This hearty vegan lentil soup is more like a stew and will appeal to the pickiest of eaters!
Every time my parents come to visit, I tend to make the same dishes. My mother usually requests a stir-fry, and my daughter, seeing this special occasion as a opportunity to have her favorite dish, asks for lasagna. Sometimes I cook up a Southern meal of lima beans and greens or a vegetable soup, but the overall theme is simple, basic dishes that are suitable for vegans and omnivores alike.
A couple of weeks ago, my parents were here for a few days and I wanted to cook them something new but with flavors that would be familiar to them. And I wanted it to be fast and easy. So I settled on this lentil soup, which is familiar because it uses the same flavors my mother used in her beef stew. And it’s easy because all of the ingredients go into my electric pressure cooker at the same time and cook/rest for a total of 25 minutes. I added a big salad and my basic cornbread for a hearty meal that all of us enjoyed.
This vegan lentil soup is almost, but not quite, a stew. I used big chunks of carrots and potatoes, and by using a little less liquid, you could make it into a stew, though I like it soupy so that I can dip my bread into it.
I served it in these gorgeous blue and yellow bowls given to me by my brother Bill and sister-in-law Kate. They were made by Kate’s father, Rick Pride, and as soon as his website is up, I’ll link to it so that you can get some of his beautiful pottery for yourself.
Homestyle Lentil Soup
- 2 cups brown or green lentils uncooked
- 8 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 pounds large gold or red potatoes cut into large cubes
- 8 ounces mushrooms halved or quartered
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 large carrots thickly sliced
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes or 2 tsp. Better Than Bouillon optional (use only if water is used instead of broth)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce coconut aminos, or tamari
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary crushed
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pick over the lentils and rinse well. Put them into the pressure cooker along with the water or broth.
- Start the water or broth heating in the pressure cooker while you chop the vegetables. Add all ingredients to the cooker and stir. Seal the cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes for electric pressure cooker or 8 minutes stovetop. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes before using a quick-release method to release the pressure. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can simply simmer this covered on the stove until the lentils are tender, about an hour; add water as necessary.)
- Check to make sure the lentils and potatoes are tender; if not, cook, covered but not at pressure, until done, adding water if it seems too thick. Remove the bay leaves, and check the seasonings, adding more poultry seasoning and salt, if desired. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if you like.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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CarrieFebruary 25, 2015 at 8:54 am
I made this over the weekend and it’s absolutely delicious! The seasonings are perfect and the chunky veggies with the lentils make it so hearty and satisfying. A real comfort dish!
SusanFebruary 26, 2015 at 1:08 pm
I made this for lunch this morning and it is outstanding! My daughter gives it her stamp of approval, too. We both had seconds.
GiraApril 1, 2015 at 12:48 pm
I made this Sunday night and it was excellent! This is my new favorite soup! It is so hearty and filling. I love the chunks of potato and carrot.
Thank you so much!
GiraApril 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm
I have made this soup 3 times so far, and it is my new favorite! Thank you so much!
CarolineJuly 23, 2015 at 6:19 am
Yes I was so inspired by this recipe I went and bought myself a pressure cooker. Best ever inspiration and awesome soup!! Thanks!!
Phyllis CarterSeptember 12, 2015 at 3:56 pm
I love this soup. I’ve made almost all your lentil recipes and we love them. And, thanks to you, I almost always make corn bread too! Soon I should just start saying always instead of almost always. 🙂
Marlena DeSantisNovember 1, 2015 at 6:35 pm
I made this today and it is absolutely delicious…I always make a basic lentil soup and this is so different. The flavor is just wonderful! It would also be great with a bit of fresh spinach a few minutes before serving. I’m going to garnish with a bit of Romano cheese.
PaulineDecember 15, 2015 at 9:52 am
Just made this soup in my Instant Pot, it is so tasty!!!!! And what a good idea to start by heating up the lentils in the broth while cutting te veggies. Thanks so much for this great recipe. Greetings from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
NewveganOctober 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm
What setting name did you use with the cover off to heat? Sauté?
