This Instant Pot lentil soup recipe has been adapted from the way I used to make it on the stove. Not only is it quick and easy but also it’s delicious and nutritious.
Anyone who is a fan of lentil soup knows it’s a delicious dish that can be served with or without meat.
Lentil soup has quite a few nutrients, including protein. For this reason, it’s good for vegetarians if you use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
If you’ve never had lentil soup, you really should try it. You’ll be amazed by how you like it. My daughters loved it, even when they were little.
Back when my children were toddlers, I needed something I could put on the table quickly after church.
We tried eating out, but I quickly got tired of the limited selection on the kids’ menus and the noise.
So I discovered the canned lentil soup. It tasted good and seemed to have some nutritious things in it, like carrots and spinach.
Unfortunately, there were a couple of problems that I’ll explain below.
Instant Pot Cooking
I’m a huge fan of the Instant Pot. However, I have to admit that I was slightly intimidated in the beginning.
I sat and stared at it for a couple of days before I finally used it. And now I’m hooked.
Since I’ve learned that I’m not the only person who wasn’t sure about it, I wrote a post on Instant Pot tips.
Check them out before you get started so you’ll have more confidence. If you’re as busy as most people, this handy appliance can be a real lifesaver.
Canned vs. Homemade Lentil Soup
As I already mentioned, there were some problems with the canned soup. First, it was way too salty for my taste.
Second, it had a couple of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce. And those were mostly the preservatives that I didn’t want to feed my family.
And finally, when I calculated the cost, it was pricy. I knew that for the same price, I could make triple the amount and freeze it.
Armed with the ingredient list from the cans, I purchased everything I needed. Then I came home and started working on perfecting my own version of lentil soup.
It only took a couple of tries to get it exactly the way my family likes it. I added a couple of spices that weren’t listed on the can.
At first, I made it on the stovetop. It took about an hour and a half, which isn’t too bad.
However, now I make my homemade lentil soup in the Instant Pot, and it comes out the same in less time.
Some people only eat soup during the cold winter months. However, we eat it year round because we know it’s good for us.
Stovetop vs. Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Although the stovetop version is wonderful, the Instant Pot makes it even better.
For one thing, when you make lentil soup on the pressure cooker setting of the Instant Pot, it’s fast.
Another thing I like about it is that the broth thickens on its own without having to mash any of the lentils.
I also appreciate how all of the flavors from the ingredients meld into a mouthful of deliciousness.
Do You Have to Soak the Lentils?
When I made lentil soup on the stovetop, I used to soak them for a couple of hours. This hastened the cooking process.
Now that I use the Instant Pot, I don’t have to soak them first. However, I still rinse them.
Are Lentils Good for You?
Since lentils have so many benefits, they are good for you.
They are high in soluble fiber, so they help in maintaining a healthy cholesterol level. Lentils also contain folate and magnesium, which are good for your heart health.
Lentils are an excellent source of protein. My lentil soup is filling and helps provide energy for hours after eating it.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Lentil Soup
You’ll need lentils, of course. You can use either green or red lentils. I just get whatever the store has on the shelves, and it’s always very good.
You also need canned chopped spinach, tomato paste, beef broth, and vegetable broth.
Other ingredients I added include onions, carrots, and celery.
However, there have been times when I forgot to pick up celery or carrots, and it still turns out great.
Other delicious things you might want to add are diced tomatoes, either canned or fresh. Occasionally, I put them in the soup, but I think it’s just as good without them.
Another ingredient that’s good in this soup is zucchini. Make sure you chop it into tiny pieces so it doesn’t overtake the lentils, which should be the star ingredient in the soup.
How to Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup
When you use your Instant Pot to make this soup, you don’t need any other pots or pans. That makes for easy cleanup.
If you don’t already have one, Amazon offers this Instant Pot at a good price.
First, drizzle some olive oil into the pot and sauté your onions until they become translucent.
That only takes a few minutes.
Next, add the celery and carrots.
Sauté them for a couple of minutes and then turn off the Instant Pot while you add the other ingredients.
Add the drained chopped spinach, a can of tomato paste, some beef broth, vegetable broth, and some water to the pot. Now add the lentils and give it a quick stir.
Finally, add the seasonings and stir again.
Cook on full pressure for 20 minutes. After that, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes.
Then push the valve to release the remaining pressure before you open the lid.
Vegetarian or Vegan Lentil Soup
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you can unquestionably still make this lentil soup.
All you have to do is omit the beef broth and double the vegetable broth. It has a slightly different flavor, but it is still delicious.
What to Serve with Homemade Lentil Soup
My husband and I enjoy eating lentil soup with a little bit of crusty bread—regular for him and gluten-free for me. We either butter it or dip it in olive oil.
After eating your lentil soup, why not have some dessert? We like these flourless peanut butter cookies.
More Great Soup Recipes
When my girls were growing up, my family always ate soup year-round because I could pack so many nutritious ingredients into it. Now my husband and I still enjoy soup whenever the mood strikes.
Here are some of our favorite homemade soup recipes:
- One 16-ounce package of dry lentils
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- 1 cup of chopped celery
- 1/2 cup of chopped onions
- 1 can of chopped spinach, drained
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- Turn your Instant Pot on sauté. Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of the pot.
- Sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for about 2 minutes. Turn off the Instant Pot while you add the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the drained spinach, tomato paste, beef broth, vegetable broth, and 1 cup of water into the pot.
- Add the lentils and stir.
- Add the garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, and black pepper.
- Put on the lid and turn the knob to pressure.
- Press the “manual” button and press the plus (+) sign until you’re at 20 minutes.
- It will take a few minutes to get to full pressure. Once it does, it will cook for 20 minutes. After it beeps, allow it to naturally depressurize for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully turn the top knob to vent and allow all of the steam to escape.
- Remove the lid, add the second cup of water, and stir. If you prefer it to be a thinner soup, you can add more water until it’s how you like it.
- Scoop it into bowls and serve. It is so delicious!
You can make a vegetarian version of this soup by using vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 133Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 630mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 4gSugar 3gProtein 8g
The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.
See this recipe shared at Full Plate Thursday.