This Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe with Leeks is a healthy hearty dinner made with leeks, onion, garlic, celery, vegetable stock and green lentils.
This Lentil Soup is so comforting and uses leeks, which are anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties. This is a healthy, hearty soup that is perfect for the winter. It is loaded with lentils and vegetables. This recipe uses the perfect pantry staple, dried lentils, when you are on the go and need to make something. It has so much flavor and it is unbelievably easy to make. This is the most comforting lentil soup that will help relieve your sick days, or any day for that matter.
Lentil soup is such a satisfying hearty and healthy dinner and will keep you going with every bite. The most healthy type of lentils are black lentils. I used green lentils for this recipe, but you use whatever lentil you would like. Lentils do not require soaking like most legumes do, but I do like rinsing before. You can pair this lentil soup with a Chicken Cutlet Sandwich or some Pork Birria Tacos.
- What is Lentil Soup?
- Why is Lentil Soup so great?
- Why Make Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup?
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup Ingredients
- How to make this Lentil Soup Recipe
- What Goes Well with this Lentil Soup Recipe?
- Lentil Soup Recipe Variations
- How to store Lentil Soup
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup Top tips
- Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe
- Food safety
What is Lentil Soup?
Lentil soup is a hearty and nutritious soup made with lentils, vegetables, and sometimes meat. Lentils are a type of legume that are high in protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. Lentil soup is popular in many cultures and can be prepared in a variety of ways. The basic ingredients of lentil soup include lentils, broth or water, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Additional vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, or kale can be added for extra flavor and nutrition. Some recipes also call for meat such as bacon, sausage, or ham, while others keep it vegetarian or vegan.
Why is Lentil Soup so great?
Lentil soup is a great dish for several reasons:
- Nutritious: Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients. Eating lentil soup can help you meet your daily recommended intake of these nutrients, which can benefit your overall health.
- Versatile: Lentil soup can be prepared in many different ways, with various types of lentils and vegetables, and can be adapted to suit different dietary needs, such as vegetarian or vegan diets.
- Filling: Lentil soup is a filling dish, thanks to the high fiber and protein content of lentils. It can help you feel satisfied and full for longer, which can aid in weight management.
- Easy to prepare: Lentil soup is easy to prepare, and can be made with basic ingredients that you may already have on hand. It's a great dish to make for meal prep or when you need a quick and healthy meal.
- Budget-friendly: Lentils are an affordable ingredient, making lentil soup a budget-friendly meal option that can help you save money on your grocery bill.
Why Make Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup?
There are several reasons why making lentil soup in a pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot, is a great option:
- Saves time: Cooking lentil soup in a pressure cooker is much faster than traditional stovetop cooking. The pressure cooker creates a high-pressure environment that cooks the lentils and other ingredients in a fraction of the time it would take on the stove.
- Retains nutrients: The high pressure and temperature of the pressure cooker help to retain the nutrients in the lentils and other ingredients, which can be lost during longer cooking times.
- Infuses flavors: The high pressure and temperature of the pressure cooker infuse flavors more quickly and deeply than traditional cooking, resulting in a more flavorful soup.
- Easy to use: Pressure cookers, such as the Instant Pot, are easy to use and have many safety features that make them a popular choice for home cooks.
- One-pot meal: Lentil soup can be a complete meal, with lentils providing protein and other ingredients providing fiber and other essential nutrients. Cooking the soup in a pressure cooker means you can have a complete and nutritious meal with minimal effort.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup Ingredients
- Olive oil
- Green lentils
- Bay leaf
- Vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
See recipe card for quantities for Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe.
How to make this Lentil Soup Recipe
For Stovetop: Rinse the lentils and leave to stand in water whilst preparing the rest of the veggies. In a large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat, sauté leeks, onion, garlic and celery until soft in the olive oil. Drain the lentils and add them into the pot. Add the bay leaf, stock, thyme into the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for about an hour or until the lentils are soft. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf and serve.
For Instant Pot or pressure cooker: (No need to rinse lentils) Hit the sauté button and function for 10 minutes. In the instant pot, add the olive oil. Sauté leeks, onion, garlic and celery until soft in the olive oil. Add the lentils, bay leaf, stock, and thyme into the pressure cooker and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes, allow the cooker to release pressure naturally. This will take an extra 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf and serve.
What Goes Well with this Lentil Soup Recipe?