Susan VoisinOctober 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm
Yes, Sauté on the Instant Pot.
DonnaFebruary 2, 2016 at 6:29 pm
We had this for lunch today. I thought it was very good and satisfying! Will make again. I also made your “pear spice upside down cake” last night… it was awesome!!! Thanks, Susan! I appreciate your recipes and posts.
Erin LandrySeptember 14, 2016 at 10:39 am
Made this for dinner last night. It was so delicious! Thanks for the recipes Susan!
ByronAugust 26, 2017 at 8:36 pm
Delicious!! Thank you for sharing. 🙂
NewveganOctober 25, 2017 at 12:15 pm
What kind of mushroom works best with this flavor? Baby portobello?
Susan VoisinOctober 25, 2017 at 12:19 pm
Baby portobello or regular mushrooms—both are good.
DeeDecember 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm
OMG! This soup has WONDERFUL flavor…so nutritious and easy to make. I did use 2 boxes of Vege. stock instead of water. I made copies of this recipe AND saved it in my Cloud….This will be a repeat many times ,for sure.
SaraJanuary 8, 2018 at 10:25 am
This is the one! This is exactly what I want to make! Thanks! I’ll report back how it goes! 🙂
JillAugust 31, 2018 at 1:00 pm
After hemming and hawing for several years (should I or not buy an Instant Pot), I finally purchased one this week. I want to make this recipe tonight and I’d like to confirm size. Do you use a 6 quart for your recipes? or is it bigger?
I’ve followed you for years and never had a recipe disappoint me. My first recipe was mushrooms berkely (minus the butter). This will be my second.
Susan VoisinAugust 31, 2018 at 2:17 pm
I use the 6-quart Instant Pot for all my recipes, so if that’s what you have, you’re good to go. I hope you enjoy both the IP and the soup!
DavolOctober 11, 2018 at 7:14 pm
This is such a delicious recipe! I even made it low-sodium and it was still delicious, which isn’t always the case with soups.
I also puréed a bit of it in the Vitamix and it made for a wonderful texture.
The simplicity of throwing everything in the cooker is really time-saving.
Susan, thank you for sharing your talents with the world!
ScottOctober 26, 2018 at 8:47 am
Made this two nights ago with Rancho Gordo black caviar lentils and it was fantastic! Really reminded me of a stew my mom would have made when I was growing up, except with beef. It was a perfect dinner for my WFPB family. Had it with a side of lovely Delicata squash from our farmers market.
Shirley WolffMarch 18, 2019 at 3:46 pm
I just made this today, and all I have to say is WOW! It’s SO good! I made it in my crockpot instead of the Instant Pot. In case someone would rather crockpot it, it took about 4 hours on high.
Thanks SO much for this awesome recipe, Susan!
SamAugust 16, 2019 at 9:33 pm
I really enjoyed this! Took out the mushrooms and added in frozen peas but kept the rest the same.
KayDecember 19, 2019 at 10:39 pm
YAY! I have been eating plant based for almost 2 years now, and the thing I have missed the most is beef stew. Guess what? I don’t any more – this was absolutely delicious, thanks so much for sharing this simple, yet amazing recipe!!
SusanApril 28, 2020 at 9:00 am
Yum! This is SO good and I love that it makes a huge quantity of soup! I added a turnip that needed to be used. Another GREAT recipe Susan! I have made a number of your recipes while ‘sheltering in place’ and every nourishing dish was enjoyed by my family. Thank you!
LainaOctober 5, 2021 at 6:57 pm
I made your soup this week and I just absolutely love it. It tastes much better than the lentil soup I get from a local restaurant. The only thing I changed was 2 TBL of soy sauce instead of 1 and I also added red chili flakes for a little kick. Even my husband loved it!!! Thanks so much for such a delicious soup!!!