This Instant Pot Lentil Soup makes an easy and healthy weeknight dinner recipe! It's full of carrots and spinach, vegan, and gluten free.
I've been on this 'healthy comfort food' kick lately and there is nothing that fits that description more than lentil soup. This Lentil Soup is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free but it's hearty and comforting at the same time.
When I was in college I frequented and ended up working at a local coffee shop that served a big bowl of homemade soup with sliced bread for $3.00. Customers came from all over campus to take advantage of this amazing deal. One of the most popular items on the menu was the Spinach Lentil Soup.
With deals like that we weren't forced to live on Ramen noodles and frozen pizza - We ate pretty well during those years of intense study.
Upon trying this Instant Pot version I realized that it tastes EXACTLY like the Spinach Lentil version that I ate so much of during that time in college many years ago.
The flavors must have embedded themselves into my subconscious mind because I started feeling like it was 2002 again and I was sitting in a crowded cafe sipping a cup of coffee eating a big bowl of it.
Is Lentil Soup Healthy?
I love that food and flavors have that kind of effect on us - One bite of something familiar can transport us all the way back to childhood.
The great thing about Lentil Soup is that it's SUPER healthy! Lentils are full of protein, iron, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals. They're also inexpensive and can be added to all kinds of soups, stews, salads, and casseroles for added protein.
They're also filling and don't leave you hungry a few hours after eating.
The one frustrating thing about lentils is that they take a long time to cook on the stove top. This Instant Pot Lentil Soup cuts the active cooking time down to 14 minutes - This is exactly the type of recipe that the electric pressure cooker was made for.
If you like healthy soups I think you'll love these recipes!
- Sweet Potato Kale Soup
- Roasted Carrot Soup
- Cannellini Bean, Carrot, and Kale Soup
- Curried Cauliflower and Potato Soup
- Thai Style Potato and Corn Chowder
- Tuscan Vegetable Soup
- Gluten Free Vegetable Stew
Ingredients For Lentil Soup
This soup doesn't require too many ingredients and you likely have most of them in your pantry or fridge already.
Here's what you'll need to make it.
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 1 Onion (any color)
- 2-3 stalks Celery
- 4-5 large Carrots
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 ¼ cup Brown or Green Lentils
- 4 ½ cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 15 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- ½ tsp. Kosher Salt
- ½ tsp. Pepper
- 2-3 cups fresh Spinach
Where Can I Find Lentils?
Brown or Green Lentils are the ones that are easily found in the rice and grains section of most grocery stores. You can also grab them in the bulk food section of your local food coop.
How To Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This soup is so easy to make and takes not time at all making it a great option for busy weeknights!
- Start by mincing 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion (I used a white onion but you can use any color you like). Dice 2-3 stalks of celery and dice 4-5 large carrots.
- Place 1 ¼ cups of dried lentils in a colander and give them a good rinse. It is not necessary to soak them before making this soup but I always think it is a good idea to rinse them.
- Plug in the Instant Pot and set it to the 'Sauté' setting.
- Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to the Instant Pot. Once heated, add the minced garlic, onions, and celery. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the diced carrots along with ½ tsp. kosher salt and pepper. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the rinsed lentils to the pot and sauté for 1 minute, stirring often.
- Pour 4 ½ cups vegetable broth, 1 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, and 1 tsp. sugar into the pot. Stir until combined.
How Long Does This Soup Take To Cook?
- Once everything is in there place the cover on top and make sure it is in the locked position and that the valve it sealed.
- Press the 'Cancel/Off' button and then press the 'Manual' button.
- Set the timer for 14 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to pressurize, cook for 14 minutes, and when that time is up allow the steam to release naturally for 10 minutes. Feel free to flip the vent after 10 minutes to release any extra steam. At this point you can remove the cover from the Instant Pot.
*Always be sure to exercise caution when using an Instant Pot. Check out this guide for any questions you may have regarding use of your Instant Pot.
After you have removed the lid stir the soup and add 2-3 cups of roughly chopped spinach (you can as much or as little spinach as you like).
Stir the spinach into the soup until combined.
What To Serve With Lentil Soup
If you ask me you can't serve lentil soup without bread (use gluten free bread if you are gluten free). The bread allows you to sop it up from the bowl and makes it more of a 'meal'.
A sandwich like this Mozzarella Grilled Cheese, Chipotle Chicken Panini, Dijon Chicken Grilled Cheese, Curried Chickpea Sandwiches, or Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad is always a great accompaniment to soups made from scratch like this one.
If you like Instant Pot recipes be sure to check out these!
- Instant Pot Mediterranean Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Pork Carnitas
- Instant Pot Wild Rice
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
How Long Does Lentil Soup Last In The Fridge?
This Instant Pot Lentil Soup should last 3-4 days in the fridge stored in an airtight container.
Make sure to allow the soup to come to room temperature before storing in fridge.
Can It Be Frozen?
This soup makes an excellent freezer meal! It's always nice to have a pre-made soup like this one on hand in the freezer when things get extra busy and hectic in life.
How To Freeze
- Prepare the soup according to the instructions and allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, place the soup in heavy-duty freezer bags labeled with the date or in airtight containers.
- Store up to 3 months in the freezer.
How To Thaw
- Place the containers of frozen soup in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw.
- Place the soup in a Dutch Oven or soup pan and add ½ cup of water or vegetable broth and heat thoroughly.
Love soup? Check out these recipes!
Love lentils? Check out these recipes!
Looking For More Instant Pot Soup Recipes? Don't Miss These!
Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Spinach
- Instant Pot
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic and 1 onion (any color). Dice 2-3 stalks of celery and 4-5 large carrots.
- Plug in the Instant Pot and set it to the 'Saute' setting. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and allow to heat.
- Once heated, add the minced garlic, onions, and celery. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the diced carrots along with ½ tsp. of kosher salt and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the rinsed lentils and saute for 1 minute, stirring often.
- Add 4 ½ cups of vegetable broth, 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, and 1 tsp. sugar to the Instant Pot. Stir until combined.
- Place the cover on the Instant Pot and make sure it's in the locked position and the valve is sealed. Press the 'Cancel/Off' button and then press the 'Manual' button.
Set the timer for 14 minutes.
- Allow the Instant Pot to pressurize, cook for 14 minutes, and natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you can vent any remaining steam. Remove the lid and stir the soup.
- Roughly chop 2-3 cups of fresh spinach (you can use more or less if you like). Add the spinach to the soup and stir until combined.Turn the Instant Pot off and unplug it when finished.
- To Serve: Serve soup with crusty bread (gluten free bread if you are gluten free).