Go Back Email Link
+ servings
An overhead shot of a bowl of crushed lentil soup in a white bowl with crushed red pepper on top

Crushed Lentil Soup (on the Stove or Instant Pot)- Vegan, GF

4.97 from 26 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8
This Crushed Lentil Soup is an AMAZINGLY tasty version of this popular Middle Eastern soup, with hints of spicy and sweet flavors throughout. It's super healthy, authentic and so damn delicious! 


  • Large Pot
  • Blender


  • 4 cups + 2 tablespoons unsalted vegetable broth - divided
  • 1 medium sweet onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups red split lentils - uncooked
  • 1 small pinch saffron
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • In a large stock pot on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, the chopped onion, and minced garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.
    2 photos showing onions, garlic, and vegetable broth in a skillet being cooked.
  • Add 3 cups vegetable broth (save remaining 1 cup broth for later), 2 cups water, dried lentils, saffron, coriander, cumin, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir over medium-high heat and bring to simmer. Reduce to low heat, cover, and cook until the lentils are no longer firm (12-15 minutes), stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken up a lot.
    3 photos showing crushed lentil soup being made, with lentils and other ingredients being added, then cooked until thick.
  • *Important note: you can skip this step below (transferring to a blender) if you prefer a chunkier soup.
    Very carefully pour the lentil mixture into a blender and puree until your desired texture, starting on low power and increasing as you go. If the mixture is too thick, add 1/4 cup water. The more you blend, the smoother the soup will be. If you still want some chunks from the lentils, don’t blend too much- just a few seconds will do. If you want a smoother soup (as shown in the photos), blend for 30 seconds or so.
    2 photos showing crushed lentil soup being blended in a blender.
  • Transfer the mixture back into the large stock pot and add the remaining 1 cup broth and bay leaves; stir. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water now if the soup is too thick. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup may spatter so make sure it’s on low heat.
    When ready, remove from heat, then remove the bay leaves. Then add the lemon juice and stir.
    2 photos showing bay leaves and vegetable broth added to crushed lentil soup, and stirred until thick.
  • Enjoy this soup with naan/pita bread and middle eastern garlic sauce.
    A bowl of crushed lentil soup with a copper spoon.
  • Storage & Freezing Instructions: Store this soup in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. The soup will thicken more as it sits, so you may need to add a bit more water or broth before reheating. You can also freeze this soup by placing in an airtight container in the freezer. Let thaw before reheating.


Instant Pot Instructions:
  1. First, set the Instant Pot to the Sauté function. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, garlic and onions. Cook until the onions are soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, except for bay leaves and lemon juice. Stir and lock on the lid of the Instant Pot. Press Cancel and then choose the Soup function (Manual or Pressure Cook also works) and set to 30 minutes. The Instant Pot will immediately start to build pressure and cook for 30 minutes. After the time has elapsed, let it set another 20 minutes (or so) to release pressure.
  3. When ready, open the lid and add lemon juice and bay leaves, if desired. Cover, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and enjoy. *If I make this in the Instant Pot, I won't blend the soup in a food processor or blender and will just eat a little chunkier. =)


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.4g | Protein: 11.8g | Fat: 1.2g | Sodium: 364.1mg | Sugar: 2.1g
Did you make this recipe?Mention @veggie__chick or tag #veggiechick