This easy Instant Pot lentil soup includes healthy veggies, mild curry powder, and a touch of peanut butter for added creaminess and flavor. Comforting, totally delicious, and a great addition to weekly meal prep! Vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
Why We Love This Recipe
Something about the Instant Pot really brings out my lazy side. In other words, my favorite Instant Pot recipes are of the "dump-and-go" variety, like this Easy Red Lentil Curry.
Literally dump the ingredients inside, lock on the lid, press a couple of buttons, and walk away.
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn't it? But that's not all! (Here I go again with the infomercial voice; this always happens when I get too excited about a recipe.)
For me, the REAL magic of the Instant Pot is its ability to enhance and amplify flavors while being 100% hands off. You just can't do that on the stovetop.
See the color of the carrots and orange bell pepper in these photos? Friends, that's not Photoshop. That's the magic of pressure cooking!
Lower-Fat and Just Flavorful Enough
We love the comforting, mellow flavor of this lentil soup. The words "peanut curry" may sound like a rich, decadent, flavor-bomb, but this soup is pleasantly light and mild.
Don't get me wrong, it's not bland. But unlike a curry made with coconut milk that you would serve with rice, this is a soup. So the flavor is light enough that you'll want to enjoy a nice, big bowlful.
And since peanut butter is the only fat added to this soup, it won't leave you feeling blah and heavy either!
How To Make It
Here's a quick summary to show you exactly how easy it is to prepare this Instant Pot lentil soup. Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe and instructions.
1. Add the veggies, tomatoes, lentils, and spices to the Instant Pot.
2. Add the water, and give the mixture a very good stir to ensure there's nothing stuck to the bottom. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
3. Stir in frozen peas and salt.
4. In a separate bowl or a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stir peanut butter into the broth, then add to the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings, serve and enjoy!
I told you it was soup-er easy, right?
Aside from washing and chopping a few veggies, amazing lentil soup doesn't get any easier than this!
Tips and FAQs
For sure! Chopped kale, chard, or baby spinach are great ways to add even more color and nutrition. Add greens in Step 4 just before adding the peas.
The way we perceive spicy heat definitely varies by person, but I don't find this soup to be spicy with just ¼ teaspoon cayenne. There's a subtle heat in the finish, but that's about it. However, I did make it once with ½ teaspoon cayenne, and that WAS spicy. So feel free to experiment depending on what you and your family prefer.
The peanut butter adds a nice depth of flavor, and though I haven't tested the recipe with another nut or seed butter, it should work. Try it with tahini or sunflower seed butter for a tasty nut-free option.
Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the soup will keep for up to 5 days.
Absolutely! This soup is freezer-friendly for up to a month or two. Once the soup is cool, transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Make sure not to fill the container too full so there's room for the liquid to expand.
If you try this Instant Pot lentil soup please leave a comment and star rating below to let us know!
Looking for another way to use Chinese 5 spice? Try this Easy Massaman Curried Seitan. SO good!
More vegan soup recipes:
Instant Pot Peanut Curry Lentil Soup (No Coconut Milk)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large orange, yellow, or red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 medium celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb-size piece ginger root, zested or finely minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons mild curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 ½ cups dry green lentils
- 5 cups water
- 1 (14 oz) can crushed or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter, salted
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon tamari, optional
For serving (optional):
- lime wedges
- In the insert of a 6-Quart or larger Instant Pot, combine all ingredients except the broth, peanut butter, peas, salt, and tamari. Stir well.
- Secure the lid, and set to sealing. Cook on normal/manual high pressure for 10 minutes. It will take approx. 15 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, then the countdown timer will begin.
- While the soup is cooking, heat the 1 cup of broth on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot. Add the peanut butter and stir until smooth and fully incorporated. Set aside.
- When the Instant Pot beeps and the 10 minutes is up, carefully quick release the pressure (this will take 2 to 3 minutes). Remove the lid. Add the green peas and salt, and stir. Add the peanut butter-broth mixture, and stir again.
- Taste and season with tamari or more salt, if desired. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve with lime.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com. For the most accurate nutrition information we recommend calculating it yourself to reflect the specific ingredients used in your dish.