This easy, healthy Instant Pot red lentil soup has a mild, comforting flavor. Don't skip the crispy baked chickpeas on top!
This humble Instant Pot red lentil soup isn't sexy, but it has so much to offer. It's flavorful, easy, healthy, affordable and tastes even better for lunch the next day.
The crispy parmesan chickpeas are addictive! They're meant to be sprinkled over your bowl of soup, but my kids often gobble them up as a pre-dinner snack.
Add More Flavor
I kept the seasoning for this lentil soup on the subtle side, so it will appeal to even the youngest eaters in your house.
You can add more flavor by adding one or more ingredients.
Spices: Turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika or curry powder are all great choices. Add around a half or full teaspoon.
Ginger: Thinly slice or finely chop ginger and add it with the onion and garlic.
Fresh herbs: Sprinkle fresh parsley or cilantro over the cooked soup
Heat: Red pepper flakes, aleppo pepper flakes, chili oil, or chili garlic crisp all add flavor and spiciness
- Briefly saute onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil. Celery is optional.
- Add tomato paste, coriander, salt, broth, water and red lentils. Mix well.
- Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure, natural release. Add salt to taste.
I like my soup to have texture, so I leave chunks of carrot and onion and don't puree the cooked lentils. For a smoother soup, blend the soup when it's done cooking.
Mom tip: Let your kids sit outside and eat their soup out of a thermos or big mug. Something about this set-up makes soup more appealing to little ones!
The chickpeas are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside, with salty bits of crunchy melted parmesan cheese clinging to the edges. They taste best right out of the oven, although leftovers are also good on salad the next day (though less crispy).
Without vegetable broth, this soup doesn't have enough flavor. It's best to use 1 quart of vegetable broth, plus just 1 cup water.
This recipe turns out best with red lentils. If you'd like to use brown or green lentils, try this recipe for crockpot lentil soup.