Instant Pot Lentil Soup

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Learn how to cook Flavorful Hearty Instant Pot Lentil Soup (Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup)! Snuggle up with a comforting nutritious bowl of thick lentil soup, topped with crisp smoky bacon. Satisfy your crowd with this super easy to make Instant Pot Soup with simple affordable ingredients.

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Jump to: Recipe | Step by Step Cooking Guide | FAQ

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5 from 9 votes

What are Lentils?

Lentils are highly affordable, high protein legumes that are full of fibre, complex carbohydrates & rich in iron; while low in calories & fat.

There are different varieties of lentils including Red Lentils, Yellow Lentils, Green Lentils, Puy Lentils, Beluga Lentils. You can find whole lentils or split lentils among these varieties.

Lentils are super quick & easy to cook – no need to soak before cooking! They’re great & versatile ingredient for making soups, stews, curry, salads, casseroles, or adding into your vegetarian, vegan diets.

What We Look for in a Great Lentil Soup?

A good bowl of lentil soup is hearty, comforting, and deliciously satisfying to eat.

The Lentil Soup should be full of flavors and not bland or tastes flat & boring, where the lentils are fully cooked & tender, but not mushy.

A taste of fall-winter flavors, like a homey warm hug on a cool day!

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Ingredients for Lentil Soup in Instant Pot

*Note: For those looking to make a vegan Instant Pot Lentil Soup, we’ve provided substitution options for you! 🙂 

  • Lentils – We used Green Lentils to develop this lentil soup recipe because they hold up well after cooking and have a nutty taste; while Red Lentils will not hold up as well & may come out mushy.
  • Unsalted Chicken Stock – Different brands or even different boxes of the same brand of salted chicken stock can differ in levels of sodium, so we prefer to develop recipes using unsalted chicken stock for more control & consistency on the dish’s flavor profile. Best if you can make your own chicken stock! 😀
    • Vegan Option: Substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Our Secret Ingredients:

  • BaconWhy use bacon in Lentil Soup? Bacon serves 3 grand purposes to kick this hearty soup to the next level! First, we used the delicious smoky-savory-bacony fat to saute the garlic & onion; secondly, it’ll add a smoky-savory-umami dimension of flavors to the lentil soup; lastly, the crispy bacon bits will add a satisfying texture to this hearty thick soup. yum yum~
    • Vegan Option: Skip the bacon and use olive oil to saute the onions & garlic.
  • Fish Sauce (Amy + Jacky’s favorite…hehe~) – This adds a magical delicious touch of savory-umami depth of flavors to the soup.
    • Vegan Option: Substitute fish sauce with regular soy sauce.
  • Sherry Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar (optional) – This imparts a complex, rounded acidity flavor that will brighten up the overall flavor profile with a new dimension. Be sure to first taste test with a small portion to see if you like this flavor profile. Then add according to your personal preferences.

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Time to cook Soul-Soothing Lentil Soup in Instant Pot!

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Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Learn how to cook Comforting Hearty Instant Pot Lentil Soup (Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup)! A flavorful bowl of thick soothing lentil soup, topped with crisp smoky bacon bits. Satisfy your crowd with this super easy to make Instant Pot Soup with simple affordable ingredients.
5 from 9 votes
Print Rate This Recipe
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 - 8
Calories: 353kcal
Author: Amy + Jacky

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (400g) dried split green lentils
  • 6 slices (210g) bacon , browned and cut into bits
  • 6 (27g) garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 (245g) large onion , roughly diced
  • 2 (325g) large carrot , roughly chopped
  • 2 (161g) celery ribs , roughly chopped
  • 14 oz (400g) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 (0.4g) bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon (2.7g) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (0.6g) dried thyme
  • 6 cups (1.5L) unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons (15ml) fish sauce

Garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat & Render Bacon: Before you turn on the heat, layer 6 slices of bacon in Instant Pot's inner pot.
    *Note: We are using the preheating heat to render & crisp the bacon.
    Heat up Instant Pot using "Sauté More" function. Flip bacon occasionally. Once Instant Pot says "HOT" (~12 mins), the bacon should be done. Place bacon on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.
  • Saute Onions & Garlic: Keep the flavorful bacon fat in Instant Pot. Add in diced onion, then saute for 3 minutes. Add in minced garlic, 1 tsp (2.7g) ground cumin, 1 tsp (0.6g) dried thyme, and 3 bay leaves. Saute for another minute.
  • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Give it a quick mix.
  • Pressure Cook Lentil Soup: Add 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce and 5 ½ cups (1375ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot. Add in 2 cups (400g) green lentils, chopped carrots, and chopped celery. Give it a quick mix. Layer 14oz (400g) crushed tomatoes on top. Do not mix.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure 8 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure. Open the lid carefully.
    While the soup is pressure cooking, cut bacon slices into bacon bits.
  • Season Lentil Soup: Taste the lentil soup, then adjust seasoning accordingly (for reference, we added roughly 4 - 5 pinches of salt to balance & open up the flavors).
  • Serve Instant Pot Lentil Soup: Garnish Lentil Soup with freshly chopped parsley and bacon bits, then serve immediately.
    *Pro Tip: You can also add just a bit of sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar for another layer of flavor just before serving. Enjoy!~
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Recipe Notes:

1. Vegan Lentil Soup: substitute the unsalted chicken stock with vegetable stock, and substitute fish sauce with regular soy sauce. Skip the bacon and use olive oil to saute the onions.
2. Dump-it-all-in Version: Simply place all the ingredients in Instant Pot (except crushed tomatoes & bacon slices). Then, layer crushed tomatoes on the very top and do NOT mix. Close lid and pressure cook as directed. Crisp bacon in the oven (see directions).
*Rate the Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you!

Nutrition:

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 695mg | Potassium: 1038mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 7012IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot bean soup, instant pot beans, instant pot green lentils, instant pot lentil recipes, instant pot lentil soup, instant pot lentils, instant pot soup, lentil soup in instant pot, pressure cooker green lentils, pressure cooker lentil soup, pressure cooker lentils, pressure cooker soup
Tried this recipe?Mention @pressurecookrecipes or tag #AmyJacky!

How to Make Instant Pot Lentil Soup Step by Step Guide

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Lentil Soup Preparation

Rinse lentils in cold water, then remove any debris. Drain well.

*Pro Tip: You don’t need to soak lentils before cooking! 🙂

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1

Preheat & Render Bacon


Before you turn on the heat, layer 6 slices of bacon in your Instant Pot’s inner pot.

*Note: We are using the preheating heat to render & crisp the bacon.

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Heat up Instant Pot using “Sauté More” function.

*Tip: For older versions – press “Saute” button, then “Adjust” button. For newer versions – press “Saute” button twice.

Flip bacon slices occasionally.

Once the Instant Pot says “HOT” (roughly 12 minutes), the bacon should be done. Place the bacon slices on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat.

2

Saute Onions & Garlic


There should be a lot of flavorful bacon fat in the Instant Pot. If you are on a diet, remove some of the fat.

Add in diced onion, then saute for three minutes.

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Add in minced garlic, 1 tsp (2.7g) ground cumin, 1 tsp (0.6g) dried thyme, and 3 bay leaves. Saute for another minute.

3

Deglaze Instant Pot


Pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot (as shown in below photo).

instant pot green lentils: deglaze Instant Pot Pressure Cooker #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe #soup #beans

Give it a quick mix.

4

Pressure Cook Lentil Soup


Add 2 tbsp (30ml) fish sauce and 5 ½ cups (1375ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot.

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Add in 2 cups (400g) green lentils, chopped carrots, and chopped celery. Give it a quick mix.

Layer 14oz (400g) crushed tomatoes on top. Do not mix.

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With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

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  • Pressure Cooking Methods: High Pressure 8 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes

After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position.

While the soup is pressure cooking, cut bacon slices into bacon bits.

When Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.

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5

Season Lentil Soup


Taste the lentil soup in Instant Pot, then adjust seasoning accordingly.

