Instant Pot Mediterranean Lentil Soup is comforting, flavorsome, vegan & gluten-free. Made in the instant pot, this soup comes together in less than 30 minutes.
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It’s pretty hot where I am right now so I don’t know how exactly I feel about sharing a soup recipe today. But if you ask me, I am always up for soup. Whether it’s 100 F outside or 40 F, soups are on my dinner menu throughout the year. This Mediterranean Lentil Soup is one of my absolute favorites. It’s super easy to make, packed with flavors and is also vegan! And the best part is that the version that I am sharing with you today is made in the Instant Pot!
Do you guys like Mediterranean flavors? I love it! Maybe because it’s quite similar to Indian food in so many ways or maybe because it’s just plain delicious 😉 Either way they have tons of vegetarian options which is one more reason why I love it. It’s something we definitely eat once a week. We have this little Mediterranean cafe near our place and we usually get the lentil soup with a side of pita and baba ganoush or hummus for a quick dinner. It’s so delicious and so satisfying. Since we love the soup a lot, I also make it quite often at home. And this time I thought of using my Instant Pot to make the whole process extra quick!
Mediterranean food is pretty flavorful, just like Indian food. So we have lots of spices and herbs going on here – cumin, coriander, sumac, parsley and mint. I would strongly recommend to not skip any of these especially Sumac.
Sumac has a sour taste and it’s widely used in Mediterranean cooking to sprinkle over salads, kebabs etc. before serving. It’s also used in dressings and rubs and it imparts a wonderful flavor to this lentil soup. I would have added some fresh parsley here but since I didn’t have it in my refrigerator the day I made this soup, I opted for dried parsley and garnished the soup with fresh cilantro.
There’s this amazing persian restaurant in Seattle and they serve the lentil soup mixed with little rice and it’s so good. You can do the same. If you think the soup isn’t filling enough, just add little boiled rice to it and then you have a complete meal in itself! Serve this instant pot mediterranean lentil soup with a side of your favorite bread and enjoy!
Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Wait till it gets hot and then add olive oil to the pot. Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and saute till it becomes light golden brown in color. (use yellow onion if possible, I only had red so used that)
Add chopped garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground sumac, red chili flakes, dried parsley, pinch of sugar and dried mint flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add water (or vegetable broth) and give a stir.
Add the lentils and also add salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Close the Instant Pot and set valve to sealing position.
Cancel saute mode and press “Manual” button on your IP. Adjust the timing and set it to 8 minutes on high. Once 8 minutes are up, wait for 5 minutes and then do quick release.
Stir the soup, add lime juice.
Serve the instant pot mediterranean lentil soup with a side of pita bread!
* Garnish the soup with fresh parsley or cilantro.
* Add more water for a thinner consistency of soup.
* You can make this soup on the stove top too, it would take around 20-25 minutes for the lentils to cook till softened.
Instant Pot Mediterranean Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 medium yellow or red onion use yellow preferably
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon dried mint flakes
- pinch of sugar
- 2-2.5 cups water or vegetable broth I used water
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- juice of 1/2 lime
- parsley or cilantro to garnish
- Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Wait till it gets hot and then add olive oil to the pot.
- Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and saute till it becomes light golden brown in color. (use yellow onion if possible, I only had red so used that)
- Add chopped garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground sumac, red chili flakes, dried parsley, pinch of sugar and dried mint flakes.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add water (or vegetable broth) and give a stir.
- Add the lentils and also add salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Close the Instant Pot and set valve to sealing position.
- Cancel saute mode and press "Manual" button on your IP. Adjust the timing and set it to 8 minutes on high. Once 8 minutes are up, wait for 5 minutes and then do quick release.
- Stir the soup, add lime juice.
- Serve the mediterranean lentil soup with a side of pita bread!
Instant Pot Mediterranean Lentil Soup
67 thoughts on “Instant Pot Mediterranean Lentil Soup”
Good recipe! I didn’t have the sumac, mint, yellow onion (used sweet onion) red pepper flakes (used a few dashes of Tabasco) and it still turned out great! I’m saving it!
Just found this recipe today and made it for lunch. Delicious! I usually make a Lebanese crushed lentil soup, so this was a nice variety to try. Made exactly as suggested, used vegetarian boullion instead of water and only had prepared lime juice. Wish I had doubled the recipe, we ate every spoonful!
This is probably the absolute best lentil soup I’ve ever tasted, let alone made. Much better than my favorite Lebanese place’s, and their lentil soup is amazing! Will definitely be making it again!
Thank you so much for this DELICIOUS recipe!! I made it and loved it! So easy and quick. Also, just wanted to say that I have your instant pot cookbook and its amaaaaaazing ❤️
Welcome Manal 🙂 and thank you, so glad to know you enjoy my cookbook!
HI MANALI LOOKS GREAT. ARE THOSE WHOLE RED LENTILS OR SPLIT RED LENTILS. MY WIFE WANTED ME TO ASK YOU. THANKS AGAIN LOOKS GREAT!
GARY & DOREEN
Hi Gary, these are split red lentils
Can you make this on the stovetop as I don’t have an instant pot.
yes you may..cook the lentils for 20-25 mins until done
Hi. Can you make this with yellow split lentils (chana daal)? The Lebanese restaurant in our town uses yellow split lentils. Thanks.
Yes you can make it using chana dal. However chana dal would take around 10-12 minutes to cook so you will have to increase the time.
This is my most favourite lentil soup! I have cooked it multiple times already. I cook it in a simple heavy pot and it is great. Love the sumac addition!
glad you like it Kristina! 🙂
I love soups and especially the red lentil soup, I toss a peeled, diced apple in my soup near last five minutes of cooking time… delish!! Nadia G
Fantastic flavor and consistency. I’ve got a few ‘favorite’ vegan lentil soup recipes, but this immediately leaps to the front of the pack for me. I think it all starts with the spice blend, which has some perhaps unexpected components (I’m looking at you, Sumac, Mint, and Coriander). And then I used a vegetable broth for my liquid (Better than Bouillon), which I think that added some umami. When I had my first taste I thought I did something wrong, because the lentils had lost any form and shape. They were sort of incorporated into the broth, almost like a puree. Sure enough, when I researched red lentils a little, people said they’re more delicate than green lentils. Some pressure cooker sites discouraged using lentils in pressure cooker recipes. At first, in view of these findings, I thought I might later this fantastic recipe by replacing the red lentils with green lentils and then cook it for perhaps another 8-10 minutes. However, as I continued to enjoy my first batch of this soup, I realized that I actually really liked having the red lentils incorporated into the broth. From my viewpoint, it makes for a really nice texture. It may be that intact lentils would be good as well, but I personally won’t change the recipe because I like how this exact recipe balances out to such a nice finished product. An ‘A+’ recipe as far as this longtime vegan cook is concerned : )
those spices give this soup such a wonderful flavor, isn’t it? 🙂 So glad you enjoyed it Josh!