This Instant Pot Vegan Red Lentil Soup is healthy and easy thanks to the electric pressure cooker! This recipe is based on my Mother-in-Law’s Turkish Red Lentil Soup recipe! Make this Easy Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup for a healthy vegan dinner tonight!
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Grey and cold January days call for this warm and cozy Instant Pot Vegan Red Lentil Soup. I love this red lentil soup recipe because it is so healthy but also very filling and satisfying. It also happens to be vegan and gluten free red lentil soup! Not only that, but using your instant pot or electric pressure cooker to make this lentil soup will make this a quick recipe for a weeknight dinner!
If you are looking for a Turkish Lentil Soup, this is it! I asked my Mother-in-Law (who just so happens to be Turkish) for her red lentil soup recipe. I adapted it a bit to make it an Instant Pot Recipe. We love this lentil soup in our house, and I hope you do too!
What is a red lentil?
A red lentil is a variety of the lentil family, which is a type of legume. Lentils can also be brown, green or yellow. Lentils are an edible dried seeds of a flowering plant called Fabaceae. They are also part of a group of legumes called pulses.
Are red lentils good for you?
Red lentils are considered very healthy because they are low in fat, low in calories, but high in fiber and protein. A one cup serving of red lentils contains 230 calories. Lentils are also a great plant based source of iron and B vitamins.
Is red lentil soup good for you?
This Red Lentil Soup is good for you because it is low in fat and calories while being high in fiber and protein. If you are trying to keep your calorie intake low while still feeling full, this Instant pot red lentil soup will do the trick!
Do I have to soak Red Lentils?
You do not need to soak red lentils, just be sure to rinse them and check for any small stones or debris. Some people prefer to soak lentils to make them easier to digest. If you prefer to soak your lentils, first rinse them in a mesh colander and pick out any debris. Soak for up to two hours. Drain and discard soaking water.
How do you make red lentil soup in the Instant Pot?
Set instant pot to saute setting. Add olive oil, onions, carrots, celery and salt. Saute for 8-10 minutes, until soft.
Add cumin, chili powder and tomato paste, stir until combined, 1-2 minutes.
Add broth, water, lentils and bay leaves. Stir until fully mixed. Lock lid in place and set to high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow to naturally release. Stir in lemon juice.
OPTIONAL: Once pressure is released, use an immersion blender to carefully blend until smooth. Remember soup is HOT, so keep a safe distance in case some splashes up. Always keep the head of the immersion blender fully immersed in the liquid to avoid splatter.
Serve with yogurt, lemon wedges and parsley, if desired.
I used my 8 Quart Instant Pot to make this recipe.
Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 carrots peeled and diced
- 3 celery diced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth if not vegetarian
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- lemon wedges
- Set instant pot to sauté setting. Add olive oil, onions, carrots, celery and salt. Saute for 8-1010 minutes, until soft.
- Add cumin, chili powder and tomato paste, stir until combined, 1-2 minutes.
- Add broth, water, lentils and bay leaves. Stir until fully mixed. Lock lid in place and set to high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow to naturally release. Stir in lemon juice.
- OPTIONAL: Once pressure is released, use an immersion blender to carefully blend until smooth. Remember soup is HOT, so keep a safe distance in case some splashes up. Always keep the head of the immersion blender fully immersed in the liquid to avoid splatter.
- Serve with yogurt, lemon wedges and parsley, if desired.
I’ve had this recipe bookmarked forever and finally made it – so good!! I wish I’d made it sooner. I love that it’s so nutritious and easy to put together. Thank you!
Beth Davis says
I added about 5 cloves of garlic and doubled the cumin and chili powder. Excellent recipe! thanks so much for sharing.
So glad you love it!
Sorry, as the recipe is written there is not enough flavor for us. I looked up other recipes and added other spices, like garlic. This is a great recipe if you have a need to have a super simple recipe. Sorry this isn’t for us, this time.
This is the BEST lentil soup ever!! I literally make it once a week.
Oh yay! so happy to hear that!
Can you use dried lentils? Or is that the intention?
I use dried lentils.
Absolutely love this easy soup. I often crave red lentil soup and I love not having to babysit the pot since this recipe is for the IP. The lemon juice part is next level!
So happy to hear that!
Would prefer that you do not say chicken broth option in a recipe you call vegan. There is no reason to include that option. It is delicious with veggie broth.
Amanda Phillips says
I like using chicken bone broth. It was nice to see this as an option which indicated chicken bone broth would still maintain a good flavored soup.
So glad you loved it!
For some who do have vegetable broth it’s nice to know you can substitute chicken broth. There are other people in the world.
Can I use a slow cooker and or just a dutch oven?
Hi! Yes I think that would be fine! I haven’t tested it out so I’m not sure on the cooking time. But generally red lentils cook fairly quickly, I would check after half an hour and see if they are soft.
Denise Simmons says
Such an easy recipe! So yummy….I added a bit of Garam Masala..the texture is gorgeous!
So glad you love it!
This has become one of my favorite go-to recipes. It’s flavorful, satisfying, and a breeze to make. Plus it freezes beautifully! I like to serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt on top.
I’m so happy to hear that!
SImple and productive recipe with ingrediants I actually have! Perhaps a lot like a mirepoix in the prep, so I used my blender initially to prep and again after once the soup cooled a bit after the instant pot cycle. It is a keeper!
So glad you liked it!
DELICIOUS! Wow-so good! I skipped the vegetable broth and added a teaspoon of salt instead. Easy to make and used stuff I already had in the pantry. Excellent!
Yay, so glad you loved it!
Great instructions for the instant pot.
So glad you liked it!
Made this soup this week and it was SO delicious! I didn’t have any tomato paste on hand so I just left it out which did not affect the taste or texture in my opinion. I added a diced jalapenos and sauteed it with the rest of the veggies at the beginning and YUM! Definitely recommend that if you’re looking for some spice.
My husband and I were watching a Turkish TV show on Netflix yeaterday and saw the characters eating a soup that my husband remembered having when he was in Istanbul. We immediately googled and found your recipe. We made it that afternoon, and it was delicious. The leftovers were even better today. Thanks for an easy and tasty recipe!
So happy you loved it Jen!
Sarah moorehead says
Brilliant recipe! I added a can of fire roasted tomatoes instead of tomato paste – superb!
So glad you love it Sarah!
How could I make this soup if I don’t have an instant pot? It sounds delicious.
Hi Bando – This should be adaptable to the stove top. Just use a large dutch oven or pot, saute on medium-medium high, then after adding all the ingredients cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked, probably about 20 minutes. Let me know how it turns out!
ashlyn @ F5 method says
Meghan, this looks like the perfect cozy Polar Vortex recipe! It sounds delicious and your photos look amazing! Nothing like that vibrant yellow orange color complemented by the garnishes! 🙂
Thanks Ashley! It is perfect for freezing cold weather for sure!