Half the people in our city are sick this week. Half. No good, I say! We like feeling healthy and strong, thank you very much. I have no time to be down with a cold or flu. So, to the extent that I can, I’m giving my body every tool imaginable to keep it working properly and happily. My Instant Pot® stew is one such tool, and I’m thankful for it (afflinks).
Inspired by the memory of a wonderful soup friends in Québec City made for me years ago, I looked up some of the best warming ingredients I could find and decided to experiment with them. Since, unfortunately, my husband is one of the people who’s down with a cold, I didn’t want to invest a lot of time shopping and cooking. I wanted to create something that would give us all the benefits of germ-fighting powerhouse foods but without losing hours in the kitchen that I could be spending elsewhere (like sanitizing everything in my house from top to bottom).
I’m happy to report that my experiment worked! Now, we’re the proud owners of a brand new recipe that’s downright good–not only for the body, but for our spirits, too. It’s an all-around feel-good meal. Who knew we could make our own comfort food?
Part of what makes this recipe so easy is that everything goes straight from being chopped to directly in the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Carrot Ginger Red Lentil Stew, otherwise known as Easy Comfort Food Stew
- 6 large carrots, chopped fairly small by hand or in a food processor
- 1 large clove of fresh garlic, chopped by hand or in a food processor
- Approximately 1.5-2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled, then grated or chopped in a food processor (time saving tip: process the carrots, garlic, and ginger together)
- 1 1/2 cups rinsed red lentils
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth (alternatively, use only water and add more seasonings)
- 2-3 cups water depending on the consistency you like (more water for soupy-stew, less water for thicker stew)
Option #1: Up until now, this is a vegan recipe (if you’ve used vegetable broth or water). If that’s not your thing, you can add meat (my husband likes chicken).
Option #2: Spice it up with 1 tsp (or more) turmeric powder.
Option #3: Bonus health points if you add fresh greens! I like basil, but just about any green, including carrot greens, can work great here.
Turn on the Instant Pot to your “Stew” setting and set it for 15 minutes. We used the quick release function at the end, and it turned out perfectly! Add seasonings to taste, if need be, but I like it just as it is. If it’s too thick for your liking, you can always add more water.
Serves four adults.