This is the best Instant Pot Lentil Soup on the web! With a coconut curry broth and red lentils, it’s hearty and vegetarian – all you need is the crusty bread!
Ingredients for this lentil soup recipe
This recipe is for vegetarian lentil soup, so of course, it is full of nutritious veggies and plenty of plant-based protein.
It also happens to be a green and red lentil soup recipe. We use two types of lentils because each type brings unique benefits to the soup.
- Green lentils are rich in antioxidants, iron, and magnesium. They have a peppery taste and hold their shape well.
- Red lentils have a slightly sweet flavor and a nice bright color. When they are cooked, they tend to break down a bit, so they are perfect for thickening this soup!
You can of course just use one type of lentils (either one will work) if you prefer. The red lentils are a bit more delicate so they break down easier, which will result in more of a stew-like texture if using them alone. The green lentils are heartier and hold their shape better, so you may not get the same stew-like texture if using them alone. The two work together to make a nice texture for the finished product.
How to make Instant Pot lentil soup
This lentil soup recipe is so easy, there isn’t much detail to go over. The entire recipe is at the bottom of this post, but here are the basic steps to follow:
- Rinse the lentils and prep the veggies. The spinach goes into the soup just before serving, so unless it needs to be washed, you really don’t need to do much with it.
- Add ingredients to the Instant Pot. Other than the spinach, everything goes right into the pot in the order shown in the recipe. For the most part, it is a dump and go soup.
- Pressure cook for 5 minutes. Keep in mind that it takes an Instant Pot roughly 5 to 10 minutes to come to pressure, so the total time is going to be approximately 15 minutes.
- Do a quick release of pressure and then remove the lid from the Instant Pot.
- Final steps. You can stir in the spinach now and serve the soup as is. Or, if you want ultra creamy, delicious lentil soup, measure out a cup of soup and add it to a blender. Blend for a minute and then add the soup back to the Instant Pot. Stir it in and get ready to enjoy the very best Instant Pot lentil soup you will ever taste!
If you want to use another type of lentil, you certainly can! In addition to green and red lentils, there are also brown, black, and yellow lentils.
If you want additional protein in your Instant Pot lentil soup, feel free to add some tofu or other plant based meat substitute.
Or, if you don’t need it to be a vegetarian soup, feel free to add some chicken, turkey, or even ham. However, keep in mind that any meat you use will need to be precooked. Just stir in the cooked meat at the end, when you add the spinach. This is a great option to use up rotisserie chicken or leftover meat like ham.
Note: I use coconut milk to help thicken the soup and make it creamy as you see pictured. If you need a substitution, you can use heavy cream or sour cream. However, you can leave out the coconut milk altogether and still get a delicious soup!
Can you make this on the stovetop or in a slow cooker?
Yes – Just bring everything to a boil in a large pot on the stove top and simmer for 30 minutes. Or, cook for 6 hours on low power in a crockpot.
Make sure that you add all ingredients in the same order that you would add them to your Instant Pot, with the oil on the bottom to prevent the other ingredients from sticking.
When the soup comes to a boil on the stovetop, stir it a few times and then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for the 30 minutes. When cooking in a slow cooker, it will be a hands-off process just as it is with the Instant Pot method.
What to serve with lentil soup
The great thing about this soup is that it is filled with protein and fibre, making it a robust vegetarian meal that can be served as a main dish without other side dishes. If you are looking to add something to the side though, I have a few recommendations for side dishes:
- Crusty bread (and butter!)
- Side salad of mixed greens
- Serve the soup over basmati rice
What size Instant Pot?
This recipe is best made in a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot as the amount of ingredients almost reach the fill line. This line is in place to prevent over-filling the Instant Pot so that all the ingredients can cook evenly and the Instant Pot can come to pressure.
If you’d like to make this lentil soup in the 3-quart Instant Pot, you will need to cut the ingredients in half. My recipe card ( below) has an option built in for you to reduce the number of servings so that it will easily display the new amount of ingredients if you’re cutting the recipe in half.
Can you double this recipe?
Unfortunately the answer is no. You don’t want the amount of ingredients to go past the fill line – your Instant Pot will not come to pressure. This recipe makes 8 servings and each serving is approximately 1.5 to 2 cups of soup. There will be plenty of leftovers for you to enjoy, trust me!
What I would recommend if you really do want to double this recipe is get an extra Instant Pot to make it all at the same time, especially if you’re hoping for a bunch of soup to freeze. I know it might sound crazy at first, but I love having two Instant Pots for meal prep. It comes in handy when making multiple meals at once.
Making the soup thinner
I prefer really thick, creamy soup but if you prefer a thinner consistency, you can do one of two things:
Option 1: Add 1 cup more broth
Option 2: Leave out the coconut milk and/or 1 cup of diced tomatoes
The coconut milk adds the creamy look so I would recommend adding more broth for a thinner soup, but do this at the end to prevent the soup from going over the fill line of the Instant Pot at the top.
Storing, freezing and reheating lentil soup
If you store it in an airtight container, this soup will keep well in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
To use the soup for easy meal prep, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Just be sure that the soup is completely cool before placing it into freezer safe glass containers or zip top freezer bags.
Reheating Instant Pot lentil soup is the same as heating any other prepared soup. It can be done in a pot on the stovetop, in a microwave, or even in your Instant Pot! If your pressure cooker has a simmer or saute function, use it to reheat the soup. You don’t want to pressure cook the soup again – you just need to warm it up.
From frozen, you can reheat individual servings of the soup for 6-7 minutes in your microwave, stirring once halfway through. Leftovers that have been refrigerated will reheat in about 2 minutes in the microwave.
Other Instant Pot soup recipes
If you love this vegetarian lentil soup recipe, make some of these other Instant Pot vegetarian soup recipes too!
More Instant Pot resources
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Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Use mason jars to store the leftovers of this recipe – they will store the exact perfect serving size
- These colourful mason jar lids are so fun and perfect if you lose your lids
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
The Best Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 (496mL) can coconut milk
- 1 (796mL) can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in order that they are listed with the exception of spinach. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 5 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Remove 1 cup of the soup and blend in a blender once cooled, then add back to pot of soup (this is an optional step that makes the dish more creamy and delicious). Stir in spinach, then serve with fresh bread and enjoy!