Dinner Recipes

Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup

Even though we live in sunny SoCal, we sometimes find ourselves craving lentil soup for dinner. One could argue that the evenings are cooler here now, but it’s less about temperature and more about comfort. Lentils have a hearty quality that’s deeply satisfying at the end of a long day.

In these perpetually busy weeks, we also crave quick, easy meals, and this 30-minute soup definitely fits the bill. The Instant Pot does the lion’s share of the work: All you have to do is chop the aromatics, chiffonade some mint, and open a few spice jars. There’s nothing to overwhelm a worker bee, but you can still feel proud of yourself for a home-cooked meal, especially because it tastes wonderful — it’s full of rich, warming spices.

We like to serve this soup with some brown rice, a dollop of tangy Greek yogurt, and a swirl of Sriracha.

Servings: 2 to 4


¼ cup olive oil, divided

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp ground cumin

¾ tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

⅛ tsp ancho chile powder, plus more to taste

1 quart vegetable stock

½ cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh, and their juices

1 cup dried red lentils

Juice of ½ lemon, plus more to taste

3 Tbsp Gelson’s organic mint, chiffonaded, for garnish

Flake salt, for serving


  1. Using the sauté function, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in the pressure cooker. When it is hot, stir in the onion and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and ancho chile powder, and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes.

  3. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, red lentils and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot. Cover, and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes.

  4. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.

  5. Stir in the lemon juice, taste, and add more lemon, salt, and pepper, if needed.

  6. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with olive oil, fresh mint, and flake salt.

Recipe adapted from: “Dinner in an Instant”

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