*Pro Tip: For reference, you will need roughly 4 – 5 pinches of salt to season properly & open up the flavors. 

Make Lentil Soup in Instant Pot: season lentil soup in pressure cooker #AmyJacky #InstantPot #PressureCooker #recipe #soup #beans

6

Serve Instant Pot Lentil Soup


Garnish Instant Pot Lentil Soup with freshly chopped parsley and bacon bits, then serve immediately 🙂

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*Pro Tip: You can also add just a bit of sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar for another layer of flavor. As always, first taste test with a small portion in a bowl to see if you like this flavor profile before serving the Instant Pot Lentil Soup with sherry vinegar.

Enjoy your Comforting Hearty Instant Pot Lentil Soup!~

Lentil Soup Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to Make this into a Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Soup?

To make this into a vegan lentil recipe, substitute the unsalted chicken stock with vegetable stock and fish sauce with regular soy sauce. Skip the bacon and use olive oil to saute the onions.

2. How to Make this into a Dump-it-all-in Instant Pot Lentil Soup?

This will make a great “dump-it-all-in” lentil soup in Instant Pot. To start, place all the ingredients in the Instant Pot (except crushed tomatoes and bacon slices). Now layer the crushed tomatoes on the very top and do not mix. Close lid and pressure cook as directed.
*Bacon Bits: Follow the oven instructions for crisping the bacon slices below.

3. How to Prepare Bacon Bits in the Oven?

To prepare the bacon in the oven, place bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place it on the middle rack of a preheated 400°F oven. Bake bacon until crispy and golden-brown. Set a timer for roughly 18 – 20 minutes. Place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat. Cut bacon strips into bacon bits. Enjoy these addictive umami bits~


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Jay

Just wanted to thank you for the great website. My sister gave me an instapot and a link to your website. My wife and I did foster care for 16 years and adopted 4 kids. Each one has textures and taste they struggle with. However each time I use one of your recipes it has been a hit with all of them. Even a bowlful of lentils brought smiles. Also my mom is battling cancer and has been the only cook in my parents house for their 62 years of marriage. My sister got my dad an instapot and we… Read more »

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO 60
Twila

The first time I made this I used ham instead of the bacon. BIG mistake. It was a sweet ham and totally ruined my lentils. The second time I made it I followed the recipe exactly and it was awesome. No more tweekings by me. Thank you so much for all your hard work perfecting these recipes.5 stars

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot LUX 60
Lisa C

Made this according to the instructions and it’s absolutely phenomenal! Great flavor! I did add a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning once it was all done just to give it an added boost profile. Will be making again.5 stars

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Courtney W

Another incredible recipe…believe the hype, people: Amy and Jacky are the only people to go to if you want wonderful, fool-proof InstantPot recipes. This soup was smoky, flavorful and filling- a perfect autumn meal.5 stars

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Melissa Lo

I just made this for thanksgiving and it was so delicious, and best of all- cheap!5 stars

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Instant Pot DUO 60
Anna Cantor

Is it possible to use red lentils in place of green lentils
We love all your recipes, thank you!
Anna

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Pris

Just made this for lunch and it was such wonderful heartiness for Autumn weather. Will definitely make this again and again. Thanks for another great recipe.5 stars

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Allison

Just adding a note for all the other people who don’t eat bacon, whether for ethical, religious, or health reasons: Add some smoked paprika to the soup before pressure cooking to get the smoky flavor you’d otherwise miss without bacon.

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Instant Pot DUO 60
Shelly

Hi Amy, hi Jacky,
Can I substitute green lentil with yellow lentil? Also, white rice vinegar with black vinegar I normally use in Chinese cooking?
Thanks for working so hard in creating new recipes. You have no idea how many times you have saved me when I decided to do last-minute cooking. 🙂

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Instant Pot DUO 60
Shelly

Thanks Jacky! I decided to buy 1 pack of green lentils and cooked this soup. The kids loved it and leaked their bowls. 😉 thanks again for sharing such an amazing recipe.5 stars

Sasha

Can’t wait to try this! Why is it important not to mix after adding the tomatoes?

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Instant Pot DUO 60

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