Red lentils are blended with ginger, carrot, apple, coconut milk and spices to make an unbelievably creamy vegan soup. This Instant Pot red lentil soup cooks in just 10 minutes, plus a natural release.
This is a gorgeous, sunny-yellow soup with an incredibly creamy texture and lots of flavor. Ginger and coriander (or curry) plus a squeeze of lime, swirl together with coconut milk in this Instant Pot red lentil soup.
Looking for a red lentil soup recipe without coconut milk? Try my Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup with Parmesan Chickpeas.
Flavors in this Red Lentil Soup
On its own, red lentil soup tastes rather mild. It's the seasonings and other ingredients that give it flavor.
- Coconut milk: If you love coconut milk, this soup is for you. The creamy rich flavor is front and center.
- Coriander or Curry Powder: Use whichever spice is your favorite
- Ginger: I like a pronounced ginger flavor in this soup; you can add more or less depending on what you like
- Apple and carrot: Adding sweetness and extra nutrients, this fruit and veggie combo blend seamlessly into the soup
- Lime: Don't leave out the lime juice! It really brightens the flavor
- Cilantro: I love a sprinkle of finely chopped cilantro in this soup. If it's not your thing, skip it.
How to Cook Red Lentils in Your Instant Pot
Red lentils break down very quickly in the Instant Pot. Even after just 3 to 5 minutes of cooking time, the red lentils will be very soft and mushy. That's just how red lentils are! Here's a complete guide for how to cook red lentils.
For this recipe, red lentils are cooked on high pressure with 4 cups of water/broth for 10 minutes. The lentils become very soft and are easily blended into a very creamy soup.
How to Cook Batches of Beans and Grains
Cooking batches of dried beans and grains is easier than you might think. It's an affordable way to stock up your refrigerator with wholesome food that can be turned into quick lunches and dinners.
I often make an easy, filling salad by adding olive oil and lemon, fresh herbs, olives and maybe leftover chicken to either beans or grains.
A batch of cooked beans can turn into White Bean and Turkey Chili or Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili.
Batches of cooked grains can be turned into Quinoa Fried Rice or Barley with Eggs and Spinach.
Need guidance for cooking beans and grains? I'm here to help!
- Easy Instant Pot Quinoa
- Brown Rice and Quinoa (Instant Pot)
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- How to Cook Farro
- How to Cook Barley
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Instant Pot White Beans
I like to serve this creamy vegan soup with store-bought Naan or flatbread on the side. Trader Joe's frozen samosas are also really good with this soup. Or, serve red lentil soup with rice on the side.
Why Do Red Lentils Turn Yellow?
It's true, bright orange/red lentils turn more of a yellow color when cooked. That's just how the legume is. In this soup, adding turmeric makes the yellow color even sunnier.
More Lentil Recipes
IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE, LET ME KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT. PLEASE COMMENT BELOW AND LEAVE SOME STARS — THANKS! I APPRECIATE YOUR FEEDBACK!Print
Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
Red lentils are blended with ginger, carrot, apple, coconut milk and spices to make an unbelievably creamy vegan soup.
Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 15 minutes to reach pressure + 10 minutes at high pressure + 20 minute natural release
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 25 minutes + 20 minutes natural release
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or sunflower oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 apple, grated (red and more sweet than tart)
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon coriander (or curry powder)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot and add the oil.
- Add garlic, shallot and ginger. Saute 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add water/broth, apple, carrot, lentils, coriander or curry powder, turmeric and salt.
- Secure the lid, making sure the steam release valve is in the sealed position.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- When the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally.
- In two or three batches, blend the soup in a blender until very smooth. Be careful while blending hot soup, as it can expand and splatter.
- Pour the soup back into the Instant Pot insert and press the saute button to gently re-heat the soup.
- Stir in the coconut milk and lime.
- Add more water/broth to thin out the soup (I usually add ½ - 1 cup more water).
- Add more salt to taste. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro. I also like a bottle of hot sauce on the table to make my soup spicy.
How to Adjust the Instant Pot Saute Heat: There are 3 levels of heat when you saute in the Instant Pot: More, Normal and Less. I often find that the setting for "More" heat is too hot, and whatever I'm sauteing or heating burns to the bottom of the pot. To adjust the saute heat, first press the Saute button, then press the "Adjust" button to move the red light under "Normal" or "Less."
All of my Instant Pot recipes are made in a 6-quart Instant Pot
Keywords: red lentils, red lentil soup, instant pot soup, coconut milk
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I added cumin, turmeric, and cardamon, along with some white pepper. I like Indian flavors, so I cooked with some curry leaves and methi (fenugreek leaves). But the soup base itself was really good, and will definitely be on our list from now on.
That sounds wonderful Sue! Thanks for sharing your additions to the recipe.
This is delicious—thank you for sharing it! I carelessly added the coconut milk with the other liquids, and it still turned out great. Added a handful of baby spinach to my soup bowl and a dollop of vegan yogurt. Will be on frequent repeat. 🙂
I make this one regularly and my family loves it!
I'm so glad your family loves it! Thanks for letting me know.
What does 'let the pressure release naturally' mean? Your total time of 25 minutes implies I can switch it to vent now that it has finished cooking on high, because it did take about 15 minutes to get up to pressure, so I am now 25 minutes into cooking this soup.
Let the pressure release naturally (to me) means something else. If I let the InstaPot sit without venting until there is no more 'pent up steam', I could be waiting an hour or more of additional 'cooking' time. Typically an InstaPot recipe gives a duration of how long to let it 'sit' before venting, or says to vent immediately. At 6 minutes on 'rest' I opened the vent.
Hi Janis, Thanks for your feedback. I've updated the recipe to clearly state that the natural release usually takes about 20 minutes. Hope your soup turned out!