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.
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!)
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!
Oh, and be sure to try my other Instant Pot Lentil Soup recipes:
- Instant Pot Vegan Golden Lentil & Spinach Soup – French green lentils with with turmeric, ginger, cumin, thyme, and a hefty handful of spinach. 5-star rated and one of the all-time most popular recipes on Kitchen Treaty!
- Instant Pot Vegan Herbed French Lentil Soup – Loaded with herbs (tarragon, parsley, and thyme) with a squeeze of lemon at the end. Thick, hearty and satisfying!
- Instant Pot Curried Carrot Red Lentil Soup – Split red lentils, carrots, ginger, and curry. This one’s super fast – and full of flavor.
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).
Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the venting is complete, remove the lid of the Instant Pot.
- Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the vinegar. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- 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!