Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe (Quick & Easy)

By Alexandra Caspero on January 26, 2022
Healthy, delicious and so easy to put together! Throw everything in the pressure cooker and dinner is ready.
Serves 6

The best Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe! Quick and easy to make, healthy and vegan. A must-save for weeknight meals.

This is the time of year where my Instant Pot is always on my kitchen counter. Between quick soups for dinner or making a big pot of beans, my pressure cooker is a must-have for simple, weeknight meals. 

I’m getting at least 3-4 uses out of it per week; I like to refer to it as my winter work horse. I honestly never thought I would use my Instant Pot that much when I first bought it a few years ago, but here we are. If you haven’t gotten one yet and you like to eat beans, soups and stews often then I highly recommend grabbing one.

One of my favorite things to make right now is this Instant Pot Lentil Soup! Packed with vegetables, tomatoes, and lentils, this one is a crowd-pleaser and simple enough for busy weeknights.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

What you’ll need for this Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe

This lentil soup recipe is comprised of vegetables, dried spices, canned tomatoes, dried lentils and fresh parsley. 

In addition to olive oil for sautéing the veggies and spices, you’ll need the following vegetables: 

  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 3 stalk celery 
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups fresh chopped spinach. Can also substitute fresh kale or other leafy greens
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for stirring into the soup at the end right before serving  
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced. Adding a bit of acid at the end of soup is a game changer! 

Pantry ingredients like: 

  •  Dried spices: ground cumin, curry powder, dried thyme, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes
  • One large can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • cup brown or green lentils
  • cups vegetable broth
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

I recommend using brown, green or french green lentils. Red lentils can work, but they will loose their shape as soon as they are cooked.  

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Instructions

Turn the Instant Pot on and hit ‘saute.’ Add the olive oil, onion, carrots and celery and cook for roughly 5 minutes until vegetables have softened. Sautéing the vegetables first makes a huge difference in adding in a layer of flavor so even though it takes a little more time, I highly recommend doing it. 

Add in the garlic and spices, then hit ‘cancel.’ Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, dried lentils, broth, salt and cover. 

Turn the valve to seal, then cook for 15 minutes on high pressure. When done, let the pressure come down naturally for 10-15 minutes. Turn the valve to open to release any leftover steam, then gently remove the cover. 

Remove 2 cups of the soup in a blender and puree until creamy. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to puree a few cups of the soup. This step adds more body to the soup without adding in additional cream or dairy. 

Stir in the chopped spinach and place the lib back on. Let sit for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted. To finish, stir in the lemon juice and chopped parsley and serve. If you aren’t vegan, a little parmesan cheese on top is delicious or you can use a plant-based option.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Slow Cooker Directions 

To make this lentil soup in a crock pot, saute the vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a skillet. Just like with the Instant Pot, this step adds in so much extra flavor to the soup and I recommend doing it. 

Add the cooked vegetables to the base of a slow-cooker along with the spices, tomatoes, lentils and salt. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until lentils are tender. 

Before serving, remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the slow cooker. Add in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve.

How to make this on the stovetop

Like with the other directions for the slow cooker and Instant Pot, start by sautéing the aromatic vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a large stock pan. 

Add in the spices, tomatoes, lentils, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the stock pan. 

Stir in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve!

Refrigerator and Freezer Directions

You can store any leftover soup in the fridge or freezer.  Cool the lentil soup completely first then place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

To cook from frozen, remove the soup from the freezer and thaw in the fridge overnight. Place the leftover soup in a saucepan over medium low heat on the stove top and cook until warmed through, adding in more broth as needed. 

You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave by placing a small amount of the soup in a bowl and cover with a dish towel then cook for 60 second intervals, stirring in between, until warmed through. 

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Ready in 35 minutes, start to finish 

This vegan lentil soup is for busy weeknights. The times when you are so tired to make dinner, but don’t want to settle for another pantry snack meal of crackers, cheese, hummus and maybe some vegetables. 

Not with this instant pot lentil soup! There’s little that needs to be done besides chopping up a few vegetables. Add in some dried lentils, a can of tomatoes, some spices and ta-da! Dinner is served. 

