noodles, stir and cover slightly to sit for about 5 minutes or so! *if you’re using a stock pot, add your rice noodles after cooking as well, same as you are doing for the instant pot (MOST rice noodles will cook while sitting in the hot soup covered for a few minutes)
Oh yea, and serve! (with some chopped green onion and fresh black pepper, if you want to be extra fancy)
So now that you’ve got the “jist” of an easy veggie soup, add some other things next time you do it and mix it up at bit! Cubed potatoes or green beans, like previously mentioned. Add some chopped spinach when you add your rice noodles to add some extra green (they will wilt with the heat from the soup without being over cooked). Add a can of whole kernel corn, some frozen peas or some black beans. Throw in some pre-cooked rice or quinoa instead of rice noodles.
Have fun being lazy AND creating food!