Instant Pot Lentil Soup – the perfect 12-minute meal that is big on flavor when you’re short on time. A special ingredient takes this soup to the next level.
Do you know how ugly lentil soup is? I mean, just downright butt ugly. People say you eat with your eyes first. If that is the case, I would eat lentil soup with my eyes c-l-o-s-e-d.
But if eating visually is the first step, actually tasting food is the next. And when you taste this lentil soup, you’ll forget all about its homely appearance. Packed full of veggies and other flavors, this soup is pleased to knock your taste buds proverbial socks off after your initial reaction.
Have you ever seen a soup recipe that includes something like three carrots, one stalk of celery, and a garlic clove? Amateur hour my friends, amateur hour. I fully believe that the purpose of soup is to warm your body and soul, create the ultimate feeling of coziness, and shove so many vegetables into one pot that you think it shouldn’t be possible. And garlic? Oh, friends, I laugh at one clove of garlic. I grow garlic each and every year on my microfarm and I consider it one of the most essential ingredients in my kitchen. If you want to take your chances with the vampires with your one clove of garlic, then by all means.
The night I made this soup for the first time, I was prepared for the whining from my eight-year-old Jack. My (almost) two-year-old is my soup buddy, so I knew he would be fine with it. My non-picky husband rarely gets excited about soup night (unless it is Chicken Gnocchi Soup) and calls soup “garbage water”. And yet, they all loved this soup. LOVED it. Jack declared it delicious, my husband had two bowls, and the toddler plowed through it like I knew he would. That’s my boy!
You can make this lentil soup in your Instant Pot, slow cooker, or stove top. You can make it vegan, vegetarian, or omnivarian (<—- let’s call that a thing). It’s versatile and delicious. The special ingredient I alluded to earlier? It’s pesto! I had some homemade pesto in the freezer from this summer, but any store-bought pesto will work like a boss.
Healthy, full of veg, hearty, and oh so tasty. This lentil soup is now your new favorite meal.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup (or Slow-Cooker)
Instant Pot Lentil Soup - the perfect 12-minute meal that is big on flavor when you're short on time. A special ingredient takes this soup to the next level.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 7 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
- 1 1/3 cup dried brown lentils
- 6 cups broth (chicken or veggie)
- 1 cup chopped ham leave out to make veg or vegan
- 1 tsp smoked paprika increase to 1.5 tsp if you're not using ham
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp prepared pesto
- salt and pepper to taste
Instant Pot Instructions
Set the Instant Pot to Saute. Let it pre-heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and the carrots, celery, and onion. Stir for two minutes. Add garlic, and stir for another minute. Add all the other ingredients and stir.
Place the lid on and switch it to the lock position. Switch the vent to "sealing". Press Soup and adjust the time to 12 minutes. It will take around 10 minutes to get up to pressure.
Once the time is up, allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Then use a kitchen towel and flip the switch to "venting". Place the towel over the vent and allow it to depressurize fully. It took 13 minutes total for me.
Slow Cooker Instructions
Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
Stove Top Instructions
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine olive oil, carrots, celery, and onions. Cook down for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook on medium until lentils are soft (about 30 minutes).
This post contains affiliate links.