Sophisticated, hearty, and healthy, this light soup gets an added touch of richness from a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top. Crushed red pepper offers a kick of heat while French green lentils are the star of the show in this simple soup. The Instant Pot® makes quick work of the heavy lifting, which means this soup is ready to enjoy in just under an hour.


Credit: Photographer Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Heather Chadduck Food Stylist : Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary

20 mins
50 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting, and allow to preheat 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and 2 tablespoons of the oil to cooker. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add lentils, thyme, and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and bay leaf. Press CANCEL.

  • Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 8 minutes. (It will take 10 to 15 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  • When cooking has finished, let the pressure release naturally (float valve will drop). (This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Stir in spinach and vinegar until spinach wilts, about 30 seconds. Ladle soup into bowls; drizzle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and sprinkle evenly with shaved Parmesan cheese.