Lentil soup is a hearty and flavorful dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some ideas for what to serve with lentil soup:
- Crusty bread or rolls: Freshly baked bread is perfect for soaking up the soup and adding texture to each bite.
- Salad: A light and fresh salad is a great way to balance out the heartiness of the soup. Try a simple green salad or a Mediterranean-inspired salad with feta, olives, and tomatoes.
- Rice or quinoa: Serving lentil soup over rice or quinoa adds an extra layer of texture and flavor to the dish.
Olive oil: I think olive oil is essential for this dressing, although you could use sunflower oil instead.
Lentils: I used green lentils although you can use black lentils as well. They both cook for the same amount of time.
Onion: I used red onion for this recipe, although you could use yellow or white onion as well.
Broth: You can use vegetable, chicken or beef broth, although I highly recommend using vegetable broth.
Herbs: I used thyme and bay leaves although I have seen others use dried thyme and or fresh rosemary leaves.
Vegetables: Using garlic, leeks and celery is an amazing combination, although I have seen some recipes use bell peppers or carrots.
Lentil Soup Recipe Variations
There are many variations of lentil soup that can be made using an Instant Pot. Here are a few recipe variations to consider:
- Moroccan-style lentil soup: This variation includes warming spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, along with tomatoes, onions, and garlic. It can be made with red or green lentils.
- Creamy lentil soup: For a creamier texture, you can blend some of the cooked lentils in the Instant Pot with an immersion blender. Add some coconut milk or heavy cream to create a velvety texture.
- Lentil vegetable soup: Add your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and potatoes, to the Instant Pot along with the lentils for a hearty and nutritious meal.
- Lentil soup with ham or bacon: Add some diced ham or bacon to the Instant Pot along with the lentils for added flavor and protein.
- Lentil soup with sausage: Use sausage instead of bacon or ham for a heartier variation. You can use Italian sausage or any other type of sausage that you prefer.
Here is the equipment you will need to make lentil soup in an Instant Pot:
- Instant Pot: You will need an Instant Pot or other brand of electric pressure cooker to make this recipe. Any size Instant Pot should work, although a 6-quart size is the most common.
- Cutting board and knife: You will need a cutting board and a sharp knife to chop vegetables such as onions, carrots, and celery.
- Measuring cups and spoons: You will need measuring cups and spoons to measure out the lentils, broth, and other ingredients.
- Wooden spoon or spatula: You will need a wooden spoon or spatula to stir the ingredients together.
- Ladle and bowls: Once the soup is finished cooking, you will need a ladle to serve it into bowls.
How to store Lentil Soup
This Lentil Soup Recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Here are some tips for storing lentil soup:
- Let the soup cool down to room temperature before storing it in the fridge or freezer. Hot soup can raise the temperature of the fridge or freezer and cause other food to spoil.
- Store the soup in an airtight container. This will help prevent any odors from other foods in the fridge or freezer from affecting the taste of the soup.
- Label the container with the date the soup was made so you can keep track of how long it has been stored.
- If freezing the soup, leave some room at the top of the container to allow for expansion as the soup freezes.
- To thaw frozen lentil soup, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. You can also thaw it in the microwave, but be sure to stir it frequently to ensure even heating.
- Reheat the soup on the stove or in the microwave until it is hot all the way through before serving. Add extra broth or water if needed to adjust the consistency.
Instant Pot Lentil Soup Top tips
Here are some top tips for making Instant Pot lentil soup:
- Rinse the lentils thoroughly before adding them to the Instant Pot. This will remove any dirt or debris and help prevent the soup from becoming gritty.
- Use vegetable or chicken broth for added flavor. Broth adds depth and richness to the soup, but you can also use water if you prefer a lighter flavor.
- Customize the soup to your taste preferences by adding your favorite herbs and spices. Cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika are all great options for adding depth and warmth to the soup.
- For a creamier soup, use an immersion blender to puree some of the lentils before serving. This will give the soup a velvety texture without the need for cream or milk.
- If you like your soup to have some texture, try adding diced vegetables such as carrots or celery. These will add a fresh crunch and balance out the creaminess of the lentils.
- Use high-quality lentils for the best flavor and texture. Brown or green lentils work well in this recipe, but you can also use red lentils for a slightly sweeter flavor.
- Let the soup cool down slightly before adding any garnishes such as fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil. This will help the garnishes retain their bright color and fresh flavor.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove