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.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheeseoptional for serving
Crusty breadoptional for serving
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TO STORE: Place leftover soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm this soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. You can also reheat this soup in the microwave.
TO FREEZE: Store soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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.