Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This simple veggie lentil soup is one of my family’s favorite soups! Instant Pot Lentil Soup is hearty, satisfying, and filling. It’s feel-good food that’s filled with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Lentil soup makes a great dinner any night of the week and an Instant Pot pressure cooker makes it easier than ever.
Have you hopped on the Instant Pot train yet? Bloggers and foodies have been going crazy for Instant Pots over the past few years! If you’re not familiar with them yet, Instant Pots are multi-function electric pressure cookers. I got myself an Instant Pot for Christmas last year, but, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit, it sat in the box for months. As much as I wanted to cook some beans at lightening speed, I had seen pictures of pressure cookers exploding and damaging kitchens, and got totally freaked out. Once I got past that fear and learned more about the Instant Pot, I learned that it’s actually much safer than the stove top pressure cookers I’d seen in those images. One I tried it, I was hooked. Using the Instant Pot is so easy!
Lentil soup has long been a regular on our dinner rotation. It’s been my littlest daughter’s #1 favorite soup since she was just a toddler. Adapting my go-to veggie lentil soup for the Instant Pot was a no-brainer. This recipe takes just a few minutes of chopping and tossing veggies into the pot before the Instant Pot does all the work. The lentil soup came out just as delicious as when I make it on the stovetop and I know I’ll be making it in the Instant Pot from now on.
This veggie lentil soup is one of the most popular recipes in the Yummy Mummy Kitchen cookbook. It’s hard to call a recipe “the best” but I’ve had many readers and friends email to tell me that this lentil soup is the best. And I love when I hear that parents have been surprised that their kids gobbled up this soup filled with veggies and lentils. So I’m excited to share it with you here!
If you prefer the stovetop version of this lentil soup, you can find it on page 50 of the cookbook.
I now completely get why everyone is so in love with the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Like slow cookers, you can prep your food, set it in the pot and forget about it while you go to work, read a book, or whatever. But the Instant Pot does it all very quickly rather than very slowly. It has settings for rice, soup, slow cooking, and more. It also comes with a steamer basket and is my new preferred way to quickly cook beets. There’s no need for a rice cooker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker. The Instant Pot does all of those things.
Lentils are easy to work with and unlike beans, don’t require soaking before cooking. Always rinse and pick over your lentils before cooking though, as there may be little stones and other debris hiding in the lentils. I love lentils for their heartiness and nutritional benefits. They are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all in a lower-calorie package.
Lentils are a traditional dish to celebrate the NewYear in Italy. Lentils symbolize little coins and are thought to bring good fortune in the new year. If you’d like to try a traditional “good luck” dish for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, this one would be perfect.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable broth
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Yukon Gold potato, diced
- 2 teaspoons herbs of Provence (or fresh herbs*)
- 14 oz. diced tomatoes in their juices
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups green lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 3 cups sliced kale or baby spinach
- sea salt to taste (I use about 1 teaspoon)
- black pepper to taste
- Turn the pressure cooker on to the saute setting and add the oil or vegetable broth. Saute the onion for two minutes, until it's just beginning to brown. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, potato, and herbs and saute another minute. Turn off the pot.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Cover and set the Instant Pot to manual for 6 minutes with the valve set to sealing. It will take about 15 minutes to pressurize before the pressure cooking begins. Let the pot naturally depressurize for 10 minutes after cooking. Wear an oven mitt and carefully turn the valve to venting. Very hot steam will escape the vent so be sure not to get too close.
- When the pot has completely depressurized, take off the top away from your body. Use tongs to remove any fresh herb stems. Stir in the kale or spinach until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you'd like to use fresh herbs, use 4 sprigs of thyme and 2 bay leaves instead of the herbs of Provence. Sometimes I substitute the vegetable broth for water plus 1-2 tablespoons of Better the Bullion No Chicken Base. This recipe makes a mild, kid-friendly soup. For more spice add more herbs or add a few splashes of hot sauce before serving. I like to top mine with nutritional yeast. Nutrition Information is approximate and calculated by a third party app. Nutrition information for this recipe is based on 1/6 of the whole recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1777mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 15gProtein: 15g