by Olena

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

by Olena

Instant Pot lentil soup with spinach served in a bowl

Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup

Hey-hey, guys! Here it is, Instant Pot lentil soup with brown or green lentils, canned tomatoes and spinach. Then served with lots of fresh Parmesan cheese. Can you visualize this “yum”?

This pressure cooker lentil soup is a spin-off of my stove top spinach lentil soup recipe but even more simple. Lentils soup cooked in Instant Pot requires no sauteing because I see no point, honestly. I explain why below along with my veggies stock and spinach tips.

You couldn’t ask for a more simple and healthy lentil soup recipe with prep time of 5 minutes. Make a huge pot and eat it all week. Considering I own an 8 quart monster, you better believe me when I say we will be eating this soup all week haha.

Are Lentils Good for You?

Lentils are a nutrition powerhouse – a plant-based source of complex carbs, fiber and whopping 25% of protein. Yeah! Lentils are edible seeds from a legume family. According to Healthline, 1 cup of cooked lentils provides 40 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein. Fiber in lentils helps with regular bowel movements and good bacteria growth in your gut. So many reasons to incorporate lentils in your diet!

And fun fact, Canada is the largest producer of lentils these days. That’s where I live.

What Goes into Lentil Soup Made in Instant Pot?

  1. In Instant Pot or any other electric pressure cooker, add carrots, celery and onion.
  2. Then add green lentils, diced tomatoes, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper and bouillon cubes + water or veggie stock.
  3. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on high pressure for 18 minutes.How to make Instant Pot lentil soup recipe step by step

Why No Sautéing?

Because I truly believe that you don’t always have to when it comes to pressure cooking. Food cooked under pressure is more flavorful than same ingredients cooked using a stove top method. If I have to do the same amount of work as with stovetop method, what is the point of $100 appliance? So, don’t bother. Your green lentil soup will be super delicious my way!

Natural or Quick Release?

After lentil soup is ready but Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. You can let it do it on its own which will take less than an hour – Natural Release.

OR you can do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 3-4 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid the mess and smell.Instant Pot lentil soup to release pressure outside

Adding More Flavor to Vegan Lentil Soup

  1. Open the lid and you will see this beauty. Now is the time to add spinach or kale.

  2. Then it is time to add fresh garlic. Nothing brightens up a soup like fresh garlic, said Ukrainian me. There is a huge difference between cooked and fresh garlic flavour. HUGE! You have to trust me on this one because I’m Ukrainian of all Ukrainians.
  3. Stir and serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese. If you are strict vegan, skip Parmesan. If you are strict vegetarian, I believe they sell vegetarian Parmesan cheese or skip.

All those layers of healthy flavors! Enjoy!

Tip: If you see organic box of spinach on sale – buy it and freeze it. Use in soups, green smoothies or make healthy spinach dip.

How to make pressure cooker lentil soup step by step

Variations of Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe

  • You can make lentil soup with red lentils if you reduce cooking time down to 12 minutes. Red lentils also do not hold their texture as well as green or brown lentils. Be prepared to be OK with more mushy soup. I love it too!
  • If you want to add diced ham or sausage I will not judge you. Just add it along with other ingredients. No changes to the recipe.
  • Throw a few pieces of fresh or frozen chicken. No changes to the recipe.
  • If you have 3 quart Instant Pot, cut 6 quart ingredients measurement in half. Same cooking time. Your pot always should be not more than 2/3 full when making soup in a pressure cooker (read more).

I told you this Instant Pot lentil soup recipe is amazing!

Make a Freezer Meal

Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Cook from frozen with 10 or 14 cups of water for 20 minutes. Do quick release, then add spinach and garlic.

Check out my full list of healthy freezer meals. I’m obsessed!

Can I Freeze Soup?

Absolutely. Lentils freeze beautifully and there are no tender vegetables in this lentil soup either. Well, except spinach. But we already froze, thawed and cooked. So its vibrant color is gone anyways. Freeze cooled down soup leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Thaw on a counter overnight and reheat. For quick thawing, place frozen soup into a pot and simmer on low covered, stirring occasionally. Takes time but “crap, forgot to take out … from the freezer” happens to the best of us!

More Vegetarian Soups to Try:

Print

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

5 from 9 reviews

Simple Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup Recipe with green or brown lentils, canned tomatoes and spinach. Only 5 mins of prep and no sauteing.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 7 (6 Qt.), 11 (8 Qt.) servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

Ingredients

6 Quart Instant Pot

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 small celery, chopped
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes, low sodium
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt*
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 bouillon cubes + 10 cups water or 10 cups veggie stock, low sodium**
  • 11 oz box of spinach or kale
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

8 Quart Instant Pot

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 small celery, chopped
  • 3 cups green lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes, low sodium
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt*
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 bouillon cubes + 14 cups water or 14 cups veggie stock, low sodium**
  • 11 oz box of spinach
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. In Instant Pot, add onion, carrot, celery, lentils, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, bay leaves and bouillon cubes. Add water enough to fill up to 2/3 full line or approximately 10 cups.***
  2. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking for 18 minutes. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 30 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown from 18 minutes will begin.
  3. Lentil soup is ready but your Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. You can let it do it on its own which will take less than an hour – Natural Release. OR you can do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 3-4 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid the mess and smell.
  4. Open the lid, add spinach and garlic, stir and serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or inner Instant Pot pot with a fitting glass lid for up to 5 days.

Make Ahead: Refrigerate chopped veggies with spices in an airtight container for up to 3 days and mix with the rest when ready to cook.

Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.

Freezer Meal: Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Cook from frozen with 10 or 14 cups of water for 20 minutes. Do quick release, then add spinach and garlic.

Notes

*Add less salt if using not low sodium tomatoes and stock.

**I highly recommend to buy organic bouillon cubes available at many grocery stores – cheaper and more convenient than carton broth. You can also do half stock/half water to cut back on cost.

***If your inner pot doesn’t have 2/3 full marking, it is very important to fill the pot only 2/3 full when pressure cooking. Ignore the cups, L and near the edge Max ticks. Your pot always should be not more than 2/3 full when making soup (read more).

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

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