If you’re looking for a hearty, filling and insanely flavorful soup, look no further than this vegan Instant Pot Moroccan Lentil Soup recipe. Moroccan Lentil Soup is simple, hearty, healthy, and delicious – red lentils are cooked in the Instant Pot and infused with warm, fragrant Moroccan spices. This one-pot meal is easy to prep and easy to clean and packed with bold flavors!
This Instant Pot soup is perfect for beginners as well as seasoned cooks. The combination of protein-packed lentils along with aromatic spices, crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic and carrots makes it a crowd-pleasing meal that doesn’t require much effort to make. It’s vegan, but full of nutritious and healthy ingredients, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a meatless meal every now and then.
Additionally, you can make a batch or two of this soup quickly and have enough to save for leftovers for the rest of the week, or even freeze it. This soup is so delicious that I make it throughout the year – don’t just save it for chilly weather! Once you taste it, you’ll see why. It’s also a versatile soup in that you can add other vegetables to it, as well.
WHAT ARE RED LENTILS?
Lentils are considered a legume. They are, essentially, the dried seeds of the lentil plant. There are many varieties of lentils, but here, I’m using red lentils. Red lentils are really “split” lentils due to the coating of the seed being removed. This causes them to cook more quickly than other varieties of lentils which makes them perfect for soups.
Cooked lentils pack a whopping 12 grams of protein per 1/2 cup, so they are considered an excellent source of plant-based protein. Lentils are full of fiber and minerals, as well, so you can be assured that you are feeding your family a nutritious meal when you cook with this ingredient.
DO I NEED TO SOAK RED LENTILS BEFORE USING?
No. Red lentils already have their seed coat removed, which is why they’re referred to as split lentils, so there’s no need to soak them. Hooray! Just rinse them in water and drain well before using.
- Olive oil – for sautéing onion and garlic
- Onion (diced) – for flavor
- Cloves of garlic (minced) – for flavor and spice
- Vegetable broth – liquid base for the soup
- Dried red lentils (rinsed and drained well) – protein base for the soup
- Carrots (peeled and chopped) – for vegetable component and to add a touch of sweetness
- Spices – ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon – aromatic spices for Moroccan flavor profile
- Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes – for flavor
- Crushed tomatoes – vegetable base for the soup
- Lemon juice – a splash of acidic flavor
- Fresh parsley and cilantro (chopped) – fresh spices and garnish
HOW DO I MAKE INSTANT POT MOROCCAN LENTIL SOUP?
(This is an overview of the steps. Detailed instructions are down below in the recipe card).
- Add olive oil to the preheated Instant Pot and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and carrots, and give it a quick stir.
- Deglaze the pot with the vegetable broth, making sure to scrape the bottom to loosen any bits that are stuck.
- Add the lentils, crushed tomatoes, and all of the spices
- Close the lid and seal. Set to high pressure for 3-4 minutes.
- Let it release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release the rest of the pressure.
- Open the lid and stir in the lemon juice.
- Serve with fresh garnishes of parsley and/or cilantro.
I DON’T HAVE AN INSTANT POT. CAN I MAKE THIS ON THE STOVETOP?
Yes, of course! Just use a deep pot or Dutch Oven and follow the same steps for sautéing, deglazing and adding the ingredients.
Bring to a boil and then cook on simmer for approximately 30 minutes, partially covered. Stir occasionally.
If you want the soup less chunky, just use an immersion blender to smooth it out before serving.
VEGETABLE VARIATIONS FOR MOROCCAN LENTIL SOUP
If you’re wanting to add more vegetables to this soup, here are some that will work well with the Middle Eastern spices:
- Sweet Potato
- Fingerling Potato
TOPPING IDEAS FOR THIS SOUP
This soup is outrageously tasty as is, but if you want to add a little something extra, here are some yummy ideas:
- A dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream will add a little burst of tang as well as creaminess. Use vegan yogurt or sour cream, if needed.
- Diced onion
- Fresh herbs – cilantro is awesome, but parsley is also a great substitute if you’re not a fan of cilantro.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER LENTIL SOUP
This soup is delicious as a leftover meal! It will keep, tightly covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure and let it cool completely before storing. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
You can also freeze the leftovers. Cool completely before storing in a freezer safe container. It will keep for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and then heat it up either in the microwave or on the stovetop.
This family-friendly Instant Pot Moroccan Lentil Soup recipe is an easy 30 minute meal that will quickly become a go-to option for those busy days. Keep a stash of these ingredients on hand so you’ll always have a nutritious and savory soup to serve.
Looking for more Instant Pot Recipes?
Instant Pot Moroccan Lentil Soup
- Instant Pot
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
- 7 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups dried red lentils (rinsed and drained well)
- 3 carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 24-oz can of crushed tomatoes
- red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1 lemon (juice of 1 lemon)
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (chopped)
- Turn the instant pot to sauté mode and wait until “Hot” appears. In the inner line pot, add olive oil and onions. Sauté for about 1-2 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Then, to the instant pot add garlic, carrots, and give it a quick stir. Deglaze the pot with vegetable broth. Make sure to scrape any bits that are stuck to the pot. Then, without stirring, add dry red lentils, crushed tomatoes, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to taste), parsley, and cilantro.
- Close the instant pot lid. Turn the pressure valve to "sealed". Set on the Instant Pot to MANUAL/HIGH PRESSURE for 4 minutes. Then, let it NATURAL RELEASE for 6 minutes and quick release the rest of the pressure.
- Stir in lemon juice.
- Serve with more freshly chopped parsley/cilantro and a dollop of Greek yogurt (optional).
- It’s important to deglaze the pot to avoid the dreaded “BURN” error message.
- Let the soup naturally release pressure so that the soup contents don’t splatter out when you turn the valve. Quick-Release the pressure after waiting 6 minutes. This is enough time for the lentils to be fully cooked (soup will be hot and will continue to cook). Let it naturally release for longer if you want a more pureed soup.