Vegan Lentil Soup Recipe (Instant Pot)

This vegan lentil soup recipe made in an Instant Pot is perfect for anything from the still-chilly evenings of spring to the bone-cold nights of winter!

You can’t go wrong with lentil soup. I grew up enjoying a German version of this soup on a regular basis. So to say that it’s comfort food for me, is an understatement. It’s warm, comforting and definitely fills you up.

A white bowl sits on a table with a nice helping of this Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Soup. You can see carrot slices in with the lentils and fresh herbs sprinkled over the top.


Cooking lentils in an Instant Pot couldn’t be easier! Simply combine the lentils and the water (or use equal amounts of veggie broth for added flavor!) in the pot, place the lid and close the vent, then press the manual button and adjust pressure to high. Adjust time for whichever type of lentil you are cooking. Here’s a cheat sheet.

Note that these times are for the lentils only. Times can differ if you are making soups or other dishes.

  • Brown Lentils – 14 minutes – 10 minute natural release
  • Green Lentils – 13 minutes- 10 minute natural release
  • French Green Lentils – 7 minutes – 10 minute natural release
  • Red Lentils – 2 minutes – Quick release. However, be aware that red lentils tend to fall apart in a pressure cooker. So it’s really only appropriate for soups.


You don’t have to. In fact, it’s best not to soak lentils before cooking them in an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Lentils don’t require soaking like beans do. That being said, if you do soak them, you can cut down on the cooking time by half. But that really only matters when being cooked on the stove top. It doesn’t really apply here.


Lentil soup is pretty much a meal onto itself. But it does have a few things that pair nicely with it to round out the meal. Namely…

  • A slice of crusty bread
  • A dinner roll
  • Crackers
  • A side salad
  • A warm cup of tea


Typically, for stove stop cooking, you would use 3 cups of water for each 1 cup of dry lentils. But things change slightly in a pressure cooker. For this, you only need 2 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of dry lentils.

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A white bowl sits on a table with a nice helping of this Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Soup. You can see carrot slices in with the lentils and fresh herbs sprinkled over the top.

Vegan Lentil Soup Recipe (Instant Pot)

A delicious, filling soup you can make in about 30 minutes without watching the stove!
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 191kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 cup brown lentils (dry)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste at serving


  • Put the carrots, celery and onions into the IP insert. Press the sauté button.
  • Dry sauté (no oil) the onions by stirring constantly. Once they start to get some golden color to them, add the spices, lentils and the broth.
  • Stir well, then secure the lid and vent on your IP.
  • Press the Manual button and adjust time to 16 minutes and pressure to high pressure.
  • Allow for a 10-15 minute natural release before releasing the remaining steam with the steam valve. Careful! There will still be plenty of steam!
  • Once all steam has been released, remove the lid, season the soup with salt and serve.
  • Don't forget to remove the bay leaves! (They are not edible)


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 801mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4877IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 6mg

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  1. Can I sub green lentils if I am out of brown?

    1. Kathy – Sure! Just make sure the liquid to lentil ratio is correct for the package you buy. Enjoy! 🙂

  2. In the section on the blog, where it says ‘How much water do lentils need?’, you state, that in the IP, it is 1 cup of lentils to 2 cups of liquid. In the recipe it is 1 cup lentils and 4 cups of liquid, I am a little confused.

    1. Jane – Sorry for the confusion. 2 cups would be the basic amount needed just to cook the lentils themselves. However, this is a soup recipe, so it calls for more liquid. You’ll want to follow the recipe. Hope that helps!