Instant Pot Lentil Soup

You don’t have to worry when it’s your food under pressure.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

They say pressure makes diamonds, but did you know that pressure also makes great food? Well… it does, and this instant pot lentil soup is the perfect example of that. This time saving single pot dish is a wonderful addition to any menu. Whether you are trying to free up time in the kitchen, simplify dinner or are into meal prepping. This is one incredible recipe you need to add to your repertoire.

This plant based instant pot lentil soup is a hearty and delicious dish, like a warm hug from the inside. The earthiness of the lentils pairs so nicely with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the warmth from the spices. The lentils themselves have a wonderful creamy texture and heartiness, while the soft and succulent vegetables round out the flavor and body of the dish. I really enjoy the pepperiness of the lentils and the body they add to the soup with their natural thickening properties.

Instant pot and pressure cooking

I am a huge fan of one pot meals, not only are they time savers but they also save on effort in the kitchen and clean up after cooking. In addition to reducing your cooking and clean up work load, these instant pot cookers also lock in the flavors and all of those vitamins and minerals in the lentils and vegetables. 

This instant pot lentil soups is packed with potassium, iron, fiber, calcium and Vitamins like A and C. A vibrant meal with tons of heart healthy goodness, and a savory depth of flavor that you will swear it took days to make. 

That’s the beauty of these pressure cookers, fast healthy cooking for anyone on a time crunch. That’s why if you watch a cooking show you see the chefs using them all of the time. The pressure locks in all the goodness of what you are cooking while speeding up the process multiple times over. If you ask me they are a true wonder of the cooking world.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (green, French or brown)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 dried bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 cups baby spinach or baby kale
  • Lemon juice, parsley, parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
Instant Pot Lentil Soup

How to Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Step 1: Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot using the ‘sauté’ setting. Add the chopped onion and celery, cooking until they’re softened, which should take about 5 minutes.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Step 2: Stir in the minced garlic, tomato paste, ground cumin, and dried thyme, letting them cook together for another minute to release their flavors.

Step 3: Pour in the water, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot. This will prevent a burn notice and add flavor to your soup. Turn off the ‘sauté’ function.

Step 4: Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, chopped carrots, and lentils to the pot. Season the mix with salt and pepper, and add bay leaves if you’re using them.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Step 5: Seal the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the ‘sealing’ position. Select the ‘manual’ setting on high pressure for 16 minutes. For softer lentils, like brown ones, set for 12 minutes. After cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.

Step 6: Open the Instant Pot and stir in the baby spinach or kale until wilted. Serve the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, and a dusting of parmesan cheese, if desired.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

This is an excellent meal to make ahead of time, follow the direction in the recipe above, then cool down your instant pot lentil soup. Next place your soup in an airtight container or containers if meal prepping and store in the fridge to up to five days. I need to mention that this soup freezes very well, and I prefer to freeze the soup in single or double portions to make reheating a breeze and then you already have the correct portion.

Can I add meat?

Yes, this dish might be plant based but you can easily add in your favorite meat. Shredded rotisserie chicken is a great addition and the perfect way to use any leftover protein you might have laying around.

Is this meal gluten free?

Yes it is. If you have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you have nothing to worry about with this delicious soup.

Do I need to soak the lentils before using them?

No, I do however recommend that you thoroughly rinse the lentils before you cook them. Rinsing helps to remove unwanted bits of shell, lentil dust or broken pieces.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Serving Suggestions

Our instant pot lentil soup is one of those one pot wonders that never disappoints. Having said that, even the best tasting dish can use a little change here and there. This incredible yet versatile meal is no different. You can complement this dish with a side salad or a bit of crusty bread for a full meal. You can also go a few steps further and try adding in some other choice ingredients. I like to add fire roasted tomatoes and a little smokey paprika, a splash of good balsamic vinegar can add a rich complexity that works magic with the sweetness of tomatoes. If you have a favorite green like mustard or collard greens give those a try. The lentils themselves can also be switched out if you have one you prefer, just keep in mind the different cooking times of each color lentil.

One pot meal are here to stay and we have a few that we recommend like our, Crockpot Salsa Chicken, or take a down south approach to dinner with this Slow Cooker Jambalaya. Had enough savoriness and are looking for a dessert fix? I got you covered with these Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies

Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 6 minutes
Course lunch
Cuisine traditional
Servings 6 servings
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 sticks celery chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils green, French or brown
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 dried bay leaves optional
  • 2 cups baby spinach or baby kale
  • Lemon juice parsley, parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot using the 'sauté' setting. Add the chopped onion and celery, cooking until they're softened, which should take about 5 minutes.
    Instant Pot Lentil Soup
  • Stir in the minced garlic, tomato paste, ground cumin, and dried thyme, letting them cook together for another minute to release their flavors.
  • Pour in the water, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the Instant Pot. This will prevent a burn notice and add flavor to your soup. Turn off the 'sauté' function.
  • Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, chopped carrots, and lentils to the pot. Season the mix with salt and pepper, and add bay leaves if you're using them.
    Instant Pot Lentil Soup
  • Seal the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the 'sealing' position. Select the 'manual' setting on high pressure for 16 minutes. For softer lentils, like brown ones, set for 12 minutes. After cooking, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the Instant Pot and stir in the baby spinach or kale until wilted. Serve the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, and a dusting of parmesan cheese, if desired.
    Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 14gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 803mgPotassium: 836mgFiber: 17gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 6563IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 83mgIron: 5mg
Keyword instant pot, lentil soup
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