This one is slightly spicy because I love spicy food but it’s easily tamed down for those of you who don’t– either reduce or omit the red pepper flakes.

Other Instant Pot recipes that you will also love: 

Instant Pot Lentil Walnut Tacos
Instant Pot Vegan Burrito Bowls
Instant Pot Apple Chai Applesauce
Instant Pot Hummus
Instant Pot Vegan Chili 

If you try this Instant Pot Lentil Soup recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Print
Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup, healthy, main, pressure cooker
  • Method: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Instant Pot Lentil Soup! This vegan lentil soup recipe is perfect for fall and winter. Healthy, delicious and so easy to put together! Throw everything in the pressure cooker and dinner is ready.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup, healthy, main, pressure cooker
  • Method: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup, healthy, main, pressure cooker
  • Method: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Instructions

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on and hit ‘saute.’ Add the olive oil, onion, carrots and celery and cook for ~5 minutes until vegetables have softened.
  2. Add in the garlic and spices, then hit ‘cancel.’ Add the tomatoes with their juices, lentils, broth, salt and cover. Bring the soup to high pressure for 15 minutes (turn the valve to seal and hit manual then the + sign to 15 minutes).
  3. When done, let the pressure come down naturally for 10-15 minutes. Turn the valve to open then gently remove the cover. Place 2 cups of the soup in a blender and puree until creamy. Add back to the soup along with the chopped spinach and place the cover back on. Let sit for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
  4. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and chopped parsley and serve!

Notes

  1. To cook in a slow cooker: Saute the vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a skillet, then add to the base of a slow-cooker along with the spices, tomatoes, lentils and salt. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until lentils are tender. Before serving, remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the slow cooker. Add in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve.
  2. To cook on the stove: Saute the vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a large stock pan. Add in the spices, tomatoes, lentils, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the stock pan. Add in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve!

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

This recipe was first published in October 2018 and updated in 2022. 

 

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Sam
      July 11, 2022 AT 6:18 am

      Love with your sourdough bread.

    2. Paula
      February 7, 2022 AT 5:57 pm

      I made a 1/2 recipe for 2 adults and there are leftovers. I did the stove top version and it came out more like a stew, which I anticipated due to simmering uncovered. I made some rice using chicken broth as the liquid and about 1 Tbs of butter. It was fantastic! Served with a white wine. Thank you for an easy vegetarian/vegan dinner!

    3. Lawrence
      February 5, 2022 AT 5:05 pm

      Yes i made this soup, was absolutely amazing in our new instant pot. I actually added some red lentils to even out the quantity. Did puree 2 cups and added back, i forgot to add lemon juice but still have a few cups to work with. It was served over jasmine brown rice mixed with quiona, and instant pot turnip greens. Hmmm, hmmm.

    4. imsen
      February 3, 2022 AT 6:04 am

      This is the BEST lentil soup ever!! I literally make it once a week.

    5. Cory
      January 31, 2022 AT 2:48 pm

      going to start making big batches of lentils and alternating this soup and your tacos!

    6. Jen
      January 8, 2022 AT 10:40 am

      Delicious! Followed the recipe as is and was full of flavor, much more flavorful than any other lentil soup recipe I have made.

    7. Tami Graham
      October 29, 2021 AT 8:59 am

      I absolutely love this recipe! I’m making it about once a week. So yummy! Perfect flavors and easy to make.

      1. Alex
        October 29, 2021 AT 9:01 am

        So glad to hear!

    8. Cat
      September 13, 2021 AT 3:22 pm

      This soup hit the spot – and so easy to make, too! Will be adding this to our weekly rotation now that the weather is getting cooler!

      I added in a cubed sweet potato, a cubed white potato and a cup of pumpkin puree I had in the fridge, and it still turned out SO good.

      Thank you for another stellar recipe!

    9. Stacey
      March 9, 2020 AT 10:48 pm

      Delicious soup. Thanks for the recipe. I have divided the soup up and frozen for my daughters work lunches.

    10. Kelly
      January 25, 2020 AT 12:19 am

      Made this last night… delicious!
      Can I freeze leftovers?