I struggle in the lunch department for myself. My kids always have a fantastic lunch or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at the very least.
Many days that is exactly what I’m eating or a salad. Both on the boring side, but let’s face it it does the job.
On the day I created this recipe for Instant Pot Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup I was craving comfort. I made this soup on a Monday and ate it the entire week for lunch.
Even my veggie loving toddler daughter loved this soup. A win-win in my book.
Then I only had to think about what to make for my son for lunch that week.
This soup would also be perfect for a cold winter night! I love making a big pot of soup at the beginning of each week.
This soup has officially made it into my soup rotation!
For this recipe, I used a harvest blend lentils, which is a combination of brown lentils, green lentils, and red lentils.
All three of these lentils are great for soups. The green and brown lentils tend to hold their shape a little more where the red lentils and even yellow will break down much quicker.
Lentils are one of the most nutritious and versatile plant-based proteins, and perfect for the vegetarian in your life.
Making this soup in the Instant Pot is very easy. I love that the Instant Pot has a “sauté” function.
This is key when making quick cooking soups. It not only softens them quicker, but also brings out the flavor profile.
I like to cook the carrots, onions, celery and garlic first in the sauté mode. Then add in the bell peppers, seasonings, lentils as well as the liquid a few minutes after the main veggies have cooked.
Then, all you need to do is close the lid and let the Instant Pot do its job.
Once the soup is done, I add in freshly chopped tomatoes and spinach.
They don’t need any cooking time and by the time you’ve stirred the soup and ladled it into bowls the spinach will be wilted, and the tomatoes will be just soft enough you’ll never know that they weren’t cooked in the soup.
I also love to give a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top as well as a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese and cracked black pepper.
Here are a few side suggestions to serve with my recipe for Instant Pot Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup:
If you love soups and looking to try out a new soup recipe in your Instant Pot. I hope you’ll try this delicious recipe for Instant Pot Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup.
Instant Pot Italian Vegetable Lentil Soup Recipe
- 1 Olive Oil + additional for garnish
- 2 Carrot peeled and diced
- 2 Celery diced
- 1 White Onion diced
- 4 Garlic
- 0.5 Red Bell Pepper diced
- 1.5 Autumn Blend Lentils
- 2 Chicken Bouillon or Vegetable Bouillon Cubes for vegetarian
- 1 Italian Seasoning
- 0.125 Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 0.5 Kosher Salt
- 0.125 Black Pepper
- 6 Water
- 2 Fresh Tomato diced (I used the Ugly variety)
- 2 Spinach chopped
- 0.25 Pecorino Romano Cheese divided
- Place Instant Pot to “sauté” mode. Add olive oil, carrots, celery, onions and garlic.
- Sauté for 5 minutes until instant pot reaches “hot”. While sautéing chop the bell pepper, tomatoes, and spinach.
- Add the bell peppers to the Instant Pot and keep the tomatoes and spinach to the side.
- Add the lentils, chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and water to the Instant Pot. Mix well, close lid, and place the valve to “sealing” mode.
- Turn the Instant Pot off and select “manual” mode. Set the IP for 12 minutes (it will take 10-12 minutes to come to pressure then the countdown begins).
- Once the soup is done cooking let rest for 5 minutes. Using a kitchen towel and insulated potholder, carefully force the remaining pressure.
- Carefully, remove the lid, stir and stir in the chopped tomatoes and spinach.
- Ladle into bowls and drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.