Why Use An Instant Pot
If you dont already own a pressure cooker or instant pot, you may be asking yourself, do I need one to make this recipe? The answer is no, but it does help save time and energy. We estimate that using an instant pot vs. cooking this on a stovetop will save you about half the time. Not only can you pressure cook in an instant pot, but you can saute, steam, slow cook, and more.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe Variations
- Red Lentil Soup: I recommend making this soup recipe with green or brown lentils, as they hold their shape best when cooking. If you only have red lentils, you can use them, but know that they will fall apart when cooking, so the texture of your soup will be different.
- French Lentil Soup: For a more classic French lentil soup flavor, you can omit the cumin and smoked paprika and make the soup with French green lentils. For extra flavor, start the soup by sautéing chopped bacon before you add the onion, carrot and celery to the pot.
- Sausage: To add chicken or pork sausage, remove it from the casings and brown the sausage on sauté before adding the onion, carrot and celery to the pot.
- Ground Beef or Ground Turkey: You can also add more protein to this lentil soup with ground beef or ground turkey. Brown the meat using the sauté setting before adding the onion, carrot and celery.
- Ham: You can add diced ham when you add the lentils and tomatoes.
- Beans: If you wish to add beans, I recommend using canned white beans and stirring them in after the soup pressure cooks.
- Potatoes: To add potatoes, cut Yukon gold potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and add them when you add the dried lentils to the soup. Yukon gold potatoes hold their shape better than Russet potatoes in the pressure cooker.
- Other Greens: You can substitute the fresh spinach with other greens, such as kale or chard. Stir chopped fresh greens into the soup after it cooks.
Optional Add Ins And Variations
- Red lentils: Reduce cooking time down to 12 minutes. Red lentil soup comes out mushier and thicker like split pea soup because red lentils do not hold their texture as well as green or brown lentils. I love it too!
- Diced ham or sausage: Just add it along with other ingredients. No changes to the pressure cooker lentil soup recipe.
- Fresh or frozen chicken: Throw a few pieces in to make Instant Pot version of chicken lentil soup. No changes to the recipe.
- Spice it up: There is a lot of flavour these little lentils but theyre also humble enough to take on so much outside flavour. If you like a little heat with yours, toss in some red pepper flakes or just serve with a drizzle of hot sauce at the end.
- Fire roasted diced tomatoes: If you can find them, fire roasted tomatoes would add a great smoky taste to this lentil and spinach soup.
- Chicken broth: If youre not concerned about keeping this a vegetarian soup and youd rather use chicken broth, do that instead. It will add a delicious yet slightly different flavour.
I told you this Instant Pot lentil and spinach soup recipe is amazing!
Recommended Reading: How To Cook Brussel Sprouts In Instant Pot
Why Do I Love This Lentil Soup So Much
- Vegan, Low in calories, Easy to make
- Made with staple ingredients
- Completely utterly cozy and comforting!
- So creamy without adding cream
- It has lots of fibers, and its high in proteins from the lentils
- This soup gets done in less than 30 minutes.
- The spices are highly customizable. You can add any veggies or greens of your choice.
Recipe Tips + Variations
Just a few tips and ways to change this recipe up
- Lentils: No need to soak lentils before adding them to the Instant Pot. Use brown lentils instead of green if desired.
- Fennel Seeds: If you dont have fennel seeds on hand, substitute dill seeds or anise seeds instead.
- Veggies: Add extra veggies like chopped carrots, zucchini, and minced garlic.
- Broth: If you arent trying to keep this dish vegetarian you can use chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth.
- Add Meat: You could also add leftover rotisserie chicken, cooked ham, or cooked bacon bits to your soup after it has finished cooking in the Instant Pot. Brown some ground beef or sausage in the Instant pot with the onion using the sauté function. Add the other ingredients as listed in the recipe once the meat and onions are cooked.
- Creamier: To make this dish creamier, measure out a cup of soup and add it to a blender. Blend for a minute or so and then pour it back into the soup. Stir it all together and enjoy!
- Thinner: To thin out your soup, add another ½ -1 cup of broth until you reach the desired consistency.
Also Check: What Instant Pot To Buy
How To Freeze Soup
You can easily freeze the lentil soup and put in the freezer for a quick meal later.
I like to freeze it flat in freezer bags but you could also use freezer containers if you prefer. If you are short on space, bags take up the least amount of room. They freeze flat and you can stack them.
This is perfect to enjoy for lunches during the week.
It will keep in the freezer up to 3 months if you use freezer bags or containers.
Get more tips and tricks on how to freeze soup.
