Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup is cheap, quick to make, and packed with nutrients. It is a hearty, flavorful dish that can easily accommodate various spices and veggies to suit your preferences.
Pressure cooking is great method, that allows lentils to cook faster while preserving their texture and nutrients. There is a stove top method described as well, if you don’t have a pressure cooker.
Why do we love Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup?
- easy and quick to cook
- rich in protein and low in fat
- budget friendly
- thick & hearty
- easily adjustable
- can serve as a full meal
- great for meal prep
- Instant Pot & stove top option
We like this soup so much, that in colder months whenever we’re craving a hearty, comforting, hot soup we choose this one. Try it, and you will love how easy, quick and comforting it is, especially on the busy weeknights.
Hearty Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup is our family’s favorite all year round soup.
Table of Contents
You only need few pantry staples plus some fresh veggies and herbs to prepare the best instant pot lentil soup.
Dried red lentils are one of my favorite legumes for soups and stews. They cook quickly, pack a lot of nutrients, and are very versatile. Lentils are great source of protein, plus they have a lot of fiber, which is good for digestion and keep us full longer.
Don’t use canned lentils as they are already cooked and will fall apart completely.
Use your favorite canned crushed or diced tomatoes, or good quality passata. If you have fresh tomatoes that are very ripe you can use them too.
ONION & GARLIC
I usually use regular yellow onion or red onion in soups. Shallots will do nicely too.
Garlic is quite important in this recipe, not only for the health benefits. It adds deeper warm flavor and combines perfectly with rest of the spices.
Feel free to add other vegetables that you like. Here are the basic vegetables that I like to use:
RED OR YELLOW PEPPER
I like to shortly sauté veggies using olive oil, because of it’s health values and specific pungent flavor.
You can use other vegetable oil like canola or grapeseed as well.
Adjust the quantity to your liking. You can add other herbs that you like, this recipe is really very adjustable.
- dried thyme
- dried oregano
- dried parsley
- curry powder
Try preparing ORIENTAL version of this soup. Swap herbs for fresh ginger, ground cumin, turmeric and red pepper flakes.
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What to eat Greek Red Lentil Soup with:
How To Make Best Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup
Prepare all your veggies and spices to be added to the soup. Peel and chop onion & garlic, carrot, potatoes. Measure the remaining ingredients.
Rinse the lentils until the water is clear. You may soak them, but it’s not necessary with red lentils. They cook quickly, especially in pressure cooker.
If you’re new to pressure cooking, please note that those preparations make your life easier and speed up the process. After the next step – sautéing is done, you will put all ingredients together in the Instant Pot and that’s it. If you prepare everything in advance you won’t forget any ingredient.
Add olive oil to instant pot and set it on ‘sauté’ at the lowest setting. Add onions and fry them for 2-3minutes until translucent. Stir garlic in and cook for another minute.
When the onion and garlic are done pour 1 cup of vegetable broth into the pot to deglaze it. Stir with a silicone of wooden spoon, to make sure that no onion is stuck to the bottom of the pot. This is called deglazing.
You can ‘cancel’ the ‘saute’ option now.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir everything well. The liquid should cover the veggies. Lentils will drink most of it up.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and close it carefully. Turn the steam release valve from ‘Vent’ to ‘Seal’ position.
Press ‘Pressure Cook’ on lower setting, set the timer to 5 minutes and turn the ‘Keep warm’ function off.
Done! Soon you will have hot, hearty soup ready to enjoy.
You deserved a coffee break!
Once the cooking is done, you can use quick pressure release or natural release and open your Instant Pot. The vegetables will be well cooked and lentils – soft and almost-falling-apart.
How To Prepare It On Stove Top
This easy red lentil soup can be prepared in a regular pot.
Just sauté onions and garlic on olive oil until translucent. Add potatoes, carrots and peppers and sauté for few more minutes. Add red lentils, tomatoes, spices and vegetable stock and cook the soup in a covered pot for about 20 minutes.
Questions and Answers
How To Serve Greek Red Lentil Soup?
This delicious and filling soup is best served with a slice of homemade bread or dinner roll. Garnish it with chopped fresh parsley or other fresh herbs.
It’s hearty enough to be a full meal. Perfect for lunch of warming dinner.
What Other Vegetables Can I Use?
You are welcome to add more veggie goodness to this already hearty soup:
- celery sticks (fry them together with onion)
- sweet potatoes
- sun dried tomatoes
- green lentils (you can mix both types)
- baby spinach (stir in after the soup has been cooked)
Can I Blend Red Lentil Soup?
Yes, it will make a nice creamy soup.
I would take 1 cup of the vegetables out of the pot, blend the rest with immersion blender and put the unblended veggies back. This way you will have a creamy soup with additional texture.
Can I Use Other Type Of Lentils?
You can use green lentils or brown lentils instead, but I would soak them for at least 30 minutes before cooking. They have longer cooking time than red lentils.
How To Store Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup?
Instant Pot Red Lentils Soup can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. It’s even better the second day, as it becomes thicker.
Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup is freezer friendly. Put 1 or 2 portions of the leftovers in a plastic zip bag and freeze it for up to 2 months.