Instant Pot Green Lentil Soup (Vegan)
- 1 small yellow onion 100 g
- 2 cloves garlic, minced 10 g
- 1/2 cup green lentils or brown lentils 100 g
- 1 carrot or potato 120 g
- 1 rib celery 70 g
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups vegetable stock 720 g; I used water + 2 tbsp Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base
- salt to taste; depending on your stock, you may not need any extra salt
- 2 cups baby spinach 60 g
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, thyme, sage *optional
- Dice the onion, carrot or potato, and celery. Finely mince or crush the garlic.
- Add all the ingredients except spinach to an Instant Pot or slow cooker.
- Slow cooker: leave on High for 3 hours or Low for 6 hours. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, stir in the spinach.
- Instant Pot: use the Pressure Cook setting on High Pressure for 10 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure. Stir in the spinach, and cover for another 10 minutes.
- Stir in fresh herbs if using. Ladle into bowls and enjoy hot.
- The first time I made this, I sauteed the onions and garlic in 1 tbsp of sesame oil before adding the other ingredients. The taste isn’t hugely affected although I do think it’s an improvement. If you have time for this step and are not bothered with a slightly higher calorie count, feel free to add some oil to make it more flavourful.
- This recipe is super forgiving and easy to customize! For example, if you want a thicker stew-like meal, just reduce the water by a quarter. You can substitute double the amount of fresh thyme for dried. The spinach can be swapped out for kale or swiss chard or left out altogether.
I can’t believe it’s February already! Last month, I was settling into my co-op job and trying to get used to real “Adulthood.” Now things have fallen into a kind of routine, although I’m still figuring a lot of things out. Even though I had a lot of fun cooking last term, most importantly I learned that making food takes a lot of time. To be honest, by the end of four months, I was almost a little burned out. So my New Year’s resolution for this year is to meal prep more and spend less time in the kitchen.
When it comes to meal prep, my recipes follow three guiding principles:
- Keeps well in the fridge (and, ideally, the freezer too)
- Tasty (to curb my urges to eat out)
- Low effort
I’m very happy to report that this lentil soup is all three!
Meal Prep Recipe
I also try to make my recipes versatile. This one is super flexible on the vegetables. You can add in whatever you have, like tomatoes, squash, kale, mushrooms, etc. It’s great for dumping leftovers in!
The first day I brought my soup to work, I didn’t even heat it up in the microwave and just ate it cold at my desk (didn’t have access to a microwave back then, long story), and it was still tasty.
In fact, I had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner that day, and had four containers left to spare.
I think you can easily prep this for a week and eat it for lunch everyday without getting tired of it, but if you need more variety in your life, it keeps well in the freezer to enjoy later. I like to let it cool down to room temperature, then pour one or two servings into a ziploc bag and lay flat in the freezer until it freezes into a space-saving flat square. To defrost, you can thaw it in the fridge for about a day.
More Easy Lentil Soups
- Turkish-Spiced Lentil Soup, made with warming Middle Eastern spices like Aleppo pepper and urfa biber. Instant Pot and Slow Cooker friendly.
- Quick and Easy Lentil Soup (uses tomatoes for extra savoury flavour. It’s a good stovetop option if you don’t have a slow cooker or IP).
- Lentil Miso Soup with Kale, also made in the Instant Pot!
Nutrition, Cost, and Emissions Information
Each bowl of Instant Pot vegan lentil soup is 163 cal, costs $0.51, and releases 210 gCO2e of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Calculation for full recipe as written (3 servings):
Feel free to contact me for sources on the nutritional and carbon emissions information presented here. Note that I am not a nutritionist and guidelines on this page are provided for informational purposes only.