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Instant Pot Turkish Red lentil Soup

Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup

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Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup is hearty, delicious, and simple to make. It eats like a stew and freezes like a dream. I love making this soup in the fall and enjoying it with fresh baked sourdough bread.

Instant Pot or stovetop both work

If you don’t have an Instant Pot— have a look at the Notes section of the recipe card for stovetop cooking instructions.

Balanced Hearty Flavors

Admittedly, I don’t know enough about Turkish cuisine. I do know that this soup is crave-worthy and super-healthy. It has lovely, balanced flavors. Oh, and how often is ketchup an option to use in a recipe?

Blending 2 & 1/2 cups of the cooked soup in the blender and then adding it back into the rest of the soup makes this thicker like a stew while keeping it chunky for a satisfying texture. You don’t have to do the blender step— you’ll end up with a yummy, broth-forward soup. If you want to blend more of the soup, that works too. Personally, too much blending borders on baby food territory for me.

Prep Tips

Using a damp, folded paper towel or kitchen towel will stabilize a sliding cutting board, making for safer food prep.

Placing a damp paper towel under the cutting board to keep it in place
Placing a damp paper towel under the cutting board to keep it in place

It’s not so much the crying for me with onions, it’s more the burning sensation in my eyes that gets me. I wear swim googles. During cooking school, I forgot the googles on the first day. Needless to say, I never forgot them again.

Swim googles, knife & onion

For this recipe, I measure the smoked paprika, cumin and oregano into one bowl and the crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper into another bowl. I do this because each grouping is added to the Instant Pot together at different times.

Smoked paprika, cumin and oregano in the bowl on the left. Crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper in the bowl on the right.

When using the Instant Pot I recommend having everything prepped and ready before you start sautéeing. I’m a mise en place advocate.

Mise en place, prepped ingredients for Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup
5 cups of hot tap water mixed with No-Chicken Better Thank Bouillon Base
5 cups of hot tap water mixed with No-Chicken Better Than Bouillon Base. For gluten-free certified no-chicken broth base I recommend Orrington Farms All Natural Vegan Broth Base & Seasoning

Let’s make Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients for Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup
Ingredients for Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Heat oil in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker on Saute mode with the More setting selected. To get to the More setting, use the pressure and adjust buttons. Add onions, garlic and pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Adding chopped onion to the oil in the Instant Pot
Adding chopped onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt to the oil in the Instant Pot
Sautéeing chopped onion in the Instant Pot

Add the carrots, cumin, smoked paprika and dried oregano. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato, ketchup and mint. Mix and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the red lentils, water + broth base mixture, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine.

Close the Instant Pot and set the valve to Sealing.

Instant Pot valve set to Sealing
Instant Pot valve set to Sealing

Set the Instant Pot to Manual/ High Pressure/ 5 Minutes.

Instant Pot set for Manual/ High Pressure/ 5 Minutes
Instant Pot set for Manual/ High Pressure/ 5 Minutes

The Instant Pot will switch to On. 

When it has heated and gotten up to pressure (around 10 minutes), it will switch to the number of minutes remaining.

When the Instant Pot beeps and reads 0 minutes remaining, carefully turn the valve from Sealing to Venting.

Switching the Instant Pot valve from Sealing to Releasing
Switching the valve from Sealing to Venting

I wear a silicone oven mitt when I move the valve; the steam is very hot. Let the steam release, then open the Instant Pot and stir.

Steam releasing from the Instant Pot
Steam releasing from the Instant Pot

Stir and scoop 2 & 1/2 cups of the cooked soup into the blender and blend until smooth.

Then transfer the pureed soup back to the pot and stir until fully incorporated.

This part is optional, but recommended. Skip this step if you want a more broth-forward soup. You could also use a stick blender to partially blend the soup if you have one.

Serve in bowls with optional garnish of crushed pepper flakes, lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, or chopped fresh mint. Serve with croutons, bread, or toast if desired.

