I am in complete soup mode this time of year at House Macheesmo. Nothing is better than a bowl of hearty soup with crusty bread after a long day of weathering chilly winds. This Lemon Lentil Soup made in the pressure cooker is my new favorite go-to.
My wife proclaimed this soup her favorite soup that I’ve made in a while. It’s that good! The combo of a little curry powder, coriander, and loads of lemon adds a zippy boost to lentil soup, which can sometimes otherwise be a bit drab.
While you can use any pressure cooker for this recipe, I used my Crock-Pot® Express Crisp Pressure Cooker which I used to saute the veggies to start the soup, pressure cook the soup so it’s done in just a few minutes, and used the Express Crisp function on the cooker to make crispy bread all in one device! Of course, you can use your oven to crisp up the bread as well.
What kind of lentils works best for soup?
There are a few kinds of lentils that are readily available in most grocery stores in America. Green lentils and red lentils are the most common. I used green lentils for this soup. You could use red, but just know that they will really cook down in the pressure cooker. I like how the green lentils keep their texture but are still nice and tender.
Pressure Cooker vs. Slow Cooker
This recipe works fine in either a pressure cooker or a slow cooker. Obviously, time is the true difference here. If you are using a slow cooker, you would need to simmer the lentils on high for four hours to soften them.
Using a pressure cooker, this meal becomes a 30-minute meal and you can make it even on a weekday without too much fuss.
If you have the option of using a pressure cooker for this lemon lentil soup, I would. But, if you don’t have access to one, you can absolutely use a slow cooker.
Lemon Lentil Soup Ingredients
This soup starts with a classic soup base: onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Classic because it’s delicious!
Once the veggies have sauteed for a few minutes, add the spices (coriander and curry) along with tomato paste and lentils. Then add in the stock and stir everything together!
For the lemon, which is an important piece for this recipe, you want to add the fresh lemon juice near the end of cooking so the flavors stay fresh and vibrant. I add the lemon juice AFTER cooking it under pressure so it stays very fresh. Also, don’t skip the lemon zest since that brings a lot of citrus flavor to the soup.
How to make Lentil Soup in Pressure Cooker
After you have sauteed the vegetables over medium-high heat, add your stock and lentils and lock the pressure cooker lid in place. Set it to high pressure for 15 minutes and your soup will be perfectly cooked!
As an optional step, when the soup is done and you have released the pressure, remove about ⅓ of the soup, let it cool slightly, and blend it up. I like to use an immersion blender for this step for easier clean-up, but you could transfer it to a traditional blender also. This will thicken the soup. I love doing this for soups like this, but it’s not essential.
After you stir the blended soup back in, stir in the fresh lemon juice and taste the soup for salt and pepper. It will probably need a pinch of salt. Keep the lemon zest for garnishing the soup during serving.
Making this soup on the Stovetop
You can absolutely make this lemon lentil soup on the stovetop. I think it’s best if you use a dutch oven for it so the heat is retained. You will most likely have to add more liquid to the soup as some of it will evaporate as it simmers and you will need to simmer the lentils for about an hour for them to get nice and tender.
Then you can proceed with blending the soup and seasoning it with lemon zest and fresh lemon juice to finish the soup!
Making the crusty Bread for Dipping
This is a really fun step. Cut some crusty bread in half and place it on the raised rack in the cooker. Drizzle the bread with oil and place the crisper lid on the cooker! The default time for crisping is 15 minutes, but I would stop it after five minutes for bread. You can also broil the bread in the oven to make some crunchy dippers.
Serve up the soup garnished with fresh cilantro or fresh parsley and lemon zest, plus a big chunk of crusty bread of course!
This lemon lentil soup was a major hit with everybody at my house. Even the kids liked the lemon flavors and bread dipping potential!
Alternative Ideas for this Lemon Lentil Soup
I wouldn’t change the major flavors for this soup because they work so well, but here are some alternative ideas for the soup.
- Add sausage to the soup for a meaty protein addition.
- Add some extra leafy greens after the pressure cooking like spinach or kale for some extra veggies.
- For a savory flavor boost, sprinkle the soup with Parmesan Cheese before serving.
- Make this soup vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
Pressure Cooker Lemony Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 4 ounces tomato paste
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 ½ cups green lentils, washed
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- Fresh cilantro, garnish
- 1 small boule crusty bread
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Add olive oil to your container for the Crock-Pot pressure cooker and turn on the saute function. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the veggies start to soften.
- Season veggies with coriander, curry powder, and a pinch of salt. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable stock, and rinsed lentils. Stir to combine and mix ingredients evenly.
- Put the pressure cooker lid on and turn the device onto manual high pressure. Set a time for 15 minutes. When timer goes off allow pressure cooker to rest for 5 minutes and then release steam manually.
- Optionally, remove about ⅓ of the soup from the cooker. Let cool briefly and then blend. Stir blended soup back into base. That will make the soup thicker.
- Stir in lemon juice, but reserve lemon zest for garnish. Taste soup and season with salt to your liking.
- For crusty bread, place the raised rack in the soup and add the bread in halves. Drizzle with olive oil. Close with the crisper lid and set the crisper timer for five minutes. Bread will be perfectly crispy and toasty!
- Serve soup with big chunks of toasted bread garnished with lemon zest and fresh cilantro.