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Instant Pot Lentil Soup {Vegetarian}

This easy and healthy Instant Pot Lentil soup is incredibly tasty and hearty! Crockpot and vegan adaptations and instructions are also included.

a bowl of instant pot lentil soup with a slice of cheese bread

Do you know how ugly lentil soup is? I mean, just downright butt ugly. People say you eat with your eyes first. If that is the case, I would eat lentil soup with my eyes c-l-o-s-e-d.

But if eating visually is the first step, actually tasting food is the next. And when you taste this lentil soup, you’ll forget all about its homely appearance. If you want a pretty (and delicious) soup, check out my Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup!

Packed full of veggies and other flavors, this soup is pleased to knock your taste buds proverbial socks off after your initial reaction.

You can make this lentil soup in your Instant Pot, slow cooker, or stove top. You can make it vegan, vegetarian, or omnivarian (<—- let’s call that a thing). It’s versatile and delicious. 

How Long Do Lentils Take in the Instant Pot?

You’re going to be cooking your lentils for only 12 minutes in this recipe. You hear that? Probably not because you’re reading this, so…

This recipe uses brown lentils, but you can also use green lentils and cook for the same amount of time. If you are going to be rocking some red lentils in this recipe, reduce the cook time to 10 minutes.

carrots, lentils, broth, and other ingredients for instant pot lentil soup

Lentil Soup Ingredients

What’s in this soup? Pure heaven and unicorn dust. And um, lentils.

Have you ever seen a soup recipe that includes something like three carrots, one stalk of celery, and a garlic clove? Amateur hour my friends, amateur hour.

I fully believe that the purpose of soup is to warm your body and soul, create the ultimate feeling of coziness, and shove so many vegetables into one pot that you think it shouldn’t be possible.

And garlic? Oh, friends, I laugh at one clove of garlic. I grow garlic each and every year on my microfarm and I consider it one of the most essential ingredients in my kitchen.

If you want to take your chances with the vampires with your one clove of garlic, then by all means.

a blue bowl of instant pot lentil soup with cheese bread and a spoon

Do You Need to Saute the Veggies For Instant Pot Lentil Soup?

Ok, so an older version of this recipe had you sauteing some of the ingredients for a few minutes in olive oil. But then I was like “eff that noise, let’s dump everything in and see what happens”.

Guess what happened? It tasted the exact freaking same. So obviously let’s skip that extra step and make some soup!

How to Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup

*Detailed and printable recipe available at the bottom of this post.

Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot. Stir.

Three photos showing how to make instant pot lentil soup

Place the lid on and switch it to the lock position. Switch the vent to “sealing”.  Press Manual then High Pressure and adjust the time to 12 minutes. It will take around 10 minutes to get up to pressure.

Once the time is up, allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Then use a kitchen towel and flip the switch to “venting”. Place the towel over the vent and allow it to depressurize fully. It took 8 minutes total for me.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • No Instant Pot? Crockpot and stovetop instructions are included in the printable recipe card.
  • This soup was made in an 8 quart Instant Pot. If you have another sized Instant Pot, the cook time will be the same. Just make sure you don’t fill the inner pot more than two-thirds full.
  • As written, this recipe is vegetarian. Use a dairy-free pesto to make it vegan. Add some diced ham, bacon (cooked), or sausage (cooked) if you prefer to include meat.
  • Throw in some spinach at the end of the cook time for some added greens.
  • This soup freezes like a boss! Pro tip: freeze in wide mouth pint mason jars for easy grab and go meals.

More RECIPES LIKE THIS

Healthy, full of veg, hearty, and oh so tasty. This lentil soup is now your new favorite meal.

Surprise!

