This Instant Pot lentil soup is so comforting, hearty, healthy, and filling! Don’t settle for bland tasteless lentil soup, and try this amazing recipe. All it takes is a few herb flavorings, bay leaves, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
It’s a dump and start recipe that’s so easy to throw together, and everyone will ask for seconds and thirds!
The humble lentils are really good for you. They’re packed with plant-based protein, minerals, nutrients, and fiber. And I get it, lentil soup probably doesn’t sound very exciting to you, but trust me on this, a properly seasoned and well-made lentil soup will make you want to polish off more than just one bowl!
What you will love about the soup is not just the flavor, but also the texture. This soup is perfect for any night of the week, but I find it much more satisfying when it’s really cold outside and I’m all cozy with a warm bowl of this lentil soup.
In short, this soup is filling, satisfying and great for freezing.
- Lentils – you can either use dried brown, green, or red lentils to make this soup. I don’t recommend Puy lentils as they don’t soften just like the other varieties do. Note: if you end up using red lentils, you will get a slightly different taste, a more of yellow color and a creamier texture.
- Vegetable stock – for the liquid I used my own homemade vegetable stock that I make in the Instant Pot. It’s much healthier, and cheaper, and I make it using kitchen scraps to reduce our food waste. You can use chicken stock if that’s what you have available and you’re not concerned about the soup being vegetarian.
- Sofrito – the humble beginnings, or the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery combo that is used for the base for flavor.
- Herbs and spices – I used a combination of thyme, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
- Tomato – Use a can of diced tomatoes.
- Spinach leaves – While spinach leaves are totally optional in this recipe, I highly recommend that you add them due to their added nutritional value. They add a very mild taste to the soup, but adding greens is always good.
How to Cook Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot?
Now I will be honest, sauteeing the sofrito ingredients (onion, garlic, carrot, and celery) on low-medium heat will result in a better-tasting soup. However, making this soup as a dump-and-start recipe is also very delicious! I mean, using the Instant Pot is all about convenience so I skip sauteeing and throw my ingredients in the pot.
- So, first, you need to prep the ingredients. Chop the veggies up, wash the lentils (no need to soak them first), collect the herbs and spices, and open the tomato can.
- Dump everything (except for the spinach leaves) in the Instant Pot, and give it a mix.
- Secure the lid and set the vent to SEALING. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 20 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take around 10 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. When the cooking program ends, allow the steam to be naturally released.
- Carefully remove the lid, and add the spinach leaves. Mix, and cover with the lid again so that the spinach wilts.
- Serve warm with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (not optional!).
- Fridge – Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Make sure that the soup has completely cooled down before it goes into the fridge.
- Freezer – Freeze in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
- Reheat – Either reheat in the microwave, or in a pot over the stovetop on medium heat.
What Goes Well With This Lentil Soup?
- My favorite way to enjoy this soup is with a piece of freshly baked crusty bread, soft dinner rolls, or this easy garlic bread.
- You can also serve it with a vegetable side such as garlic green beans, roasted cauliflower salad, steamed broccoli, or smothered potatoes.
More Great Lentil Recipes
- Mint lentil salad
- Lentil and mushroom shepherd’s pie
- Lentil and rice mujaddara
- Vegan lentil wraps
- Instant pot lentil and pumpkin curry
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I hope that you love every recipe that you make! – Diana x
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- 10 oz (300 grams) green or brown lentils about 1.5 cups, rinsed, no need to presoak
- 4 cups (1 litre) vegetable stock or broth/low sodium
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced or crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 (14.5oz-400g) can diced tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves optional
- 1 juice of lemon
- crusty bread optional
- To the Instant Pot, add all of the ingredients except for the spinach leaves. Give them a quick stir.
- Secure the lid and set the vent to SEALING. Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL setting and set the cooking time for 20 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take around 10 minutes to come to pressure and start cooking. When the cooking program ends, allow the steam to be naturally released (this will take an additional 10-15 minutes)
- Carefully remove the lid, and add the spinach leaves. Mix, and cover with the lid again so that the spinach leaves wilt. Have a taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
- Serve warm with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and crusty bread on the side.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Make sure that the soup has completely cooled down before it goes into the fridge.
- Freeze in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
- Either reheat in the microwave, or in a pot over the stove top on medium heat.
- This recipe results in a quite thick soup, so if you prefer a thinner consistency then add an additional cup of vegetable stock or broth.
- I don’t recommend using canned lentils in this recipe.