Vegan Lentil Soup |Instant Pot-Friendly

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This easy Vegan Lentil Soup is chock full of wholesome ingredients and can be on the table in about 30-minutes. It’s a one-pot meal, so clean-up is a breeze! I’ve included directions for cooking on the stovetop, Instant Pot, and crockpot.

overhead shot of lentil soup in stainless pot with ladle

Brimming with nutritious ingredients, this red lentil soup is perfectly filling and absolutely delicious.

You’ll love this lentil soup because it’s…

  • Satisfying
  • Veggie-loaded
  • Crockpot compatible
  • Instant Pot compatible
  • Ready in minutes
green bowl with wooden spoon filled with lentil soup with spinach

How to make vegan lentil soup

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

This healthy soup is super simple to make, and clean-up is fast because it can be made all in one pot. I love one-pot meals as you can tell from this list I created for 15 Easy On-Pot Meals.

Begin by dicing up the onion and garlic. If you like, the spinach leaves can also be sliced. I tend to buy baby spinach with small leaves, so I don’t chop it up.

I am often asked which knives I use personally, and I have to say that it is Victorinox. They are the same company that makes Swiss Army Knives and the quality is excellent.

onions diced with knife on cutting board

Next, sauté the onion in veggie broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, salt & pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

onions and garlic sauting in red pot on white background

Add veggie broth, tomato paste, red lentils, and a bay leaf. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add fire-roasted tomatoes and the liquid.

large stockpot full of lentil soup topped with bay leaves and spoon

Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaf, and add the baby spinach leaves. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

blue rimmed bowl filled with lentil soup with spinach

Crockpot and Instant Pot cooking directions:

This is such a versatile soup that it has 3 different cooking options.

Stovetop: The directions for the stovetop are detailed above. Basically, you’ll simply saute the onion and garlic, then add the remaining ingredients (except spinach), and simmer for about 20 minutes. Once the soup has finished cooking, add the fresh spinach leaves and allow them to wilt.

Instant Pot: Add all of the ingredients (except the spinach) PLUS 1 cup extra broth to your pot insert. Lock down the lid and set the release valve to Sealed. This should be cooked on Manual and the timer needs to be set to 7 minutes. Allow for a slow release for 10 minutes then release pressure. Add the spinach leaves last, while the soup is hot. They should wilt within a few minutes. If they don’t wilt enough, simply heat the soup up for about 1-2 minutes.

Crockpot: Add all the ingredients except for the spinach PLUS 1 cup extra broth to your slow cooker or crockpot. Allow the soup to cook LOW for about 5 hours. Add the greens after the soup has cooked (while still hot in the pot) before serving.

Your Vegan Lentil Soup Questions Answered:

  • Q: Is lentil soup vegan? Often times it is, though some versions call for meat or parmesan cheese. This recipe is completely vegan though.
  • Q: Do I need to soak the lentils before making soup? No need to soak the lentils before adding them to this recipe. You can add them straight into the stew.
  • Q: What do you eat with lentil soup? A garden salad and crusty bread are great sides to eat with lentil soup.
  • Q: Is lentil soup good for you? Yes, lentils are loaded with fiber and protein, and most lentil soup recipes also add in lots of other vegetables.
  • Q: Can I use another type of lentils? Red lentils are best for stews because they get nice and creamy and help thicken the stew up. They also cook much faster than other lentil variations.
brown bowl and stainless pot full of lentil artichoke stew

Other great lentil recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

overhead shot of lentil soup in stainless pot with ladle
4.37 from 11 votes

Vegan Lentil Soup

This easy vegan lentil soup is chock full of wholesome ingredients and can be on the table in about 30-minutes. It's a one-pot meal, so clean up is a breeze! I've included directions for cooking on the stovetop, Instant Pot, and crockpot.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 2 15 oz cans chopped fire roasted tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1.5 cups fresh spinach leaves

Instructions

  • This healthy soup is super simple to make, and clean up is fast because it can be made all in one pot.
  • Begin by dicing up the onion and garlic. If you like, the spinach leaves can also be sliced. I tend to buy baby spinach with small leaves, so I don’t chop it up.
  • Next, sauté the onion in veggie broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, salt & pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add veggie broth, tomato paste, red lentils, and a bay leaf and bring to a boil. Stir well, then lower the heat and add fire-roasted tomatoes and their liquid.
  • Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
  • Remove the bay leaf, and add the baby spinach leaves. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for about 1-minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Crockpot & Instant Pot directions below.

