Lentil Orzo Soup


A warm, thick, hearty soup perfect for the cold, winter days we’re having. My husband said this was more of a stew than a soup because it was so thick and hearty. This was my first time making lentil soup and it’s was a big hit with the family.

I adapted this recipe for the pressure cooker from The Garden Grazer. Pressure cooker lentil soup has been on my recipes to try list for a while now and Kaitlin’s recipe appealed to me because my family loves orzo in soups. I thought the addition of orzo would help make the soup seem a little more familiar, but feel free to omit the orzo if you’d rather.

Chicken Base makes a great substitute for chicken broth

Of course homemade chicken stock or broth is the best base for soups, but I don’t take the time to make it very often. Since I bought my pressure cooker, I’ve been making more and more soups, and using canned chicken broth was a little expensive, so lately I’ve been using this chicken base instead. Sam’s Club sells it and it adds a great flavor to soups. I also like the Better Than Bouillon base that Costco sells.


My husband decided we should also add some diced, grilled chicken that I keep in the freezer for quick meals. It was a great addition, especially in a family of meat lovers.

Lentils cook in one third the time in the pressure cooker that it takes on the stove. So this soup is ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

Lentil Orzo Soup

Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Lentil Orzo Soup


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 2 cups roughly chopped baby spinach


  1. Select sauté and add oil to cooking pot. When oil is hot, sauté onion and carrots until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, cook for one minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water, lentils, cumin, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt and pepper.
  2. Select high pressure and 10 minutes cook time. When beep sounds turn pressure cooker off, use a Quick Pressure Release to release the pressure.
  3. When valve drops carefully remove lid, tilting away from you to allow steam to disperse.
  4. Select Simmer and add orzo; simmer 10 minutes or until orzo and lentils are tender.
  5. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts.
  6. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.


adapted from The Garden Grazer


More soup recipes you might like:

Turkey Noodle Soup
Quick White Chicken Chili
Chicken Tomatillo Soup with Hominy

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Mike says

    This was great! I added chopped roast chicken (like you get in the deli section of the grocery store) and used kale instead of spinach (I had some around). We also added some shaved parmesean cheese before serving.

    It was excellent!

    • Patrick M. Mitchell says


      If there was just one reason to buy a pressure cooker – lentil soup is it! Sauté up some aromatics, add uncooked meats if desired (or previously cooked meats at the end); add vegetables, lentils and broth and FIFTEEN MINUTES later you’re enjoying homemade, DELICIOUS, good-for-your soup made with ingredients you can be confident about. It’s one of those “recipes” that’s ideal for cleaning out the refrigerator! Ham, turkey, chicken, kielbasa, some steak? Pop ’em in. Some leftover carrots, peas, bok choy, corn or green beans? Perfect! Heck, you can even stir in that half-empty carton of whipping cream at the end. Sprinkle it with the last bit of parmesan. Less-than-perfect herbs are also a great addition.

      I bought my first pressure cooker shortly after I moved out of my parents home at age 18 (Reagan was President and only “just”). I still have that pressure cooker (but it now has 3 siblings). The cookbook that came with it (it’s a Hawkins Futura) has a great lentil soup recipe in it and one of the suggestions was to add a splash of vinegar (sherry, balsamic, whatever) at the end. It’s a great trick that I still always use; complements the earthy flavor of the lentils very well.

      I can’t imagine trying to cook without my pressure cooker(s). Invest in your family’s health and buy one! It will pay for itself via time savings, food waste reduction and personal satisfaction in no time at all.

  2. Nancy A. says

    Love soups and in this cold weather, we eat a lot of them! Want to try this one for sure. Thank you for such great recipes and so much information on how to use these new pressure cookers. I am liking mine more and more!

  3. Dorothy says

    I made the soup exactly as directed and it was wonderful! I did appreciate the addition of the grilled chicken. I was surprised by how filling it is. It does make a LOT and I hope it will freeze well.

    Thanks for a great dinner idea!

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Thanks Dorothy – so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, it makes a lot of soup and it freezes and reheats very well.

  4. Carol says

    I wonder if I can convince Bob to try lentils again-he swears he doesn’t like them after having lentil soup at work. Fingers crossed! :)

  5. Bryden says

    I love the idea of the lentil soup/stew…. I want to print the recipe out – is there an easy way please? When I checked it wanted to print 8 pages… yikes, another tree would die… I just need the ingredients and the method….TIA

    • Barbara Schieving says

      Bryden – there’s a print recipe button on the top right hand side of the recipe. That will allow you to only print the recipe.

  6. Patrick M. says

    Lentil Soup (stew) gets even thicker the second day. A tip: it makes a great Shepherd’s Pie! Just spread the stew into a prepared pan, top with mashed potatoes and some butter and bake. It’s a great way to enjoy the leftovers.