What We Look For In A Great Lentil Soup
A good bowl of lentil soup is hearty, comforting, and deliciously satisfying to eat.
is live! Also, Check out Our Handpicked Instant Pot Accessories
The Lentil Soup should be full of flavors and not bland or tastes flat & boring, where the lentils are fully cooked & tender, but not mushy.
A taste of fall-winter flavors, like a homey warm hug on a cool day!
Don’t Miss: How Long To Cook Pork Roast In An Instant Pot
How Long To Cook Lentils In The Instant Pot
This Easy Instant pot lentil soup with potatoes took 15 minutes ti cook on Manual High pressure and 15-20 minutes of Natural release time. I also sauteed the onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes for 7-9 minutes, before adding the lentils and liquid.
This soup in not a very chunky, thick soup. It has some liquid to it. You can always use a little less water to make it more like a thick and chunky stew.
Instant Pot Lentil Noodle Soup
This instant pot lentil noodle soup recipe is made with wholesome ingredients for the perfect cold-weather meal. Its great for meal prep, requires minimal effort, and less than 30 minutes of your time. Did we mention it tastes delicious?
Since we are in the heart of soup season right now, we thought it would be helpful to share my moms famous lentil noodle soup. She made this for me over the holiday season, and when I posted it on Instagram, I received so many requests for the recipe, so here it is.
Also Check: Is Instant Pot Worth It For Vegetarians
Stove Top Directions For Greek Lentil Soup
Instant Pot Curried Lentil Soup
Friends, today we have an easy, delicious, plant-based soup to share with you! Adapted from our fan-favorite Curried Potato & Lentil Soup, it keeps all the bold curry flavor but has a creamy twist and is made in the Instant Pot, making it even quicker and easier!
Rich in fiber, protein, iron , its a nourishing, plant-based meal to fuel you all winter and beyond! Plus, its made with ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now and requires just 1 pot. Lets make soup!
You May Like: How To Start Instant Pot Duo Nova
Why Make Instant Pot Soup
As weve shared extensively, Alex and I used to be Instant Pot haters. Then we got oneand we ended up falling in love! As people who eat mainly vegetarian and vegan recipes, we started only making basics like rice, dried beans, sweet potatoes, etc. But weve branched out into using our Instant Pot for vegetarian meals, like pasta and now soup.
Now, despite its name: the Instant Pot does not cook food in an instant. The advantage of cooking Instant Pot soup recipes is that its totally hands off once the cooking starts. You can throw the soup in the pot and then go do other things, until your dinner is done! Overall, this soup will take about 45 minutes to make, with the preheat time included.
How To Store Reheat And Freeze Lentil Soup
- Store: Cool leftovers and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of broth or water to help thin it out.
- Freeze: Cool leftovers and place in a sealed container or freeze flat in a freezer safe zip top bag. To eat, let thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat as directed above.
Read Also: How To Delay Start Instant Pot
How To Serve Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This soup is amazing on its own. Its satisfying, filling and full of flavor. But it also goes very well with:
- Bread crusty French bread, Italian bread, or your favorite type of bread!
- Crackers saltiness anyone?
- Croutons make your own homemade croutons at home, theyre SO simple to make! I have a great croutons recipe if you want to check it out.
- Air Fryer grilled cheese when paired with soup, its a match made in heaven!
- Air Fryer parmesan chicken for a complete meal.
- Breadsticks these Olive Garden breadsticks are amazing!
- Pasta salad for a tasty soup and salad combination that is so filling and satisfying!
I hope that you enjoy this instant pot lentil soup as much as I do! Thank you so much for stopping by to check out my recipe. Happy cooking and stay warm!
If you try this recipe, please dont forget to rate it and share a picture on social media, tagging #NourishPlate in your posts. I would really love to see your creations. Bon appetit!
Lentil Soup Made Easy
Lentil soup is traditional in many cultures. Made with red lentils, green lentils, or any other variation, it creates a thick, stew-like broth. Beans and legumes of all kinds are heart-healthy, inexpensive, and delicious!
In this variation, I use ground beef and veggies with a flavorful broth and put it all together in the Instant Pot. .
Recommended Reading: How To Use Rice Cooker On Instant Pot
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- 2cups dried split green lentils
- 6slices bacon, browned and cut into bits
- 6garlic cloves, minced
- 1large onion, roughly diced
- 2large carrot, roughly chopped
- 2celery ribs, roughly chopped
- 14oz crushed tomatoes
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- 1teaspoon dried thyme
- 6cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2tablespoons fish sauce
What To Serve With Soup
Looking for yummy recipes ideas to go with the soup? Here are our favorite pairings:
- 1 small sweet or yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups rinsed red lentils
- 3/4 cup canned, fresh, or frozen sweet corn
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- pinch of saffron
Recommended Reading: How Do I Cook Rice In An Instant Pot
Can You Make This On The Stovetop Or In A Slow Cooker
Yes Just bring everything to a boil in a large pot on the stove top and simmer for 30 minutes. Or, cook for 6 hours on low power in a crockpot.
