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Spiced Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

Nisha Vora
This is a creamy and spiced soup/stew inspired by Indian dal. It gets its natural creaminess from red lentils, which break down and mushy when pressure cooked, and sweet potatoes, which melt into the soup thanks to the high pressure of the Instant Pot.
4.52 from 25 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced (remove seeds for mild version)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth*
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt + more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
  • For serving (optional): coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, and flatbread or rice


  • Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat up the coconut oil. Once it's shimmering, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, garam masala, curry powder (if using), cumin, and turmeric and stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pot, using a wooden spoon or scraper to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the lentils, sweet potatoes, sea salt, and pepper. Stir to combine all of the ingredients. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and seal. Select the Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on your model) setting and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Once the 10 minutes is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before switching the pressure release valve from Sealing to Venting. Open the Instant Pot and give the soup a stir. Taste for seasonings. You may want to add more salt, or to balance the acidity, you may want to add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup or sugar.
  • Once the soup has slightly cooled, top with coconut yogurt and fresh cilantro. If desired, serve with flatbread or rice.


*This soup is quite thick and creamy, almost like a stew, so if you prefer a soupy texture, just add more vegetable broth or water. You can do that before pressure cooking when you add the vegetable broth, or after pressure cooking once you see the texture so you can add as much liquid as needed.
Keyword instant pot, red lentils, sweet potatoes
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