This instant pot lentil noodle soup recipe is made with wholesome ingredients for the perfect cold-weather meal. It’s great for meal prep, requires minimal effort, and less than 30 minutes of your time. Did we mention it tastes delicious?
Since we are in the heart of “soup season” right now, we thought it would be helpful to share my mom’s famous lentil noodle soup. She made this for me over the holiday season, and when I posted it on Instagram, I received so many requests for the recipe, so here it is.
Here’s What You Need to make this Lentil Noodle Soup
Mirepoix: Also known as onions, celery, and carrots, this classic mix is found in many recipes and makes the perfect flavor base in this soup.
Garlic: Another element to boost the flavor of the soup. We love to add a lot of garlic to this recipe but feel free to modify the amount based on your preference. Not only is garlic delicious, but it also offers a plethora of health benefits.
Herbs & Spices: Our spice blend for this recipe is robust and packs a ton of flavor into the soup. To start, we have red pepper flakes which are optional but recommended if you enjoy a little bit of spice. We also add fresh thyme, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Tomatoes: We use whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes for this recipe because that’s what my mom swears by. We recommend the Cento brand. I am sure you’ve seen them in a big yellow can at your local grocery store.
Lentils: We use pre-cooked canned lentils for our recipe since we make it in the instant pot. However, my mom likes to use dry French green lentils when she makes this on the stovetop. We don’t recommend the dry French green lentils for the instant pot version because they take a little bit longer to cook and would cause the pasta to overcook.
Pasta: The addition of pasta to this recipe makes the soup so much heartier. If you’re looking to omit the pasta, we do have another lentil soup recipe on the blog you may enjoy. We like to use ditalini pasta in our soup, a small tubular pasta variety. Mini shells or any smaller-sized pasta shape would also work well in the recipe.
As mentioned above, this soup is perfect for meal prep and is great for leftovers. You can store it in the fridge for 5-7 days in an airtight container and reheat it either in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Why use an Instant Pot?
If you don’t already own a pressure cooker or instant pot, you may be asking yourself, do I need one to make this recipe? The answer is no, but it does help save time and energy. We estimate that using an instant pot vs. cooking this on a stovetop will save you about half the time. Not only can you pressure cook in an instant pot, but you can saute, steam, slow cook, and more.
Set your instant pot to the saute setting. Add in the oil and allow it to heat up, then add in the onions, carrots. and celery. Saute for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to soften and the onions are translucent.
Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes more.
Throw in the thyme (whole sprigs), bay leaf, Italian seasoning, and canned tomatoes. Using your spatula, break apart the tomatoes as best you can.
Lastly, add in the vegetable broth, lentils, pasta, and a pinch of black pepper.
Stir to combine. Set the instant pot to pressure cook and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
Once it has finished, do a quick release. We like to release the pressure with a towel over the valve to control the steam a bit.
Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Add in 2 handfuls of baby spinach and mix through.
Serve as is or with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan and fresh parsley. This also pairs well with toasted crusty bread!
We like to use low sodium broth and add additional salt if needed to prevent it from being overly salty. Keep in mind that canned lentils are typically salted so that will add to the sodium content.
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