Make sure that you add all ingredients in the same order that you would add them to your Instant Pot, with the oil on the bottom to prevent the other ingredients from sticking.
When the soup comes to a boil on the stovetop, stir it a few times and then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for the 30 minutes. When cooking in a slow cooker, it will be a hands-off process just as it is with the Instant Pot method.
Ingredients For This Lentil Soup Recipe
This recipe is for vegetarian lentil soup, so of course, it is full of nutritious veggies and plenty of plant-based protein.
It also happens to be a green and red lentil soup recipe. We use two types of lentils because each type brings unique benefits to the soup.
- Green lentils are rich in antioxidants, iron, and magnesium. They have a peppery taste and hold their shape well.
- Red lentils have a slightly sweet flavor and a nice bright color. When they are cooked, they tend to break down a bit, so they are perfect for thickening this soup!
You can of course just use one type of lentils if you prefer. The red lentils are a bit more delicate so they break down easier, which will result in more of a stew-like texture if using them alone. The green lentils are heartier and hold their shape better, so you may not get the same stew-like texture if using them alone. The two work together to make a nice texture for the finished product.
Read Also: How To Cook Spaghetti Noodles In Instant Pot
Instant Pot Lentil Soup Cook Time
When working with an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, its important to take into account the total time it will take for your recipe to be ready including the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, the cooking cycle time, and the time it takes for the pressure to release. In the case of this soup, I like to use a pressure cooking cycle of 10 minutes, which makes the lentils and vegetables tender, without being mushy.
Including the pressurize time, and natural release, the total cooking time is closer to 30-35 minutes. Luckily, most of that time is totally hands-off, so it still feels like its faster than if you were to make it on the stove.
Instant Pot Lentil Stew
Now that the weather has been cooling down, I’m excited to be sharing some soups!
The inspiration for this soup comes from our frequent visits to a Greek Restaurant. It serves up kabobs, sandwiches, salads and of course soup! All of their soups are homemade and they are just delicious!
So I made it my mission to recreate their Greek Lentil Soup R ecipe here at home.
And I’m proud to say I did!
How about you, do you love the earthy flavor of lentils? I do. I had never had lentils until I moved to Fresno and I really love them. Hearty but light and so much flavor. Delicious!
I realized it’s been a while since I’ve shared an Instant Pot recipe. So this easy soup is made in your pressure cooker!
But don’t worry, no pressure cooker? No problem! Stove top directions are below as well.
Also Check: How To Make Steak In An Instant Pot
How To Store Lentil Soup
- Leftovers will keep 4 days in the fridge and are even more delicious as the flavors have time to meld.
- Freeze Lentil Soup in Mason Jars, leaving an inch of headroom for expansion.
And before I close, I have to say, there was a time in my growing-up life that I swore Id never eat lentil soup again because we had it so often! But now, 40 years later, its strange how much I actually crave it!
It has become my comfort food, reminding me of home, and a way of bringing my father back to me when I miss him.
Food does that
Anyways, I hope you find as much comfort and nourishment from this lentil soup as I have through the years.
Love and Hugs,
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups diced veggies any mix of carrots, celery, fennel, parsnip, bell pepper, potato, cabbage
- 1 1/22 teaspoons salt, more to taste.
- 1 bay leaf or 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence or Italian herbs
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced with their juices
- 4 flavorful cups veggie stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 ¼ cup small Black Caviar lentils or French Green Lentils You can also substitute split lentils for ¼ cup of the lentils for a creamier texture.
Garnishes: with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, chopped Italian parsley , diced tomatoes and optional chili flakes and
Serve with warm toasty pita bread.
What Kind Of Lentils Are Best
Use any kind of lentils in this soup. It just depends on what consistency and color you prefer!
- Brown and Green Lentils hold their shape and texture well, making them the centerpiece of the soup. These are the lentils you see most often in stores and both tend to have a mild flavor. These are my preferred choice for this soup.
- Red/Yellow Lentils are split meaning that they have been processed into small pieces. They do not hold their shape and almost melt into the soup . Also known as Dahl, they will mix in with the broth and thicken it but arent ideal in this soup!
- Black Beluga and Puy Lentils can be hard to find and are also more expensive. Use these exotic varieties in a salad or as a special dish of their own. Theyre a bit firm and have an earthier flavor.
Recommended Reading: How To Cook Mahi Mahi In Instant Pot