This hearty vegetarian Instant Pot Lentil Soup is ready in just over 30 minutes. It’s healthy, comforting, and makes the perfect cozy lunch paired with a sandwich or salad.
I love a good stove-top soup but sometimes it’s easier to let the Instant Pot do the work for me! Making lentil soup in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to have a healthy, flavorful dinner on the table in just around 30 minutes.
You’ll love this recipe because it is filling and hearty, thanks to nutritious ingredients like carrots, tomatoes and green lentils.
This is one of my go-to fall soup recipes because the spices are really warming. The spices are inspired by Trader Joe’s ancient grains lentil soup, which is one of my all-time favorite soups.
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Lentils: Green lentils are rich in dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and complex carbohydrates. They make this vegetarian soup extra filling!
Vegetable broth: I like to use a salt-free vegetable broth so that I have more control over saltiness. Homemade broth is also a great option.
Mirepoix: A combination of diced celery, onion and carrots sautéed in olive oil give body and flavor to the soup. To make this recipe oil-free, sauté the veggies in 1-2 tablespoons vegetable broth, replenishing as needed.
Crushed tomatoes: This adds acidity which emphasizes the other flavors. Diced tomatoes with juices will work if you are in a pinch.
Spices: Cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, marjoram, fresh parsley and nutmeg provide warmth and depth to the soup. One tablespoon fresh parsley can be replaced with one teaspoon dry parsley if needed.
Step by step instructions
- Start by sautéing the celery, onions, and carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the onions start to turn translucent add in the minced garlic. Sauté until aromatic, about one minute.
- Stir in the spices, vegetable broth, and lentils.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully do a manual pressure release.
- After cooking, stir in a can of crushed tomatoes with their juices. To thicken the soup, turn on “sauté” mode and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- If you prefer a very soft lentil soup, cook the lentils for 12 minutes instead of 10. Prefer your lentils to be 100% intact with a bit of a bite to them? Try cooking on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Use dry green or brown lentils in lentil soup. Do not use red, orange or yellow lentils, as these will cook too quickly and become mushy.
- No instant pot? You can make a variation of this recipe on the stovetop with Hearty Lentil Quinoa Soup.
Can I freeze soup?
Yes! Let the soup cool completely before freezing. Freeze individual portions or the entire batch of soup in freezer-safe containers (these are my favorite containers).
It will take up to 24 hours to thaw frozen soup in the fridge. For a quicker process, heat in a saucepan or in the microwave until defrosted.
Storage: Keep refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
- Instant Pot Rice and Beans
- Chickpea Noodle Soup
- Creamy Vegan White Bean Soup
- Chipotle Vegan Black Bean Soup
- Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
Vegetarian Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- 1 and 1/2 cups dry brown lentils
- 5 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup diced carrots 1-2 large carrots
- 1 cup diced celery 1-2 celery stalks
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes with juices
- 1/2 lemon juice from
- Rinse the dry brown lentils and remove any stones or debris. Set aside.
- Press the saute function on your Instant Pot. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots, onions and celery and sprinkle with the salt.
- Saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute more, until aromatic.
- Stir in the parsley, cumin, marjoram, paprika, cayenne pepper, table salt, nutmeg, black pepper, vegetable broth, and lentils. Seal the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. Once cooked, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Manually release the pressure; careful, hot steam will spurt out.
- Remove the lid and stir in the can of crushed tomatoes with their juices. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon. If you prefer a thicker soup, turn on the sauté function and evaporate off the liquid.
- Enjoy topped with crackers, more fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of your favorite cheese.
- Keeps best for 4-5 days in the fridge.
- To freeze: Let soup cool to room temp before freezing. Freeze individual portions or the entire batch of soup in freezer-safe containers (these are my favorite containers). To thaw: It will take up to 24 hours to thaw frozen soup in the fridge. For a quicker process, heat in a saucepan or in the microwave until defrosted.