Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Lentil Soup is humble, unconditional love in a bowl. Whatever life is throwing at you this week, this quiet, soul-soothing soup is here to nourish. Feeling on top of the world? You’ll be even more dynamo after your first bite. Can’t remember the last time your socks matched? This Instant Pot Lentil Soup doesn’t care. It will cozy on up with you anyway.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup - an easy, healthy recipe for French lentil soup made in the electric pressure cooker. So simple, hearty, and delicious! Gluten free, vegan, and freezer friendly. Recipe also includes stovetop method and tips to add ham or use red lentils or brown lentils instead. #healthy #soup #vegan

The beauty of lentil soup is its understatement.

It isn’t fancy, but I’d feed it to my dearest company.

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An entire pot of lentil soup costs about $10 to make, but it tastes like a million bucks.

Lentil soup will never sing its own praises, and it doesn’t need to. You’ll be singing them on its behalf!

Instant Pot Lentil Soup. Easy, healthy, and the perfect hearty soup! Great for making ahead and freezing. This vegan recipe also includes instructions for making Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup.

A lover of sun and warm weather, I struggle during this stretch of the year, when the sparkle of the holidays is behind but summer still feels forever away.

One of the things that cheers me most all winter long is making recipes that shine their brightest when the cold is at its worst.

While I’d happily eat Instant Pot Lentil Soup any night of the week, it tastes especially satisfying when the wind is blowing and the frost is creeping into the corners of our windows.

Lentil soup is warming, super filling, healthy, and the best kind of recipe to have in your refrigerator. It reheats like a dream and tastes better and better as the week goes along.

Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Soup. Simple, hearty, and delicious! One of the best recipes to make in your electric pressure cooker!

This easy lentil soup does require a little chopping on the front end, but once you have the ingredients prepped, it is completely hands off, especially if you make it in an Instant Pot.

I first discovered the beauty of Instant Pot lentils back when I made this Instant Pot Lentil Curry.

Although the total amount of time to cook lentils in an Instant Pot is pretty comparable to the time you’d need on the stove, I find that the texture of the Instant Pot lentils is superior, and I love that I never need to check or stir them the entire time the lentil soup cooks.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup. This hearty soup is easy, healthy, and guaranteed to be a dinnertime favorite. Includes instructions for adding sausage to make Instant Pot Lentil Soup with sausage.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe Notes and Variations:

  • I made this pressure cooker lentil soup with French green lentils (also called “Puy lentils”) because I love their lightly peppery flavor, and they hold their texture nicely too.
  • If you prefer to make Instant Pot red lentil soup or even brown lentil soup instead of French lentil soup, those swaps will certainly work too. For red lentil soup, I’d suggest cutting the pressure cooking time by a few minutes, as red lentils are more fragile and won’t hold their shape as well during pressure cooking.
  • If you’d like to add meat: To make Instant Pot lentil soup with sausage, brown the sausage with the onion first, and then once it’s fully cooked, add the remaining ingredients in the order listed.
  • For French lentil soup with bacon, cut the bacon into pieces and start the recipe by browning the bacon in the Instant Pot first using the sauté setting until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels, and then make the soup as directed. Stir in the bacon at the end.
  • For Instant Pot lentil soup with ham, you can stir in diced, cooked ham after the lentil soup has finished cooking.
  • No Instant Pot? You can also make this pressure cooker lentil soup on the stovetop. See recipe notes for more details.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup - an easy, healthy recipe for French lentil soup made in the electric pressure cooker. So simple, hearty, and delicious! Gluten free, vegan, and freezer friendly. Recipe also includes stovetop method and tips to add ham or use red lentils or brown lentils instead. #healthy #soup #vegan

As written, this is a vegan lentil soup, but if you don’t need the recipe to be dairy free, I highly recommend grating Parmesan cheese right over the top.

Crusty baguette dunking comes highly recommended too!

Tools to Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup:

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Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Lentil Soup – an easy, healthy recipe for French lentil soup made in the electric pressure cooker. So simple, hearty, and delicious! Gluten free, vegan, and freezer friendly. Recipe works with any color of lentils (red, green, or brown). This recipe as written yields a very thick soup, so feel free to thin it with additional broth if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Yield: 8 cups (6 servings)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional for serving
  • Crusty bread, optional for serving

Directions:

