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! My kids love eating the chickpeas as a pre-dinner snack.
For a few days when the weather dipped slightly I was lulled into thinking I lived in a city with real seasons. Autumn was here! I started fantasizing about warm sweaters and rainy days and cozy bowls of soup. I even bought pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee.
And then...well, then Southern California reminded me that October is just summer in disguise. October pretends it's going to be cool and comfortable and tricks you into making a batch of cozy red lentil soup... which you end up eating on a sweaty 85 degree day.
But do you know what? This soup was delicious anyway and I enjoyed every spoonful as I sat directly in front of my air conditioner and ate it.
This Instant Pot red lentil soup hits all the marks - easy, healthy, cozy, affordable and really yummy for lunch the next day. The crispy parmesan chickpeas lured my kids to the table and will definitely be served again at our house as a garnish for food or pre-dinner snack.
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.
I kept the seasoning for this lentil soup on the subtle side, but you can add even more flavor with spices like turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika or curry powder. You could drizzle in a little coconut milk at the end of the cooking time, or add fresh ginger and fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley.
I like my soup to have texture, so I left chunks of carrot and onion and didn't puree the cooked lentils. For a smoother soup, blend the soup when it's done cooking.
Red Lentil Soup Stove Top Instructions
Follow the same directions below, but in a soup pot on the stove. Simmer the soup partially covered with a lid for about 30 minutes, until lentils are soft.
Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup Meal Prep
- This soup can be made ahead. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. When warming the soup up, add a little water to thin out the broth. You might also need to add more salt.
- Make a double batch of Instant Pot red lentil soup and freeze half, either in a gallon Ziploc bag or in smaller, sandwich bag portions for lunch.
- The crispy parmesan chickpeas taste best right out of the oven. They keep overnight on the counter, but will have a softer texture.
P.S. If your kids claim not to like soup, try packing soup in a thermos and let them eat it outside. There's something about a thermos and eating in the wild that makes my kids excited about soup. This is perfect for a Saturday afternoon, when they can eat leftover soup outside in the yard for lunch.
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