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

a bowl of instant pot lentil soup with a slice of cheese bread
Print
5 from 7 votes
Instant Pot Lentil Soup {Vegetarian}
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Instant Pot Lentil Soup - the perfect 12-minute meal that is big on flavor when you're short on time. A special ingredient takes this soup to the next level.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lentil soup
Servings: 10
Calories: 217 kcal
Author: Sarah
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 7 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large russet potato peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 6 cups broth of choice chicken or veggie
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika increase to 1.5 tsp if you're not using ham
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp prepared pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
Instant Pot Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot. Stir.

  2. Place the lid on and switch it to the lock position. Switch the vent to "sealing".  Press Manual then High Pressure and adjust the time to 12 minutes. It will take around 10 minutes to get up to pressure.

  3. Once the time is up, allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Then use a kitchen towel and flip the switch to "venting". Place the towel over the vent and allow it to depressurize fully. It took 13 minutes total for me.

Slow Cooker Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Stove Top Instructions
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine olive oil, carrots, celery, and onions. Cook down for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on medium until lentils are soft (about 30 minutes).

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Lentil Soup {Vegetarian}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Potassium 742mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 4g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 168.9%
Vitamin C 21%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 16.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself. 

This recipe was originally published in December 2017. New photos have been added. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

instant pot lentil soup in a white bowl

This easy and healthy Instant Pot Lentil soup is incredibly tasty and hearty! Crockpot and vegan/vegetarian adaptations and instructions are also included. #sustainablecooks #lentilsoup #instantpot #slowcooker #crockpot #soups

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27 comments on “Instant Pot Lentil Soup {Vegetarian}”

  1. I have red lentils, are they interchangeable?

    • I love red lentil and often use them for soup, but they are quite different from brown lentils. Red lentils fall apart when you cook them whereas brown lentils hold there shape and have a firmer texture.

    • Louisa is right; the red lentils will mush up quite a bit and fall apart.

  2. Yum! I am going to have to try this soon! I love lentil soups and particularly like anything with smoked paprika added!

  3. Sarah, do the lentils go in dry or do I need to soak them before loading everything into the slow cooker? Still no IP for me ?.

  4. Wow, another delicious soup recipe. Thank you! I always thought I didn’t like lentils but every time I make a recipe I come across, I like them. Made this as posted and it is super good!!
    For post ideas, could you do one on Instant Pot and why you like it or why I need one? I borrowed one and made this soup (amazing) and quinoa yesterday. I like it well enough but not sure I “need” it. One more thing to take up space or best thing ever?

  5. Would green lentils work for this? I am only finding red and green at the moment.
    Thanks!

    • You should be totally fine! Both green and brown lentils hold their shape well in soups and stews. If you’re using the Instant Pot it won’t be an issue. If making it on the stovetop you’ll likely need to cook them a bit longer than brown lentils.

  6. Never have made lentil soup, but worth trying out!

  7. Delicious. Have made this several times!

  8. I was going to make this in the Instant Pot but it turns out mine wasn’t big enough so I switched to the stove – no biggie. It turned out amazing – so much flavor. Will definitely be making again.

  9. Made this with red lentils last wee…  freaking tasty enough that I’m making it again today. Perfect food for the end of a ski day. I have to admit we are adding on more ham this time (just cuz I’m a sucker for the stuff)

  10. Omg this was delicious. Made without meat and have never cooked lentils before but am trying to eat less processed foods. Packed it in our lunches during the week. Wow. Smoked paprika and the pesto-genius! I might have to make another batch today!

    • Hollie, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s fun to find meals that help us eat towards our goals, and I’m honored to know I had a little part of it. Smoked paprika is the business!

  11. The smoked paprika made all the difference!

  12. Hmmm, do I open my Instant Pot Christmas present early (that I bought for myself from my husband), or do I wait until Christmas? I’ve had it a week and a half and have, so far, ignored the box sitting in my entryway.

  13. This looks great!!  I am wondering if it freezes well?

    • Sure does! This soup freezes like a boss! Pro tip: freeze in wide mouth pint mason jars for easy grab and go meals. A quart-sized jar would be better for 2-3 servings.