This cozy lentil soup made in the Instant Pot is a hearty, soul soothing lunch or dinner. Packed with plant protein and veggies! Stovetop option included.
Welcome to the the innards of my lentil soup loving soul!!
Is a steamy bowl of soup complete with a crusty hunk of bread not THE most comforting thing there ever was?
Imagine slurping it down in fuzzy slippers while watching the second season of Dead to Me. Perhaps with a glass of red on the side. Ugh. Let's go there.
This here cozy lentil soup has been a favorite here in the hummus household for quite some time. 'Tis the first soup I ever mastered.
Amy's canned lentil soup kept me fed through college. Anyone else? It's so good in a pinch, with those precious little carrot cubes.
This recipe is an ode to my Hearty Lentil, Kale, and Potato Soup from way back when in 2013, which I know many of you are quite fond of. As am I!
I knew it had Instant Pot potential, since that machine is my absolute favorite for set it and forget it soups (this Mushroom Wild Rice Soup is a must). It's wonderful not having to check if the lentils are done. They're miraculously always done!
Do yourself a favor and try this Instant Pot Pad Thai Stir Fry once your soup is gone, ok? Ok.
How to make Lentil Soup
Herby, savory, and delightfully balanced, lentil soup couldn't be easier. In fact, you can whip it up in less than ten minutes flat. No need to soak the lentils beforehand!
- Rinse the lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Discard any rocks or funky looking debris that's not a lentil.
- Chop all your veggies and put everything in the Instant Pot except the spinach and lemon juice. Mushrooms, green beans, cauliflower, potatoes or sweet potatoes would all be yummy here as well.
- Cook soup on high pressure 12 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before it starts cooking.
No Instant Pot? Have no fear! See the recipe notes for full-proof instructions on making this soup on the stove.
- Simply sauté in olive oil the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and salt in a dutch oven over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add broth, spices, lentils, water.
- Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer, covered, for 15 more minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Stir in greens and lemon juice, then devour.
What kind of lentils to use?
The best kind of lentils to use for this soup are green or brown lentils. I find them in the international aisle of the grocery store. Red lentils would be very mushy, but if you're into that texture and that's all you have on hand, go for it!
Is cooking in the Instant Pot healthy?
Yes! Did you know pressure cooking is one of the healthiest ways to cook since there’s less oil involved and nutrients aren’t being lost?
The pressurized pot lowers the boiling point of water, so your food is rarely cooked at a temperature above 250 degrees. Lower temps means fewer nutrients lost, as does shorter cooking times. In fact, the Instant Pot cooks 50-70% faster than traditional cooking methods.
Fun topping ideas
I love drizzling my bowl of soup with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil for richness and then soaking up the brothy goodness with crusty bread. A simple green salad with apple cider vinegar dressing and perhaps a sprinkle of sumac, za'atar, or oregano would make a perfect side dish.
A sprinkle of grated parmesan would also be delightful. Lemon slices or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar are also divine here.
Tips for storing, reheating, and freezing
Place any leftovers in an air-tight container and store the refrigerator for up to five days. I think this soup taste even better on day two!
To reheat the soup, you can heat a portion in a small pot on the stove over medium low heat or quickly in the microwave.
After a few days if you know you're not going to polish off the leftovers, you can freeze the soup by popping the container in the freezer for up to six months. Simply thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Craving more soup goodness? Don’t miss my other stellar soup recipes!
- Vegan Cream of Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
- Yummiest Vegetable Soup
- Healthy Salmon Corn Chowder
- Golden French Lentil Soup
- Lemon Chickpea Rice Soup
This cozy lentil soup made in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) is a hearty, soul soothing lunch or dinner. Packed with plant protein and veggies! Stovetop option included. Gluten free, vegan, and freezer friendly.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced (can sub fennel)
- 3 carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 4 cups vegetables broth + 1 cup water
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, to taste
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- 1 medium Russet or red potato, diced
- 3 cups chopped greens (spinach, baby bok choy, chard)
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place all ingredients except spinach and lemon juice in the Instant Pot.
- Make sure the steam release valve is set to "sealing." Press manual or high pressure button and cook for 12 minutes. Note that it takes ~10 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure before it starts cooking and counting down. Once it’s done, carefully quick release any remaining steam using the valve on top. Remove the lid and turn the machine off.
- Stir in greens. Season with lemon juice or vinegar to brighten it up and taste, adjusting salt and pepper if needed. Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
STOVETOP: Sauté in 1 tbsp olive oil the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and salt in a dutch oven over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add spices, lentils, broth, and water. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer, covered, for 15 more minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Proceed with step three.
You can double the spices if you like spice, and I've also added ½ tsp turmeric and loved it!