Close up view of Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and pinch of salt and cook until translucent. 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, cumin, smoked paprika and dried oregano. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, tomato ketchup and mint and mix and cook for 2 minutes. 
  4. Then add the red lentils, water + broth base mixture, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine. Partially cover and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for a few more minutes until the lentils are tender to preference. Taste and adjust salt and spice and mix in. Add more water if needed.
  5.  Stir and scoop 2 & 1/2 cups of the cooked soup into the blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer the pureed soup back to the pot and stir until fully incorporated. This part is optional, but recommended. Skip this step if you want a more broth-forward soup. You could also use a stick blender to partially blend the soup if you have one.
  6. Serve in bowls with optional garnish of crushed pepper flakes, lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, or chopped fresh mint. Serve with croutons, bread, or toast if desired.

For Gluten-Free Certified No-Chicken Base Use

Orrington Farms All Natural Vegan “Chicken” Broth Base & Seasoning

Instant Pot Turkish Red lentil Soup
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5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup is hearty, delicious, and simple to make. It eats like a stew and freezes like a dream. I love making this soup in the fall and enjoying it with fresh baked sourdough bread.
Course Dinner, Meal Prep, Soup
Cuisine Turkish, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword dairy-free, flavorful, make-ahead, meal prep, Meatless, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Instant Pot Saute & Pressurize Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 177kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot/pressure cooker or saucepan
  • blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 ½ cup ~240 g onion chopped
  • 6 – 9 cloves of garlic chopped 2 – 3 TBSPs minced minced garlic form the jar works too
  • 2/3 cup ~85 g chopped carrots about 1 medium carrot
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh mint leaves or use 1 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 ~ 360 g tomatoes chopped
  • 2-4 TBSPs tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 cup ~205 g red lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 TBSP no-chicken broth base, mixed with the 5 cups water see notes for gluten-free certified no-chicken broth base
  • 1 tsp salt
  • red pepper flakes, mint, lemon juice and/or olive oil for garnish & more salt to taste, if desired Optional

Instructions

  • Heat oil in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker on Saute mode with the More setting selected. To get to the More setting use the pressure and adjust buttons. Add onions, garlic and pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, cumin, smoked paprika and dried oregano. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato, ketchup and mint. Mix and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the red lentils, water + broth base mixture, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Close the Instant Pot and set the valve to Sealing. Set the Instant Pot to Manual/ High Pressure/ 5 Minutes.
    The Instant Pot will switch to On. When it has heated and gotten up to pressure (around 10 minutes), it will switch to the number of minutes remaining.
    When the Instant Pot beeps and reads 0 minutes remaining, carefully turn the valve from Sealing to Venting. I wear a silicone oven mitt when I move the valve; the steam is very hot. Let the steam release, then open the Instant Pot and stir.
  • Stir and scoop 2 & 1/2 cups of the cooked soup into the blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer the pureed soup back to the pot and stir until fully incorporated. This part is optional, but recommended. Skip this step if you want a more broth-forward soup. You could also use a stick blender to partially blend the soup if you have one.
  • Serve in bowls with optional garnish of crushed pepper flakes, lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, or chopped fresh mint. Serve with croutons, bread, or toast if desired.

Notes

Nutrition Information is approximate.

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and pinch of salt and cook until translucent. 5 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, cumin, smoked paprika and dried oregano. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, tomato ketchup and mint and mix and cook for 2 minutes. 
  4. Then add the red lentils, water + broth base mixture, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine. Partially cover and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for a few more minutes until the lentils are tender to preference. Taste and adjust salt and spice and mix in. Add more water if needed.
  5.  Stir and scoop 2 & 1/2 cups of the cooked soup into the blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer the pureed soup back to the pot and stir until fully incorporated. This part is optional, but recommended. Skip this step if you want a more broth-forward soup. You could also use a stick blender to partially blend the soup if you have one.
  6. Serve in bowls with optional garnish of crushed pepper flakes, lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, or chopped fresh mint. Serve with croutons or bread or toast if desired.

For Gluten-Free Certified No-Chicken Base Use

Orrington Farms All Natural Vegan “chicken” Broth Base & Seasoning
www.planttestkitchen.com

Nutrition

Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3039IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 3mg

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Recipe adapted from Richa Hingle at Vegan Richa.

Are you an Instant Pot fan?

If you like Instant Pot recipes, you might also enjoy Vegan Jackfruit Barbacoa (Both Instant Pot & Stove Top + Oven Instructions) and/or Instant Pot Ancient Grains.

Did you make Instant Pot Turkish Red Lentil Soup?

How was it? Any variations? Would you make it again? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

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