  1. Drizzle the oil into the Instant Pot. Set to SAUTE. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and stir. Continue to cook the onion, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and beginning to nicely brown and break down, about 8 minutes.
  2. While the onion cooks, peel the carrots and cut into small dice. Small dice the celery as well. Add the carrots, celery, thyme springs (you can tie them together if you like to make them easier to fish out later), salt, smoked paprika, and pepper. Sauté until the carrots and celery are barely soft, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and garlic to the pot and stir to coat them in the spices. Let cook 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
  4. Cover and seal the Instant Pot, and then set to cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes of high pressure, allow the cooker to release pressure naturally. This will take about 10 to 15 additional minutes.
  5. Open the lid and stir the soup. Remove the thyme stems, leaving the leaves in the soup. If the soup is too thick for your liking, thin with a bit of water or additional stock until you reach your desired consistency. (We tend to like our soups pretty thick and hearty around here.) Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Serve hot with a sprinkle of parsley, Parmesan (if using), and bread for dipping.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little water or additional broth to thin as needed.
  • To make on the stovetop: Prepare the recipe in a large Dutch oven on the stove through Step 3. Bring the soup to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook until the lentil are tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout. Enjoy hot.
// All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 6), about 1 1/2 cups

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 236 Calories
  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 516mg
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 16g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 12g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Instant Pot Lentil Soup - an easy, healthy recipe for French lentil soup made in the electric pressure cooker. So simple, hearty, and delicious! Gluten free, vegan, and freezer friendly. Recipe also includes stovetop method and tips to add ham or use red lentils or brown lentils instead. #healthy #soup #vegan

Instant Pot Lentil Soup - an easy, healthy recipe for French lentil soup made in the electric pressure cooker. So simple, hearty, and delicious! Gluten free, vegan, and freezer friendly. Recipe also includes stovetop method and tips to add ham or use red lentils or brown lentils instead. #healthy #soup #vegan

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

41 comments

  1. Now this is the perfect make ahead meal for weekday lunches/dinners. I only started eating lentils a couple years ago and they are delicious! And I got an Instant Pot for xmas, so this is perfect!

    Rating: 5
  2. Hits the spot when the world is too much with me! Thanks Erin!

  3. Winter is coming up soon where I am so something like this will be great. Awesome work Erin (:

  4. I don’t have an instant pot nor a pressure cooker. Can I make it in a crock pot? I’m a big lover to lentil soup and I’d like to try this. Thank you.

    • Hi Linda! In that case, I recommend the stovetop. You can see details for how to do this in the recipe notes. I hope you enjoy it. I love lentil soup too!

  5. This lentil soup looks so yummy and cozy! I don’t have an instant pot but I can make it in my slow cooker:)

  6. Made this tonight for supper. It was awesome!!!

  7. This lentil soup is the best ever! I will be delivering a couple of big bowls to my parents house today. I know they will love it too. Great recipe for these cold winter days. Thank you!

  8. This looks lovely Erin! I don’t think lentils get as much attention as they deserve. It’s been a brutal winter in Boston and I’ve been on a comfort food kick, so I will definitely be making this one tonight! 

    Rating: 5
  9. I used brown lentils. This is the best lentilsoup that I have ever made. 

    Rating: 5
  10. Thanks for posting this amazing recipe. Made a pot the other night and it was delicious. I’ve always loved lentil soup and this recipe makes the best soup. Topped off the soup with diced ham and homemade croutons.

    Rating: 5
    • YAY, I’m so glad to hear the recipe was a winner, Anne! Thanks so much for giving it a try and sharing this wonderful review. :)

  11. literally had for lunch every day this week and making again next week. so yummy!

    Rating: 5
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to report back. :)

  12. Just made it using chicken sausage.  This is now one of my favorite soups!

    Rating: 5
  13. This looks great!  Are you keeping the liquid from the cans of tomatoes or draining them?  Thanks

  14. This is a great recipe, thanks for posting! The proportions worked out really well… subbed rotel diced tomatoes with peppers/onions for one of the cans of tomatoes…. a lil’ spicy, the way we like it!

    Rating: 5
  15. This is super yummy and easy! thx!

    Rating: 5
  16. Usually soup is better the next day, but this was delicious right out of the pot. It’s one of my husbands new favorites! 

    Rating: 5
    • Hooray, Sophia! I’m glad the soup is a new favorite—and I really appreciate your taking the time to review the recipe!

  17. Dry or cooked lentils?

  18. Fantastic- Made exactly to the recipe and I wouldn’t change a thing! Trying to eat healthy and I’ve been craving my lunch each day. I doubled the recipe and it worked in my 8 quart instant pot just fine.
    Thanks so much for a tasty healthy filling recipe!

  19. This soup is so good! I adjusted the seasoning to my taste and loved it as did my family and friend. I love your food philosophy and your photography is good too! Keep doing what you’re doing and know that your work is appreciated, especially by young food bloggers like me!

    Rating: 5
  20. If you double it will it fit in a 6 quart?

    • Ben, I do think that would be too full and might change the cooking time. I’d suggest starting with the recipe as written the first time, then see how it goes!

  21. Thank you for this fabulous recipe! Made it for tonight’s dinner (yes, in summer!). Perfect combination of ingredients. Loved!

    Rating: 5

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