Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup with Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas

a bowl of red lentil soup

5 from 1 review

Instant Pot red lentil soup is a simple, cozy soup with mellow kid-friendly flavor. 

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 10 minutes to reach pressure + 10 minute cooking time + 15 minute natural release 

This recipe was updated on 5/12/22 to decrease the cooking time and improve the instructions


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 carrots, cut into half-moons that are 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 4 cups/1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water


Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

*Finely grated parmesan cheese works best. However, if necessary you can grate the cheese on a regular cheese grater, the cheese will just tend to clump together more as it melts.


Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Use a large (4 quart) baking dish or large rimmed baking sheet so the chickpeas are in one even layer. Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, parmesan cheese and salt.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, until the chickpeas and cheese are crispy. The cheese will stick to the pan just a little bit as the chickpeas cook; a flat-edged spatula works well for scraping it off.  
  4. While the chickpeas bake, make the soup. 

Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup

  1. Push the Saute button on the Instant Pot and add the olive oil, onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. 
  2. Add tomato paste, coriander, salt, red lentils, broth and water. Stir well.
  3. Secure the lid. Press Cancel to stop the saute function, then press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and program the cooking time for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  4. When the cooking time is finished, let the pressure release naturally (or at least 15 minutes)
  5. Mix well and add more salt to taste. Some store-bought vegetable broths are quite salty, but some aren't, so you might need to add a fair amount of salt. 
  6. The soup will appear quite brothy at first, but will start to thicken up if you let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. 
  7. If you prefer a smoother soup, then blend half or all of the soup before serving.
  8. Serve the soup with the parmesan chickpeas and other garnishes sprinkled over your bowl. 


This soup freezes well or will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The soup gets very thick overnight. When reheating on the stove or in the microwave, you'll need to add more water or broth to thin out the soup.

The chickpeas can be made without parmesan cheese. Plain, crispy baked chickpeas are delicious too! You can also sprinkle curry powder or other spices over the chickpeas. 

The crispy parmesan chickpeas taste best right out of the oven. They keep overnight on the counter, but will have a softer texture. 

Stove Top Instructions: Follow the same instructions, then simmer the soup partially covered for 30 minutes, or until lentils are soft. 

Add More Flavor & Garnishes: The seasoning for this lentil soup is on the subtle side. If you'd like to add more flavor, here are some suggestions.
Spices: Turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika or curry powder are all great choices. About  a half or full teaspoon should be the right amount.
Ginger: Thinly slice or chop ginger and add with the onion and garlic
Fresh herbs: Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro over the cooked soup
Spiciness: Red pepper flakes, aleppo pepper flakes, chili oil, or chili garlic crisp 


Keywords: red lentil soup, lentil soup, red lentils, instant pot red lentil soup