This flavorful Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup is a crowd-pleaser, it cooks in 15 minutes with hearty lentils, carrots, potatoes, onion, garlic, and thyme.
The search for a fresh soup recipe for the upcoming winter season is over. Try this Instant Pot vegan lentil soup.
After successfully making my Instant Pot Jamaican Rice and Peas, I decided it was time to make this Instant Pot Lentil Soup recipe and it was an amazing win, with perfect taste, and texture on the first try.
On times when I wish dinner would just cook itself, I often make this Instant Pot vegan lentil soup. Once you’ve completed the chopping, measuring, and sautéing required for this dish, the Instant Pot takes care of the rest. Isn’t it incredible?
It’s especially impressive given how tasty this Instant Pot vegan lentil soup is. This soup is comforting, and filling, with a savory, tangy taste and an abundance of texture from the lentils and fresh vegetables.
I served it a big bowl of my Kale Salad. I think it gets even better the second day. It also freezes well.
I’m in love with my Instant Pot so much that I plan to purchase another one in the near future! One is just not enough and I love that after it cooks the dish, it keeps it warm for hours, I even reheat my dishes right in the Instant Pot.
Why Does This Recipe Work?
There is a slew of reasons why you should make this Instant Pot vegan Lentil Soup.
- This isn’t your ordinary lentil soup! It has a texture that is nearly meaty, and it is thick and creamy. The addition of potatoes not only adds texture to the soup but also thickens it naturally.
- Allergen-free and healthy. It’s hearty, but it’s also healthy, with lentils that are high in protein, fiber, and iron. It’s also soy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free. Only plant-based ingredients are used, but you can add any toppings you choose.
- Simple and quick. There are only 10 minutes of hands-on cooking, after which the Instant Pot does its magic. Furthermore, all of the ingredients are easy to find.
- Friendly to meal prep and freezing. This soup freezes beautifully and is a terrific alternative for meal prep.
- Suitable for the Instant Pot. In the instant pot, this soup is much easier to prepare and it keeps it warm for hours.
- Olive Oil: The soup is made richer with the use of olive oil. It is best to use extra virgin olive oil however you can use any.
- Garlic: Minced garlic gives the soup a great flavor. Fresh garlic should be minced by hand or using a garlic press, and I highly recommend doing so.
- Green onions: You get a grassy yet savory flavor by adding the green onion. If you don’t have green onions, you can use scallions as well.
- Onion, carrots, and celery: These three ingredients form a mirepoix, a traditional soup seasoning basis.
- Fresh ginger: It is anti-inflammatory and good for digestion.
- Herbs & spices: I used a combination of fresh thyme, cayenne pepper, and allspice. This blend of spices brings a slightly smoky, warm, and earthy flavor to the soup that is just irresistible.
- White potato, peeled and diced: Potatoes add a starchy texture to the soup.
- Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes can be found in almost any grocery shop or farmer’s market. When purchasing sweet potatoes, choose those that are firm to the touch. They aren’t supposed to have wrinkled skin. Also, stay away from those with dark stains or cracks. I used a small one. The sweet potatoes will need to be washed to remove any dirt, peeled, washed again, and cut into equal cubes.
- Salt: Adding salt to the soup helps to bring the flavors together and make the dish complete.
- Lentils: Lentil soup can be made with either dried brown or green lentils. This recipe does not work with lentils that are red or orange because they cook too quickly.
- Vegan bouillon cube: Bouillon cubes contain significantly more sodium, which enhances the flavor due to the addition of traces of MSG. If you don’t have bouillon cubes, you may use either one cup of fresh stock OR one cup of canned broth in place of each cube. Here is my homemade Vegetable Broth Recipe.
- Coconut milk: I used coconut milk for the creamy and smooth texture but any type of plant-based milk will work.
How To Make Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup?
In only 15 minutes in the Instant Pot and my soup was ready to serve, this is amazing!
I added onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and thyme.
Next, I added the carrots, potatoes, and lentils,
Then finally add water, vegetable bouillon, allspice, salt, and cayenne.
Set the Instant Pot in the manual setting for 15 minutes.
I used the quick release method and voila, dinner was ready to be served.
Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup Recipe Notes
- I decided to make a Jamaican-style Lentil Soup, so I used thyme, ginger, allspice, and a little coconut milk.
- I added just enough coconut milk so as not to have a strong coconut taste, you can add more if you love the flavor.
- The flavor was hearty and out of this world. I added some dumplings after I took the photos but didn’t include them in the recipe. In Jamaica, we love dumplings in our soup so I added some for my hubby.
- You can check out my Gluten-Free recipe or my new favorite recipe that tastes and have the exact texture of regular white flour Jamaican dumplings is to use Pillsbury gluten-free flour.
- Just add a little salt and water to form a dough, roll it into dumplings, and cook in the soup, might have to add extra water.
- I used water plus 1 vegetable bouillon but you could use all vegetable broth instead and just adjust salt to taste after the soup is done.
- If you want you can saute onion, garlic, green onion, and ginger.
Reheating And Storage
- Make-Ahead: This instant pot lentil soup dish is great for meal planning. It can be prepared up to 7 days ahead of time and will taste excellent for the entire week!
- Storage: Refrigerate leftover lentil soup for up to a week in an airtight container.
- Freezing: This soup can be frozen for up to 3 months if kept in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before eating.
- Reheating: Reheat this vegan lentil soup in a pan on the stovetop. Add more broth or dairy-free milk to loosen it, and then reheat over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated. It can be reheated in the microwave. Before serving, taste and season with salt if needed.
Recipe Variations & Suggestions
Feel free to adapt this recipe to your family’s preferences by substituting different ingredients. Here are a few of our personal favorites:
- For extra flavor: A pinch of cumin powder, curry powder, turmeric powder, or chili powder.
- Red Lentil: I suggest using brown lentils for this soup because they keep their shape better when cooked. If you have red lentils only, you can still make the soup, but the texture will be different due to the lentils’ disintegration while cooking.
- French Lentil Soup: To make a more traditional French lentil soup, leave off the cumin and smoky paprika and use French green lentils instead. To give the soup more flavor, start by sautéing some chopped bacon before adding the onion, carrot, and celery.
- Beans: If you want to add beans, use canned white beans and stir them in when the soup has been pressure cooked.
- Other Greens: For garnish, you can use fresh spinach, kale, or chard. After the soup has finished cooking, add chopped fresh greens.
- Topping: Add Parmesan (or vegan cheese), fresh chopped parsley, and a dash of spicy sauce.
- Thickness: If you want a thicker or thinner soup, adjust the amount of liquid you add.
- Herbs: The use of fresh herbs makes a significant difference. While you may certainly use a blend of dry herbs, fresh herbs provide a more vibrant and fresh flavor.
Other Lentil Recipes To Try:
- Lentil Meatballs
- Vegan Lentil Loaf
- Jamaican Lentil Patties
- Vegan Lentil Stew
- Lentil Curry Lettuce Cups
- Creamy Lentil Pasta
- One-Pot Taco Spaghetti
Frequently Asked Questions:
Health Benefits Of Lentils
Lentils are healthy and rich in nutrients and should be included as part of the diet: Want to gain muscles while on a vegan diet? Then you should eat more lentils.
They’re high in fiber, protein, and folate. The fact is they can help you live longer, and they’re pretty much the perfect food. The little legumes have 250g of spermidine.
1 cup of cooked lentils contains:
- 226 calories
- 39 grams carbohydrates
- 18 grams of protein
- 16 grams of fiber
- 3.6 grams of sugar
- 0.8-grams fat
What Is The Ratio Of Water To Lentils In An Instant Pot?
Uncooked lentils are added to this soup, therefore it is crucial to ensure there is enough liquid to cook them correctly. One part lentils to three parts water are the best ratio for cooking lentils. However, because we’re also cooking a lot of vegetables in this soup, we add a lot more liquid before we start cooking.
Do You Need To Soak Lentils Before Pressure Cooking?
This is not the case in this recipe! Other recipes might enquire about this, but this lentil soup recipe for the instant pot doesn’t need to be soaked the lentils first, which makes it easy to make.
How Do You Make Soup With An Instant Pot?
Weeknight dinners are a breeze to prepare with the instant pot!
Some vegetables or other ingredients are normally sautéed in the pot first. Then we add the other ingredients and liquids to the pot and cook the soup at high pressure for 15 minutes or until it’s done is standard procedure when using an instant pot.
What Goes With Lentil Soup?
Lentil soup is a complete meal in itself. However, there are a few items that go well with it to complete the meal. Namely…
- A dinner roll
- A slice of crusty bread
- A side salad
- Mashed potatoes
- White or brown rice
Can I Add More Vegetables To This Soup?
Yes. Adding some baby kale or baby spinach to the soup might be a fantastic addition. Cook for a few minutes on the Sauté setting, until the greens have wilted.
Can I Use Other Lentils Than Brown Lentils?
Of course! However, be prepared to adjust the cooking time and recognize that the end result may not be the same as you see in this recipe. The time would be cut in half if you used French green lentils. Split red lentils will take around 8 minutes to cook, but they will dissolve just like red lentils.
Why Are My Lentils Still Hard After Cooking?
In an ideal world, we’d use fresh lentils and they’d be done when the time specified on the package. However, there are a few reasons why your lentils could not be fully cooked.
- Your lentils may be expired. After cooking, older lentils and beans, such as those that are 1-2 years old, can still feel hard and crunchy, so make sure your lentils and bean haven’t been lying in the pantry for a long time.
- It’s also possible that you haven’t sorted your lentils thoroughly enough. Small particles of detritus, such as dirt and pebbles, are frequently found in the lentils. If they are not fully cleaned or sorted, you may wind up cooking with them and experience an unpleasant crunch.
Is Lentil Soup A Good Way To Lose Weight?
If you’re trying to lose weight, you should eat more proteins; therefore, I’ve prepared a protein-rich vegan lentil soup to assist you. Lentils are high in protein and other nutrients, so they’re a must-have in any weight-loss plan.
Is Lentil Soup Healthy?
There are numerous health benefits of lentils, including a reduction in cholesterol, stabilization of blood sugar, weight loss, and a high amount of protein and fiber.
Because extra virgin olive oil contains monounsaturated fats it can help lower the risk of heart problems. Polyphenols, which are antioxidants, are also present.
This simple, nutritious soup with delicate tastes is extremely satiating and filling. The best part is that you can change it up and jazz it up to your heart’s content, and it will still taste fantastic.
If you prepare this Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup, please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
If you enjoyed this post about Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup and would love to see more, join me on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter!
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.
- Categories: Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Vegan
- Course: Soup
- Cuisine: American
- Energy: 257 kcal / 1074 kJ
- Fat: 3 g
- Protein: 14 g
- Carbs: 43 g
- Preparation: 15 min
- Cooking: 15 min
- Ready in: 30 min
- For: 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth for sauteing
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium white potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, sorted and rinsed, i used brown lentils
- 6 cups water, plus 1 veggie bouillon
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- Plug Instant Pot in power, press Saute mode, and heat oil or liquid if oil-free. Saute onion, garlic, green onion, celery, ginger and cook for about 3 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add thyme, allspice, carrots, potatoes, cayenne pepper, salt, lentil, water, vegetable bouillon and coconut milk. Stir.
- Cover Instant Pot and set at manual setting for 15 minutes making sure the valve is on 'Sealing'
- Use quick release to let the steam out (be careful steam burns) and serve.
- if using stove top, follow instructions above and cook for 25-30 minutes on medium-high heat in a large pot.
Why 15 minutes? My instant pot says lentils cooked in 7…I did someone else’s lentil recipe that also said 15 minutes and they were mushy and I believed over cooked. I will try this recipe though
Thank you Clayton, it worked for me, maybe 7 minutes is fine too. Let me know if you like it.
After trying Michelle’s lentil meatballs and falling in love I was on the hunt for more of her lentil recipes. Since this was already adapted for an Instantpot it was an easy pick for a last minute dinner. I didn’t have any ginger on hand but it still turned out so tasty. It kind of reminds me of a gumbo flavor, so we put it over rice and loved it!
Monica, I’m so excited that you enjoyed this lentil soup. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback.
I love love love this soup recipe. My children who dont enjoy soups or veggies request this every time I ask them what to make for dinner. Thank you so much for adding the Jamaican flavors which I find really hard to find in instant pot recipes. Perfection!!!!
Michelle that’s awesome to read, I’m so happy you and your children enjoy this soup. Thank you very much for sharing your feedback with us.
Hi Michelle, I made this tonight, it was fabulous! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I followed the recipe to the “T”, and added a couple of pieces of corn on the cob, and it was a great addition…so good! I made enough for lunch tomorrow, can’t wait!!
Carolyn, that’s wonderful to read. I’m so happy it turned out great for you and you and your husband enjoyed it. Love how you added corn on the cob. Thank you for sharing your feedback.
Tried this today and it was a hit in a house of picky eaters. It was flavorful and simply divine! Perfect healthy, comfort food for a rainy Saturday afternoon. I added spinners of course ‘cause that’s what Jamaicans do😉). I am GF and have been struggling to find creative, easy, flavorful and healthy recipes. I am feeling inspired. Michelle, Thank you so much!!
That’s wonderful to hear Grace that you enjoyed my lentil soup recipe, I love the idea of adding spinners. I’m happy that you find my recipes inspiring and you took the time to share with us your feedback.
Question. I’m making this stew twice this week. First time I didn’t have fresh ginger so it didn’t matter but now I have fresh ginger and the recipe states to add the ginger twice. Do I add it to sauté or when I add the remaining ingredients?
David, it is definitely a typo, only once. Thank you very much on letting me know. I hope you enjoy!
Amazing!!! I used scotch bonnet pepper instead of Cayenne, and butternut squash instead of sweet potato. I added dumplings too. I also didn’t use an instant pot, but I still loved. I guess it’s safe to say that I will be enjoying your soup recipes all winter long.
Thank you for your feedback Charnele, loving your adjustments and I’m so happy it turned out great, I plan to share more soup recipes.