Easy curried lentil soup made in the Instant Pot with red lentils, red curry paste, curry powder, ginger and garlic. This recipe is based on an Ottolenghi recipe on Epicurious.
Red lentils are so healthy, and there are a lot of ways to use them. For more information on how to cook red lentils, seasoning suggestions, and ways to use them, click on the link.Jump to Recipe
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Some of my favorite recipes are from rummaging around my pantry. This soup was from just such a ransacking. I was in the mood for soup, and when I found 3 kinds of dried lentils, I knew a pot of curried lentil soup was in my future.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Only the yellow onion needs to be chopped, so there's very little prep involved in this recipe. Everything else is either in a can, jar, or tube.
- The Instant Pot speeds the cooking, so that this soup is ready in 30 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight meal.
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Yellow onion
- Garlic - Either garlic cloves or Gourmet Garden Garlic Paste sold in a tube, found with fresh herbs in your market.
- Ginger - Use Gourmet Garden ginger paste because it's soooo quick, or finely grate a ginger root.
- Curry powder
- Garam Masala - garam masala is a spice mix commonly used in Indian dishes. You should find it with the spices in your grocery store.
- Red curry paste
- Red lentils
- Chopped tomatoes - you can chop your own, but I use canned diced tomatoes.
- Vegetable broth - or Better Than Bouillon Roasted Vegetable Paste
- Coconut milk - I recommend full-fat.
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👩🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Lentils are often used in Indian dishes, particularly the softer lentils. These are the red, orange and yellow varieties, which are split legumes. This means they cook up quickly.
- Their earthy flavor and texture combine very well with coconut milk and curry.
- Additionally all lentils go great with chopped tomatoes, as their earthiness needs some acid.
👩🍳 Preparation Tips
- This soup can be made on the stovetop or an electric pressure cooker, such as an Instant Pot.
- I often use Better Than Bouillon for broth, and keep their Vegetable, No Chicken, and No Beef bouillons on hand. They last a long time, and are packed with flavor. If you use this product, however, eliminate the kosher salt as you will not need any additional salt. I recommend no more than 2 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon added to the soup. If your markets don't have this product, you can order it online.
📇 Similar Legume Soups
If you've never tried black chickpeas, I highly recommend this Chana Masala with Black Chickpeas. The post explains what they are, how to work with them, and where to purchase them.
This Persian ashe mast soup is a chickpea yogurt soup made with yellow lentils. It's full of flavor from grated onion and fennel, various herbs, spices, and garlic. It's amazing, and totally unlike anything you've probably ever had. You can use canned chickpeas, or go here if you want to know how to cook chickpeas from dried.
Instant Pot Curried Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste, or finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste, or 2 ½-inch piece of ginger, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala spice mix (see Notes)
- ½ teaspoon red curry paste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup red lentils
- 1 14.5-oz can chopped tomatoes, along with the sauce
- 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 13.5-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
- lime wedges, for serving
- ¼ cup chopped scallions, for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Select the Sauté function on your Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker). In the inner cooking pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until softened and translucent, about 7 - 8 minutes. Be sure to stir them fairly often so they don't burn.
- Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, red curry paste, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper. Stir and sauté for about 3 minutes, until very fragrant.
- Stir in the lentils and tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth. Set aside ¼ cup of the coconut milk, and add the remaining coconut milk to the pot. Stir to combine. Pro-tip: If the coconut milk has separated in the can, pour it into a large bowl and whisk until re-combined.
- Lock the lid of the electric pressure cooker into place, making sure that the vent on top of the Instant Pot is in the closed position. Select Manual cooking and set the cooking time for 15 minutes.
- When the cooking is complete, Quick Release the vent to immediately release the pressure.
- Serve with the reserved coconut milk (to drizzle on top of the soup), scallions and lime wedges.