Instant Pot Lentil Soup With Winter Squash

4 servings
30 min

This delicious Instant Pot Lentil Soup is so easy, and you can get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes any day of the week.

This vegan IP soup uses winter squash and black beluga lentils to make a flavorful and nutritious dish. Plus, I have substitutes listed so if you are out of an ingredient or two called for, you can use one of your pantry staples.

Check out for more IP recipes.

Vegan lentil soup with delicata squash in a pottery bowl.

This vegan and oil-free soup is perfect for chilly days. It’s hearty, delicious, and pressure cooking makes this fast.

Which type of lentils do I use in this vegan soup?

In this recipe, I used black Beluga lentils. They are tiny black lentils that are the same size as French lentils. I like them because they cook quicker than brown lentils.

My first choice is the Beluga lentils, but you can sub French or even brown in a pinch.

What can I use in place of the Beluga lentils?

My first choice is French green lentils sometimes called puy lentils, but you can use common brown lentils, and in a pinch, you can use red lentils.

Just know that they will melt and disappear in your soup. It’s still great, but the texture will be different.

Black beluga lentils in a wooden bowl

What kinds of winter squash can I use?

This recipe uses winter squash which adds a delightful color and texture to the soup.

In the photos, you can see that I used delicata squash, but you could use acorn, butternut, or even pie pumpkin.

With the delicata and acorn squash, you can leave on the peel and just scoop out the seeds. With other winter squash, you may have to peel first.

Delicata squash cut in half with seeds being scraped out.

What do I need to make this lentil soup?

You need some water, onion, black lentils, chopped winter squash which can be fresh or frozen for the main ingredients.

I seasoned mine with Mexican oregano, smoked paprika, ground rosemary, and ancho chili powder.

In the end, I added some tomato paste and nutritional yeast to add flavor since I was out of homemade bouillon cubes, but you could use salt-free bouillon at the beginning of cooking.

We also add salt or salt substitute and black pepper, to suit your taste.

The Best Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Winter Squash and Beluga Lentils

How to make lentil soup in an Instant Pot

Just select the sauté setting then cook the onion. Next add in the water, lentils, delicata squash, herbs, and spices, then cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.

Before serving stir in the tomato paste, nooch, then add salt and pepper to taste.

How to Store and Reheat

Store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. If you need it to last longer than that freeze instead.

A bite of black lentils winter squash lentil soup on a spoon.

Making the soup thinner

If the soup is thicker than you like when you open the lid of your electric pressure cooker, you can add some more water or broth.

Also, the soup will thicken up as it cools, so add a little water before you heat it up again.

Can I freeze lentil soup?

You sure can. This black lentil soup freezes like a dream.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Winter Squash in a bowl with a white spoon.

Great additions, garnishes, and swirls

If you love vegetarian soup recipes as much as I do, you’ve collected lots of flavors of balsamic vinegar which not only look dramatic as a garnish add a little sweetness and acid to your soup.

You can also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or even cook it with a thick slice of lemons zest with the white pith removed.

Feel free to add other veggies like bell peppers to the saute or sweet potatoes during cooking. Add in minced greens before serving adds in some flavor and extra nutrition.

Top with shredded vegan parmesan cheese, an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast, fresh thyme, or some red pepper flakes.

Lentil Soup with Winter Squash and Beluga Lentils and a nice cup of tea.

Can you make this on the stovetop or in a slow cooker?

You can, but I would not use the slow cooker setting on your Instant Pot. It doesn’t do well on dishes with beans and lentils. But you can use a regular slow cooker to make this.

If you use a slow cooker, add the IP ingredients to your crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours, then add in the rest.

To cook it on stove top add the onions to a hot Dutch oven over medium heat, cook until translucent, then add the rest of the first cooking ingredients. Bring to a boil, then cover, lower to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are just cooked. Tender lentils are soft but not mushy.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup With Winter Squash
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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Saute Ingredients
  • 1 small onion minced
  • water for sauting
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Instant Pot Ingredients
  • 4 cups water or unsalted vegetable broth
  • 3 cups chopped winter squash delicata and acorn squash do not need to be peeled
  • 1 cup black Beluga lentils can sub French or brown
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano or marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder sub tomato powder or mushroom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary or twice as much regular
Before Serving Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt or salt substitute to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Saute the onion in water until translucent.
Add garlic and saute a minute more.
Add all the IP ingredients and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
Carefully release the pressure in spirts, because since it’s a soup it’s more likely to spray some liquid.
Stir in the nutritional yeast and tomato paste.
Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust any seasonings as needed before serving.
Plant Based Instant Pot - Recipes by Kathy Hester
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  • Zoya Shockey Zoya Shockey on Jan 23, 2023

    Just eat a BIG juicy steak!! Plants provide oxygen for you and me. Cows make methane gas, and are murdering our ozone!! Eat the one we DONT need!! Not vital plants that keep us living after you cut down all the trees to make paper to wipe the tears cause you think your “feelings” matter!