Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup

Okay friends, well, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m kind of a big fan of making lentil soup in the Instant Pot. It’s just so easy and cozy and easy and hearty and did I mention easy? Right, right, that I did.

This Instant Pot Lentil Soup is a riff on my Simple Lentil Vegetable Soup that I make on the stovetop which is a riff on the Ina Garten version (does that goddess ever do things wrong? Rhetorical question) which is a riff on I have no idea, I just wanted to say “riff” one more time.

But anyway, now that I’m all about lentil soup Instant Pot style, I thought I’d go this direction. A simple Instant Pot lentil soup with onions, carrots, and celery; green lentils; ground cumin and thyme; tomato paste and a dash of red wine vinegar for oomph.

Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup recipe - A simple yet hearty lentil soup that's far from boring-tasting. Green lentils, thyme, cumin, carrots, celery + a good simmer in the Instant Pot = winter weeknight heaven.

I love all the flavor in this one; my guy (the carnivore) loves it too. Even though it’s vegan. I’m not trying to convert him or anything, but I kinda love it when that happens.

This version calls for green lentils instead of French green lentils. The latter are a bit smaller and really hold their shape when cooked. And I’m sure they would totally work! I just happened to have a ton of green lentils on hand and I like how a few of them break down just ever so slightly while cooking which gives the soup a heartier consistency. If you want to use French green lentils, though, go for it! I’d say maybe subtract five minutes or so from the cooking time. Or if you’d rather go the brown lentil direction? Cool! They tend to take less time to cook, too, so maybe take five minutes off of those too. (I will try these alterations myself and report back when I have exact times!)

Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup recipe - A simple yet hearty lentil soup that's far from boring-tasting. Green lentils, thyme, cumin, carrots, celery + a good simmer in the Instant Pot = winter weeknight heaven.

There are so many lentils out in the world, aren’t there?! It can be kind of confusing. But also awesome. Because legumes are my jam and the wider the variety the better as far as I’m concerned. (This quick read breaks it down when it comes to the common varieties; good info!)

But back to this cozy (easy) stuff! Bring on the crusty bread, baby! I’m goin’ in. You should too!

Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup recipe - A simple yet hearty lentil soup that's far from boring-tasting. Green lentils, thyme, cumin, carrots, celery + a good simmer in the Instant Pot = winter weeknight heaven.

Oh, and be sure to try my other Instant Pot Lentil Soup recipes:

And next week, I’m going to be sharing my secret to getting a leg up on lentil soup: Instant Pot Lentil Soup Starter Packs. Intrigued? I mean, what about lentil soup is NOT exciting, am I right?! (But seriously, do come back next week to check it out because I promise, this little meal-prep hack makes weekday dinner soooo much nicer).

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Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup

A simple yet hearty lentil soup that’s far from boring-tasting. Green lentils, thyme, cumin, carrots, celery + a good simmer in the Instant Pot = winter weeknight heaven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed*
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Chopped parsley and extra-virgin olive oil for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Set Instant Pot to saute. Add olive oil. When warm, add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, for one more minute. Add the vegetable broth, lentils, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  2. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure the release valve is in the “sealing” position. Press the “Manual” button (or “Pressure Cook” button on newer models) and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  3. The Instant Pot will warm up for a few minutes and then begin cooking. After the time is up, quick-release by flipping the valve to “venting,” being careful to avoid any steam burns.
  4. When the venting is complete, remove the lid of the Instant Pot.
  5. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  6. Serve topped with minced parsley and a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil if desired. An extra turn of freshly ground pepper doesn’t hurt either!

* If you want to use a different kind of lentils, I’d estimate you’ll want to subtract 5 minutes for French green lentils or brown lentils. I’d steer clear of split red lentils because they tend to dissolve and personally, I would miss the texture. Meanwhile, I’ll try it myself and will come back update these notes with exact cooking times once I’ve tried it!

All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.

Kare

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.