This warm and spicy Thai-inspired Instant Pot red lentil soup is the perfect weeknight meal. It is packed with veggies, plant-based protein, creamy coconut milk and a ton of flavor! This soup is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
If you love the flavors and aromas of Thai cuisine – think zesty lime, fresh cilantro, fragrant curry, ginger, garlic and coconut – you will really enjoy this creamy, hearty Instant Pot red lentil soup.
Made with nutritious red lentils, this soup is packed with plant-based protein and fibre; plus, it’s got added spinach for extra iron and antioxidants. It’s warm, a little spicy and great for those chilly nights.
Red lentils don’t need much time to cook, so you can make this soup quickly and easily in the Instant Pot. The texture of the soup is somewhere between a lentil dal and a soup. It’s got a little crunch but is quite creamy and smooth with no pureeing required.
INGREDIENTS IN THAI RED LENTIL SOUP
As with most Thai recipes, this red lentil soup features aromatics such as onions, ginger, garlic and cilantro. We are using red curry paste and a little soy sauce (or fish sauce if you’re not vegan), and vegetable stock. You can use dry red lentils or another color in this recipe. No need to soak the lentils, just give them a good rinse.
The final ingredients are baby spinach and coconut milk, which we add right at the end. A little squeeze of lime, extra fresh cilantro and any crunchy toppings you like. All of these ingredients are easily accessible from a supermarket or online.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT RED LENTIL SOUP
Making this Thai red curry soup is super easy. You will find the full recipe ingredients, instructions and nutritional breakdown below but here are some step-by-step pics to guide you along.
Step 1. Saute the aromatics and carrots with curry paste.
Step 2. Add the lentils and vegetable stock. Stir through and pressure cook on HIGH for 10 minutes. Release the pressure naturally for really soft, almost pureed lentils and do a quick release if you prefer the lentils to retain a little more shape and firmness.
Step 3. Stir in the coconut milk and taste for spice and salt. If it’s too spicy, you can dilute it with more coconut milk.
Step 4. Set the Instant Pot to Saute function and add the spinach. You can use fresh spinach or defrosted frozen spinach. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach is wilted.
The soup is ready to be served! We love topping it with extra cilantro and a drizzle of coconut milk. You can add pumpkin seeds or crushed nuts and fried shallots for a lovely texture. Serve with crusty bread or toasted rice cakes, or stir in a little cooked rice for a complete protein combination.
CAN I FREEZE THIS LENTIL SOUP?
Yes! This red lentil soup freezes really well and can be kept for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight or in a microwave and reheat well. If storing in the fridge, the soup should keep for up to 5 days.
MORE INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES
- Instant Pot Turkish Split Pea Soup (can be done with lentils)
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Corn, Sweet Potato & Chipotle Instant Pot Soup
- Italian Farmhouse Vegetable Soup
- Instant Pot Broccoli Soup With Gremolata
Instant Pot Thai Red Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Thai
Thai-inspired red lentil soup cooked in the Instant Pot is the perfect vegetarian and gluten-free dinner for the whole family. Keeps and freezes well and great for batch cooking.
- Turn the Instant Pot on and set to Saute. Add the oil, onions, carrot, ginger, garlic and cilantro and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the red curry paste. Turn the Saute function off.
- Add the rest of the cooking ingredients, stir and close the lid. Set to Pressure Cook/Manunal, HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will begin to build the pressure and then the timer will start (note that cooking begins even during the pressure build up).
- Once cooking time comes to an end, release the pressure naturally for really soft, puree-like lentil soup and do a quick release for more textured, firmer lentils.
- Open the lid and stir in the coconut milk, baby spinach and lime juice. Set to Saute for 2-3 minutes to cook the spinach.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt if you like. If the soup seems too spicy, add more coconut milk.
- Serve with preferred toppings and extra fresh cilantro.
Split lentils vs whole lentils: please note that the split lentils will cook quicker than whole lentils. If cooking larger lentils, add 5 more minutes to the cooking time.
Spinach: you can add fresh spinach or defrosted frozen spinach to the soup.
Coconut milk: we used full-fat canned coconut milk (not diluted coconut milk drink); either shake the can really well or use the thickened part of the coconut milk and discard the reallyw watery liquid.
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 396
- Sugar: 3.2 g
- Sodium: 815.9 mg
- Fat: 16.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 13.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 47.5 g
- Fiber: 8.3 g
- Protein: 17.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
SAVE THIS THAI RED LENTIL SOUP TO PINTEREST
Loved this recipe! The only reason I gave it 4 stars and not 5 is because for me it was under seasoned. No biggy, just taste and adjust to your own liking 🙂 This will definitely be on the menu time and time again!!
Thanks, Tanya 🙂
what could you use instead of cilantro?
This one is definitely a winner! Although I’ve not made it as a soup yet since I prefer to eat it over basmati rice. I’ve made it with and w/o chopped jalapenos — both versions were excellent. I’ve also used Russian kale and leaf cabbage along with spinach. Moreover, I use the juice from two limes instead of one, and add about a teaspoon of tumeric in the second cooking phase.
Another change I’ve made is that I use vegetable stock in addition to about 1.5 cups of water.
Made this for my family and everyone could not stop talking about how fantastic it was! It will be a staple for sure.
Can you add chicken thighs to this?
You would have to adjust your cooking time. I would cook separately.