Instant Pot red lentil soup is a healthy vegetarian recipe packed with protein, butternut squash, and vegetables. Using a pressure cooker takes half the time compared to a stove top recipe. Pureeing the lentils makes this soup incredibly creamy without adding any dairy.
Have you taken the plunge and are a proud owner of a shiny new Instant Pot? This red lentil soup is an easy beginner recipe to give the pressure cooker function a try. Typically it takes a long time to cook dried beans. However, preparing it using high pressure takes only 10 minutes to tenderize the legume, it’s pretty amazing.
This red lentil soup is a nutritional powerhouse because each serving has a generous amount of vegetarian protein and vegetables. Ingredients like onions, garlic, celery, bay leaf, and thyme add a wonderfully fragrant aroma to the soup. Each spoonful is made extra creamy by pureeing the lentils and butternut squash together right in the pot.
It’s quick to prepare a healthy and satisfying meal even on the weekdays!
The best part about making soup in the Instant Pot versus a slow cooker, is that the saute function allows you to brown the vegetables before pressure cooking. The pleasant aromas from the mirepoix, a classic combination of onions, carrots, and celery get a chance to soften and develop flavor right away.
If this is your first time trying red lentils, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to prepare! The miniature spherical and flat legumes have a lot of surface area, so they cook more quickly compared to other dried beans.
Red lentils have a very mild flavor with a subtle sweetness. They break down easily when cooked, losing some of their circular shape. A quick puree using an immersion hand blender makes for a super smooth and creamy soup texture.
From a nutritional standpoint, a 1/4 cup serving provides 13 grams of protein and whopping 14 grams of fiber. This soup contains 1 cup of dried lentils, making each bowl very satiating. Lentils are an excellent source of protein for vegan and vegetarian diets.
Butternut squash is also added to the soup to not only provide nutrients like beta-carotene and fiber, but it also contains starches that release and naturally thicken the soup. This ingredient also offers a lovely sweetness to the dish.
I like to serve this Instant Pot red lentil soup topped with a little bit of greek yogurt, thinly sliced radishes, chives, and pepitas. This soup stores well in the refrigerator and freezer, so you can make a big batch and have them as individual servings whenever you need a grab and go meal.
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Use red lentils for pressure cooking soup
Red led lentils are brown lentils hulled so that the protective coating is removed, which means it cooks relatively quickly, in about 15 minutes. When cooked, these delicate pulses breakdown to create a pureed like texture. Therefore lentils are great for soups and stews where keeping the round shapes intact is not as important.
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