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How to Make Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

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I have been making my lentil soup recipe for years and years. Everyone seems to love it.

Lentil Soup Recipe for Instant Pot

As the chef, I also liked how easy it was to make and versatile.

I would joke that if I had my act together and started dinner in the morning, I would make the soup in the slow cooker, if I was on a normal schedule it would cook on the stove top, and if I totally had run out of time – into the pressure cooker it would go.

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Well, along comes the Instant Pot and you can see that it is a marriage made in heaven for my lentil soup recipe.

Seriously, the Instant Pot is a slow cooker, a stove top replacement (via the sauté function) and a pressure cooker all rolled into one – so it doesn't matter when I make the soup – it can all happen in the Instant Pot.

For purposes of this post, though, I will give you the instructions using the pressure cooking function. Adapt it as you will.

How To Make Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

What I love about this lentil soup recipe is that it is full of vegetables and protein and the kids love it.

Honestly, you can use a variety of vegetables – anything in your fridge that may not make it too much longer is fair game for this soup.

But I will tell you exactly what I usually put into it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 cup green split peas
  • one large onion, chopped
  • one large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (2 stalks)
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 3 small Campari tomatoes, chopped (or any other variety of tomato – about 1 cup)
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • salt to taste

Just for reference, I make this recipe in a 6 Quart Instant Pot IP-DUO60 and it pretty much fills the pot. You can easily half the recipe if you would like a lesser quantity.

The Process

Lentil Soup Recipe for Instant Pot

I start by measuring out 1 cup each of dry brown lentils and dry split green peas (yes, that is my secret ingredient – no one even knows that there are split green peas in the finished soup!).

Pour these into the stainless steel inner pot of your Instant Pot and rinse/drain with several washes of water until the water is clear and not cloudy.

Pour out the final wash of water so that all you have are the wet lentils and split peas in the Instant Pot.

Add in the following vegetables (all chopped – I typically use the food processing attachment on this blender which makes the prep really easy):

  • one large onion
  • one red bell pepper
  • Kale
  • tomatoes

I also slice up the following (but you can also chop them up in the food processor if you are short on time)

  • 4 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery

Next add 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.

I never have the boxes of broth on hand but usually stock up on this type of bouillon instead. This way I always have some ready to go for whatever recipe I happen to be making.

Finally, toss in the 1 tablespoon olive oil and bay leaves. I think the oil adds to the “mouth feel” of the finished lentil soup recipe.

I add the cumin powder and the black pepper to the soup after it is finished cooking because I feel the flavors stay stronger that way.

Once everything is in the Instant Pot close the lid and put the valve into the “sealing” or closed position.

Press the “Soup” setting button and set the time to 20 minutes on High pressure, normal setting.

Instant Pot settings for Lentil Soup Recipe

When the time is up and the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure drop naturally. You can turn the “keep warm” setting off if you like – but it doesn't make a difference to this lentil soup recipe.

After the pressure as dropped, unlock the lid and add in the cumin powder and black pepper. Taste the soup for salt and add more if you prefer.

Serve as is, or over a bed of white rice. You can garnish this soup with some shredded pepper jack cheese or with a spoonful of homemade Instant Pot yogurt.

Enjoy!

My Best Lentil Soup Recipe for the Instant Pot - Everyone Loves It

My Best Lentil Soup Recipe for the Instant Pot - Everyone Loves It

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 cup green split peas
  • one large onion, chopped
  • one large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (2 stalks)
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 3 small Campari tomatoes, chopped (or any other variety of tomato - about 1 cup)
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour the dry brown lentils and dry green split peas into the stainless steel inner pot of your Instant Pot and rinse/drain with several washes of water until the water is clear and not cloudy.
  2. Pour out the final wash of water so that all you have are the wet lentils and split peas in the Instant Pot.
  3. Add in the following vegetables (all chopped ) - one large onion - one red bell pepper - Kale - tomatoes
  4. Slice up the following (but you can also chop them up in the food processor if you are short on time) - 4 carrots - 2 stalks celery
  5. Next add 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.
  6. Finally, toss in the 1 tablespoon olive oil and bay leaves.
  7. Once everything is in the Instant Pot close the lid and put the valve into the "sealing" or closed position.
  8. Press the "Soup" setting button and set the time to 20 minutes on High pressure, normal setting.
  9. When the time is up and the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure drop naturally. You can turn the "keep warm" setting off if you like - but it doesn't make a difference for this lentil soup recipe.
  10. After the pressure as dropped, unlock the lid and add in the cumin powder and black pepper. Taste the soup for salt and add more if you prefer.
  11. Serve as is, or over a bed of white rice. You can garnish this soup with some shredded pepper jack cheese or with a spoonful of homemade Instant Pot yogurt.
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Penelope Silvers

Friday 22nd of December 2017

This sounds so healthy and yummy. Especially for the cold winter coming up. Thanks for sharing!

Neena Nandagopal

Saturday 30th of December 2017

Hi Penelope,

This is one of my family's favorite soup recipes - I am so surprised that even the kids love it (they are hard to please ;-) )

I apologize for my late reply to your comment. I took a much needed blogging break to re-energize for the new year.

Happy new year!