Video

Notes

Instant Pot: Add all of the ingredients (except the spinach) PLUS 1 cup extra broth to your pot insert. Lockdown the lid and set the release valve to Sealed. This should be cooked on Manual and the timer needs to be set to 7 minutes. Allow for a slow-release for 10 minutes then release pressure. Add the spinach leaves last, while the soup is hot. They should wilt within a few minutes. If they don’t wilt enough, simply heat the soup up for about 1-2 minutes.
Crockpot: Add all the ingredients except for the spinach PLUS 1 cup extra broth to your slow cooker or crockpot. Allow the soup to cook LOW for about 5 hours. Add the greens after the soup has cooked (while still hot in the pot) before serving.
Your Vegan Lentil Soup Questions Answered:
  1. Q: Is lentil soup vegan? Often times it is, though some versions call for meat or parmesan cheese. This recipe is completely vegan though.
  2. Q: Do I need to soak the lentils before making soup? No need to soak the lentils before adding them to this recipe. You can add them straight into the stew.
  3. Q: What do you eat with lentil soup? A garden salad and crusty bread are great sides to eat with lentil soup.
  4. Q: Is lentil soup good for you? Yes, lentils are loaded with fiber and protein, and most lentil soup recipes also add in lots of other vegetables.
  5. Q: Can I use another type of lentils? Red lentils are best for stews because they get nice and creamy and help thicken the stew up. They also cook much faster than other lentil variations.
 
Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 2g | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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16 Comments

  1. Hi. This lentil soup sounds delicious! On the recipe card, you say “ This lentil stew with artichokes is a hearty dish that is nutrient-dense and absolutely delicious!”.
    When do we add the artichokes? And how much? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jackie- Thanks for letting me know about that. I actually have 2 lentil soup recipes. One is an older one with artichokes, and I accidentally mentioned the artichokes in this newest recipe. I’ve made the correction now. You could always add artichokes to this one as well. I would add them at step #5 with the fire-roasted tomatoes. Here’s a link to the other recipe if you want to take a peek at it too. https://eatplant-based.com/red-lentil-artichoke-stew-with-breaded-and-baked-eggplant-zucchini/

  2. Hi! I made this in the crock pot today! The taste is really good but it’s really thick – not soup like at all. Is the amount of liquid correct in the recipe? It doesn’t seem like a lot.
    Thank you! 😊

    1. Hi Lori– Just curious if you included the 2 cans of fire-roasted tomatoes (15 oz each for a total of 30 ozs) with the juice included. With the juice from the canned tomatoes and the added veggie broth, the soup shouldn’t be too thick. I’m glad that you liked the flavor and hope that you were able to add a little more veggie broth to your soup to get it to the right consistency.

    2. @Terri Edwards, Hi Terri – yes I did add both cans with the juice. I ended up adding another cup of broth and a half cup of water. It’s still thick but really good! Maybe it just thickened up in the crock pot for being on high ?? Either way, we’ll definitely enjoy it! Thank you 😊

      1. I think you might be right about the crockpot version. It may be best when cooking on high to only leave it for 4 hours. I made it on the stovetop and guessed at the crockpot directions. I’ll make that adjustment in the crockpot instructions. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will get due to the red lentils. Thanks for the heads-up, and I’m glad that you liked it.

      1. Hi Char- I think the thickness issue for making this in a crockpot or Instant Pot must be the red lentils. They tend to breakdown into mush when overcooked. They are just very fragile. I make this on the stovetop and tried to guesstimate the times and temps for CP and IP. My mistake, and I apologize for that. The times and temps for both CP and IP have now been adjusted, and I increased the veggie broth to 3 cups, and hopefully, that will fix the problem. Thank you for letting me know.

  3. I made this last night. It’s very good. I will have to freeze some of it since it makes a lot and I am the only one in my family who will eat it. Thank you for posting.

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