Instant Pot Vegetable Lentil Soup

By Sally Cameron on January 20, 2019

beans, legumes & grains, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Soups, Stews & Chilies, the daniel plan, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

I’ve made this Instant Pot vegetable lentil soup a lot that last few months. It’s warming, hearty, and so healthy! Make it vegan with vegetable broth or use chicken broth, whatever your preference. Saute your veggies, add the rest of the ingredients, lock on the lid, set the timer and in no time you’ll have soup. Any leftovers make a great lunch. This is my first Instant Pot recipe with more to come, so stay tuned.

Instant Pot Vegetable Lentil Soup | afoodcentriclife.com

Why I Finally Bought an Instant Pot

Creating fast and healthy recipes for my clients the years I ran my personal chef and catering business was easier with pressure cooking. When the Instant Pot launched and quickly gathered a cult-like following I kind of shrugged it off. I thought, I already have several pressure cookers so why get another one? I finally bought one (the 6 quart) and quickly discovered I love it! Now my others one are collecting dust. Why? Because its electric, and it does a lot more than pressure cook. It’s a multi-function tool that replaces several you may already have.

Stovetop pressure cookers have to be baby sat. The Instant Pot does not. For some recipes you add all ingredients, lock on the lid, set your timing and walk away. Some recipes need a little sautéing first. I’ve yet to try slow cooking or other features but will.  More recipes to come!

Instant Pot Vegetable Lentil Soup | afoodcentriclife.com

Instant Pot Vegetable Lentil Soup

After chopping all of the vegetables, start with a few minutes on the sauté setting. Next add the rest of the ingredients, lock on the lid and select the pressure cook for 15 minutes. When cooking is complete, allow it to cool down for 15 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure. You can also let it come down naturally which will take approximately 30 minutes. I’ve done it both ways. No Instant Pot? No problem. You can still make this on the stovetop.

Instant Pot Vegetable Lentil Soup | afoodcentriclife.com

 

Lentil and Herb Notes

Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein. Just 1/4 of a cup provides 14 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber. They are delicious, nutritious and easy to cook. Use French green lentils because they hold up well in soups and stews.

Last note – Herbs de Provence is a lovely blend of dried herbs commonly used in French cooking. It’s often a blend of oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, and sometimes lavender, savory or marjoram. It’s one of my favorite dried herb blends. Try it, mix up your own blend, or use an Italian blend.

Instant Pot Vegetable Lentil Soup | afoodcentriclife.com

Instant Pot Vegetable Lentil Soup

Hearty and healthy, the  Instant Pot makes this recipe easy. For stovetop directions, please see note at the end. It's loaded with vegetables and plant-based protein, use vegetable broth for vegan or chicken broth if desired. Herbs de Provence is a dried blend of thyme, oregano, rosemary, lavender, basil, parsley, tarragon, marjoram and other herbs commonly used in French cooking. Buy some, use Italian blend or create your own blend. 
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot, Lentil, Vegan, Vegetable
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 272kcal

Ingredients

Vegetable Lentil Soup

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion 1 large
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrot 3 large
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery 3 large ribs
  • 1 cup chopped fennel 1 medium, bulb only
  • 3 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Herbs de Provence or Italian blend
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cups low sodium broth chicken or vegetable
  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional Garnishes

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Select "sauté" to pre-heat the Instant Pot. When the word "hot" appears on the display, add the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, and fennel. Set the timer for 7 minutes and stir occasionally. Towards the end of the sauté cycle, stir in the garlic, dried herbs and tomato paste. 
  • Stir in the broth, lentils, salt and pepper, place the lid on and turn to lock. Turn the steam release handle on top of the lid closed. Select "pressure cook" and set the timer using the [+] button for 15 minutes. When the Instant Pot completes the warm up and cooking cycle it will beep. Use the natural release method for 15 minutes, then quick release remaining pressure by pressing "cancel" and turning the steam release handle on top of the lid to the "venting" position.  
  • If you are not in a hurry, leave the Instant Pot to come down all of the way naturally. Unlock, stir and serve. Leftovers keep well for up to four days and freeze well.

Notes

Stovetop Directions
If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can cook this on the stovetop. Sauté all of the vegetables in oil until tender in a large pot, add the garlic, dried herbs and tomato paste, stir and cook 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring just to a boil, turn heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer on low until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 965mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5777IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 5mg
6 Comments
  1. Joan Salvatore - January 21st, 2019

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I just got a pot in the mail yesterday I still don’t know who it’s from probably my mother lol. I was the same as you about not wanting one but sounds like my crockpot might start gathering dust ;). Will your recipe fit the 3quart pot? I look forward to getting these recipes thanks again!

  2. Sally Cameron - January 22nd, 2019

    Hi Joan, its probably too much quantity for the 3-quart. If you have the option, I’d exchange it for the 6 qt as it seems most recipes are written for the 6. Or maybe you are single and the 3 is enough, then try cutting the recipe in half. Let me know what you do!

  3. Carol - January 21st, 2019

    Chef Sally,

    We very much like your recipes and this sounds wonderful, especially in the Instant Pot.
    Wondering about the calorie count here; a member of our family went on the South Beach Diet and did
    very well, now off the diet and trying to follow the next step….at least a guesstimate of calories
    would be helpful. THANK YOU!

    A year ago our son told us he would like an Instant Pot, which we were unfamiliar with; we gave him
    one for his birthday(after researching and being impressed with the product information). He has used
    it every day for the past year and often sends us pictures of foods he has produced with the Instant Pot!
    He is 45….yes, he cooks! How fine is this. We also gave an Instant Pot to another relative for his
    birthday a year ago and this individual continues to be a frequent user!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Sally Cameron - January 22nd, 2019

    Love the story on your son. That’s great Carol! And thanks for the kind words. I’ve updated this to include a nutrition label. Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any questions. To reduce sodium if needed, use homemade chicken broth (no salt).

  5. Carol - January 21st, 2019

    Chef Sally,

    This is on a related matter…about a year ago I discovered Green Giant’s new frozen vegetables. Wonderful as there are no added ‘garbage’ ingredients, saves time and mess by not having to fix your own veggies first(I do like using fresh veggies, yes). I have compared GG to Bird’s Eye, like GG’s selection better and amount in each pkg. Love the fact that there are frozen items we like: diced or stringed beets, cauliflower in a variety of styles, cauliflower & sweet potatoes riced, broccoli riced, butternut squash cubed or stringed, Zucchani stringed, carrots stringed, etc. GG provides recipes on each pkg.
    Back in 1952 women, main cooks, were told they could not freeze these items. HA! My mother, a great cook, would love to see this. Thought you would be interested regarding my opinion of the new GG frozen veggies!!! THANKS!

  6. Sally Cameron - January 22nd, 2019

    So are you doing work for them? Sponsored? Otherwise I can’t figure out why you would comment on this “related” matter. I prefer to use fresh but realize not everyone has access to fresh, but the veggies here are pretty basic and available everyone, so no frozen needed.

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