Pressure cooker, Time Lapse Video, Weeknight dinner
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Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup

Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup

Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup

In all your life, you will be hard-pressed to find something as simple, soothing, and forgiving, as consoling as lentil soup. You can take things out of it or put things into it. It can be fancy or plain, and it will never let you down.
– Laurie Colwin

I’m reading my way through Laurie Colwin’s classic food writing, and I’m in love. Her relaxed, no fuss approach to cooking is what I aspire to in the kitchen. She shows the beauty in the art of simple food.2

The Wonderful Lentil Soup chapter in More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen inspired this recipe – specifically, the section where she talks about “the unhealthy way” to make it – with diced bacon. I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for lentils and pork.


Video: Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup – Time Lapse []

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup


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Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup recipe, inspired by Laurie Colwin’s “Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen”. A quick, hearty soup for a cold day.


  • 4 ounces diced bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 pound brown lentils, rinsed (2 1/4 cups)
  • 4 cups water
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Brown the bacon: Spread the bacon out in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot, then put it over medium-low heat (or, in an electric PC, use Sauté mode). Cook the bacon, stirring often, until the bacon is well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible. Set the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  2. Sauté the aromatics in the bacon fat: Add the onion and garlic to the pressure cooker pot, and then sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute until the onion softens, about five minutes. Add the lentils to the pot, pour in the water and then stir in the tomatoes and the reserved bacon.
  3. Pressure cook the lentils: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker, bring the cooker to high pressure, and pressure cook for 12 minutes in a stovetop cooker, and 15 minutes in an electric pressure cooker. (On the Instant Pot, use the Manual setting, and set the cook time for 15 minutes.) When the cooking time is over, remove the pot from the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid any hot steam.
  4. Thicken, season, and serve: Scoop 2 cups of lentils and cooking liquid out of the cooker and puree them. (I put them in a quart measuring cup and use my stick blender.) Pour the pureed lentils back into the pot. Taste the soup, then add salt and pepper until you just taste the salt on the tip of your tongue. (I usually add another two teaspoons of kosher salt to the pot.) Serve.
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Brown the diced bacon


Sauté the onions


Ready to lock the lid


  • No pressure cooker? No worries. Increase the water to 6 cups, and simmer it on the stove for an hour.
  • What to serve with it? As you can see in the pictures, I like it with a side of rice. Mrs. Colwin says to serve it: “With a loaf of bread, a salad, and some cheese, and something or other for dessert, you have your midday or evening meal without much trouble on your part.”
Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup

Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup |

Pressure Cooker Lentil and Bacon Soup

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  1. alex says

    Very similar to the Hungarian lentil soup I grew up with and so glad to have an Instant Pot version I can now rely on because soaking beans is a bigger chore than I care to deal with. Also, sauteing bacon in anything but an Instant Pot means grease spatters to clean up later, even if using a screen. The way Instant Pots are designed this is minimized, and the onions become beautifully translucent while deglazing the insert of that magnificent bacon fond.

    The major difference in the stovetop recipe is that it involved making a roux of the onions and bacon fat and this step can be skipped entirely. It’s not like the flour adds anything except thickening if you’re making a large batch with lots of fluid and simmering it for hours.

    The only difference in my family recipe is no tomatoes, and the seasonings are two tablespoons of sweet paprika and a couple of bay leaves. And at the end, it gets a splash of vinegar and each serving gets a dollop of sour cream. You can also add sausage, which I might have done had there been any on hand.

    I didn’t get out my immersion blender for this one, instead just stirring it very vigorously with a spatula and the result was thick and creamy as it should be.

    I’m often hesitant to use the Instant Pot on familiar stovetop recipes but this one helped give me more confidence in that regard. And even though I’m supposed to abstain from bacon, I’m going to give myself a treat a little more often now that I can make this with considerably less time and effort.

  2. Lee Ann Roberts says

    I made this for dinner tonight; we haven’t eaten yet, but the bite I had after I took it out of the IP was tasty.

    I was short on brown lentils, so I added 1/2 cup of red lentils, which were mushy enough that I didn’t think I needed to puree anything.

    I also tossed in a bay leaf, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and a couple of teaspoons of Better than Bouillon vegetable stock concentrate.

    As Ted said in the above comment, mine came out pretty dry. I will add a little water to the soup when I reheat it.

  3. I made this this morning and it’s pretty tasty, and definitely going into the regular soup rotation. I did note a couple of changes for next time though. 1. My lentils weren’t quite cooked through, so a couple of more minutes will be added. 2. The soup came out very dry, enough so that I added a cup of water to the cup of lentils when I pureed them. That worked well. 3. Although it gets away from the simplicity of the soup, it’s almost like a blank canvas that you can work with as far as extra spices and other additions. I’m thinking some diced carrot will go nicely.

    I use a 5 quart Instant Pot because mostly I’m just cooking for my wife and I, and I’ve yet to find a recipe that didn’t work in the 5 quart instead of the 6 quart.

    Thanks for the great recipes and ideas.

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