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. Be sure to check out this Greek Lentil Soup which also included IP instructions.
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.
If you liked this recipe, try my Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili next! Don’t miss the short video to see this recipe in action.
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup
A hearty and delicious lentil vegetable soup made easy in the Instant Pot. Instant Pot lentil soup is a wonderful hearty plant based dinner.
- 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
Love your site! if I use frozen veggies how much longer would you recommend? Thx!
thanks Kym! I haven’t tried it but I think the cook time should be the same with frozen veggies as they take less time to cook than the lentils. Frozen veggies usually cook pretty quickly. Let me know how it goes!
Do you set the instant pot for the soup setting?
@ Vincent, I’M sure you’ve decided which setting works best, but i used soup. i think 6 minutes was too long, but i had some red lentils in there to equal 2 cups and they were mush. it was tasty but the consistency of all the veg was more “done” than i like. hope this helps.
Sorry I didn’t see this, Vincent. No, I use manual mode for 6 minutes.
Dede, red lentils cook very differently than green. Red are done in 1-2 minutes in the IP and they are meant to turn to mush. Best for mushy curries like dal 🙂
Love this recipe.
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Can left overs be frozen?
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Can you freeze this?
I think it should freeze fine, but the greens may end up a bit mushy so I’d add those at after thawing/reheating.
I made this last weekend and it is fantastic! It filled 8 mason jars, which we use to portion out our soups for lunches. it freezes beautifully too. my hubby claims this is his favorite soup recipe yet and that’s saying a lot because i have 24 jars of 3 different types in the freezer at any given time!
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What size instant pot is this recipe scaled for?
Hi Heidi, This is the 6 quart.
My son made it for us. It was delicious. when would one add the potato, if using a slow cooker instead of a pressure cooker?
I made this tonight and there was almost no liquid left! Wondering if anyone had the same issue or if I did something strange? Only my third time using my Instant POT so definitely could be me. I rinsed the lentils but didn’t soak them, had 6 cups of veggie stock. I omited the celery (husband is allergic) but I couldn’t see that much water coming from that. Help!
PS, we ate it anyways and our 6yr old love did it!
There’s little to no evaporation with pressure cooking. Did you notice if any steam was escaping out the sides or front? This happens when there isn’t a perfect seal.
tHE SAME THING HAPPENED WHEN i MADE IT. i FOLLOWED THE RECIPE EXACTLY. tHE SOUP WAS VERY THICK, NOT MUCH LIQUID, BUT WAS VERY DELICIOUS! mY ENTIRE FAMILY LOVED IT. nOT SURE WHAT i DID WRONG BUT WILL DEFINITELY TRY THIS RECIPE AGAIN!
Not sure why this was in all caps. Not shouting, I promise. 🙂
I made this tonight. For my first time making soup I am impressed. Easy healthy and yummy. I love the instant pot recipe. Thank so much
looks great! I’m a bit nervous as it’s my first time using an instant pot. Can anyone help me with the cooking time? The recipe states 40 minutes: 3 minutes sautéing at the start, then 6 minutes on manual…where does the remaining 31 minutes come from? Many thanks in advance!
Hi! Mine is typing in caps too for some reason. She is taking into account the time for pressurizing to start and also the time it naturally releases. Do the 6 minutes. It will turn out great!
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Mine didn’t come out as “soup” looking as yours and I’m not sure why bc I followed the directions exactly. But it was absolutely delicious, I made a pan of crispy cornbread to go with it and me and hubs loved it. I puréed some with a little water for our 7 month old and she liked it too. On a side note, idk why this is in all caps. I can’t make it lower case and I’m definitely not yelling lol.
Ok now that I see my comment it’s not in all caps so disregard the last half 😆
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Can someone advise how to make stovetop? Don’t own an instant pot nor this cookbook. Can’t afford to spend during pandemic And unemployment.
Amy, I would google a Lentils recipe for stovetop. Ingredients will likely be the same for stove top, but stove top takes far longer with lentils, as they must have time to absorb the water. The point of an instapot is cutting the time way down and no babysitting/stirring while cooking.
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OMG!!!! SO DELICIOUS!!! I did add a couple very small sweet potatoes in addition to the other potato (because I LOVE them) but other wise made as is! This will definitely go into my rotation! YUMMY!!!!!
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As a kid growing up, my mom had macaroni and lentils in the dinner rotation. It was usually Progresso which is not bad. This recipe is off the chart fantastic !!! cooked up some medium shells separately and added the soup to it and madden was that great. the soup also works without the pasta. i added some oregano and basil to the recipe. thanks for sharing this
Making this tonight for the first time using my instapot. I can’t begin to say how nice it was to be able to saute the veggies so quickly and right in the pot. No stirring and babysitting the stove while cooking! Yay! Thank you 🙂
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Love this recipe.
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Quick and yummy! I added some diced ham at the end, but I think next time I’d add it in the beginning to soften it more
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Quick and easy! But mine was completely unlike soup – I added about 16 ounces more liquid to make it soupy.