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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.
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.
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:
Pantry ingredients like:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
This recipe was first published in October 2018 and updated in 2022.