Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot)

Bowls of pepitas and creamy sweet potato soup

Cold temperatures call for warming soups! Inspired by our fan-favorite Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup, this incredibly delicious sweet potato soup is made in the Instant Pot.

It’s a 1-pot recipe with warming spices, creamy coconut milk, and sneaky red lentils for a protein and fiber boost. Let us show you how it’s done!

Coconut milk, sweet potato, red lentils, onion, ginger, spices, and vegetable broth

While experimenting for our guide to beans and lentils in the Instant Pot, we learned a couple things about red lentils. First, they cook incredibly quickly (in 3-4 minutes). And second, the options are uncooked or total mush — there’s no in-between.

So while cooking red lentils in the Instant Pot isn’t a good idea for recipes like Vegan Sloppy Joes, it’s a time-saving trick for soups, curries, and dal!

Sautéed onion, ginger, and sweet potato

For this soup, we started by sautéing onion, garlic, and ginger with a little salt and pepper. Then we added sweet potato and red lentils. Sweet potato makes the soup creamy and comforting (and naturally sweet!), while the red lentils add a protein and fiber boost that make the soup feel more substantial.

Red lentils, sweet potato, vegetable broth, water, and spices in an Instant Pot

The warmth comes from the fresh ginger and dried spices — turmeric, cinnamon, clove, and cayenne. Coconut milk adds creaminess and an optional touch of maple syrup at the end elevates the flavor.

For an optional crunch and contrast of textures, we like topping the soup with toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). A swirl of coconut milk and pinches of cinnamon and cayenne are also a pretty touch!

Cooked red lentils, sweet potato, and spices in an Instant Pot

We hope you LOVE this lentil sweet potato soup! It’s:

Creamy
Warming
Naturally sweet
Savory
& SO delicious!

It’s the perfect easy entrée or side dish for cooler weather! Plus, it keeps well, making it a great option for meal prep. And while it’s plenty filling on its own, it would also pair nicely with salads, bread, and/or roasted vegetables.

Puréeing creamy sweet potato red lentil soup with an immersion blender

More Easy Soup Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Holding a bowl of creamy sweet potato red lentil soup topped with pepitas

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 40 minutes

Servings 4 (~2-cup servings)

Course Entrée or Side

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 4-5 Days

SOUP

  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed (or sub 2 tsp oil as recipe is written)
  • 1 heaping cup diced white or yellow onion (~1 small onion as recipe is written)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic (~1 Tbsp minced garlic as recipe is written)
  • 2 tsp fresh minced ginger (~1/2-inch or 1 ¼-cm piece as recipe is written)
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato (cut into 1/4-1/2-inch cubes- see photo // ~2 small-medium potatoes as recipe is written)
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 small pinch ground clove (optional)
  • 1 healthy pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (plus more to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot (to the default “Normal” — not high or low). See notes section if you don’t have an Instant Pot. Once hot, add water (or oil), onion, garlic, and ginger. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onion is translucent and fragrant. Add a little bit more water as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Add sweet potato and stir. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a little more water as needed to prevent sticking (we added 2 Tbsp (30 ml)). Sweet potato should be slightly tender when pierced with a fork or knife.

  • Turn off the sauté function by pressing “Cancel.” Then add red lentils, vegetable broth, water, turmeric, cinnamon, clove (optional), cayenne, and sea salt, and stir.

  • Put on the Instant Pot lid and turn to seal. Pressure cook on HIGH for 5 minutes (it will take about 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins). Once the timer goes off, let the steam release naturally (~15 minutes), or carefully press the quick release if in a hurry. Turn off the Instant Pot by pressing “Cancel.”

  • Carefully open the lid and add coconut milk and maple syrup (optional) and purée with an immersion blender until smooth (or let cool slightly before transferring to a high-speed blender). Taste test and add more maple syrup for sweetness, coconut milk for creaminess, cinnamon for warmth, cayenne for heat, and salt for overall flavor.
  • Option to garnish with toasted pepitas, a swirl of coconut milk, and a pinch of cinnamon and cayenne. Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep 4-5 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop.

*To prepare on stovetop instead of in Instant Pot, use a large pot or Dutch oven. In step 5, allow more time for the sweet potatoes and red lentils to cook (~15-20 minutes), and use more vegetable broth and/or water as needed. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Serving: 2 cups Calories: 318 Carbohydrates: 55.7 g Protein: 11.6 g Fat: 5.9 g Saturated Fat: 4.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.45 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 510 mg Potassium: 796 mg Fiber: 9 g Sugar: 8.5 g Vitamin A: 17786 IU Vitamin C: 7.69 mg Calcium: 81.66 mg Iron: 4.06 mg


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