Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (Instant-Pot + Slow Cooker)

This Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup is my all-time FAVORITE! It can be made in an Instant Pot pressure cooker, slow cooker, or on the stove, for an easy and crazy tasty soup everyone will love!

Instant Pot Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup Recipe

Cue the jazz hands, people! Today we’re making a luscious, flavor-packed, rock-your-face-off vegetarian tortilla soup.

After much deliberation (ok like 5 seconds) I decided the marriage of my Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup and Lentil Veggie Chili would make the most delightful union.

Obviously I was right (otherwise we would be talking about kale chips or spinach salads today) and I’m so stupid excited to share this one with y’all today!

Healthy Instant Pot Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup Recipe

Wait! Back to the recipe! It channels the flavor of my go-to tortilla soup perfectly, with the added bonus of extra veggies, extra legumes, and a swirl of creaminess that makes this easy, every day dinner soup feel like a luxurious indulgence.

As for the leftovers, yowza! I’m happily scarfing a leftover bowl of this Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup while typing this, seriously! The flavors mingle and jingle and it’s just plain magic.

You should totally plan on snagging a bowl to take to work/school the next day and another to pair with a cheesy quesadilla for dinner. You can even stash a bowl or two in the freezer for heat and eat “fast food” without the fuss OR the sketchy ingredients.

It’s also a great use for rescuing all those broken tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag. Instead of tossing those crispity crunchity crumbs, use them as a tasty soup topper!

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup in Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup

This easy peasy recipe yields 6 cups of deliciousness. That’s enough for 6 side-dish sized servings or 3 big bowls! Pair it with your favorite Mexican main (anything from tacos to enchiladas to burritos) or a fresh salad for a delicious dinner that won’t disappoint.

Meal prepping? Make it in advance and enjoy for lunches or dinners all week long! It’s FABULOUS the next day and oh so flavorful!

Vegetarian :: Vegan Option :: Gluten-Free :: Freezer-Friendly

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (Instant-Pot + Slow Cooker)

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup

This uber easy and crazy flavorful Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup can be made in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or on the stove, making it one of our favorite make-ahead soup recipes!
Recipe yields approx, 6 cups of soup.
4.96 from 446 votes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth if needed)
  • 15 oz canned tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup mild or medium salsa verde (or your favorite salsa!)
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 15 oz can black beans (drained + rinsed)
  • 15 oz can pinto beans (drained + rinsed)
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • ¾ cup dried red lentils
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream* (optional - see notes)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pile on the toppings!

  • crushed tortilla chips (my favorite!)
  • shredded cheddar or mex-blend cheese
  • sliced or diced jalapeños
  • chopped red onion
  • pico de gallo
  • sliced avocado
  • fresh cilantro
  • sour cream or greek yogurt

Instructions

  • Below are the electric pressure cooker and slow cooker instructions, see blog post below for directions to make this bad boy on the stove.
  • First, chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients. 
  • Next add everything but the heavy cream your toppings.
  • This includes bell pepper, jalapeño, corn, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa verde, and all your herbs + spices. Toss them in and set IP to high pressure for 15 minutes. Walk away; FREEDOM!
  • Allow natural pressure release.
  • Stir in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

SlOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS:

  • First chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients. This will make everything super easy to toss together!
  • Next add everything except the heavy cream and toppings.
  • Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours, until dried lentils are cooked through and veggies are tender. My soup was perfect after 5 hours on high.
  • Swirl in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and dive in!

Notes

* In place of the heavy cream, feel free to use half-and-half or cream cheese. Skipping the cream? No problem! This recipe can be made without it - let your tastebuds be your guide.
For a thicker soup, feel free to add some corn tortillas (torn into pieces) to the soup or simply swirl crushed tortilla chips into the soup after serving!
Feel free to adjust the consistency of the soup to your liking. The soup can be thinned with a little broth or tomato sauce if desired or thickened with extra cream or beans/veggies! If you add a lot of extra liquid, consider amping up the spices a smidge to compensate. You can also make this as mild or as spicy as you'd like. As written it's on the medium side. The type of salsa used, jalapeños, and cayenne pepper will control the heat factor.
Want it super chunky? Feel free to add extra beans and veggies! Simply amp up the seasoning as needed depending on how much extra goodies you add to the pot.
A NOTE ON SALT AND PEPPER :: I leave salting the dish to the end to prevent over-seasoning. Depending on the brand and type of broth, tomatoes, and beans that you use, the sodium content will vary. I usually don't add any salt until the end once I am able to taste the soup.
Pressure cooker recipes always leave out the details so here's a breakdown of what you can expect time-wise: About 13 minutes to come to pressure plus 15 minutes cook time and 15 or so to release pressure. You won't need to be anywhere near your kitchen for this all to partake, the Instant Pot will handle it all and switch to warm once it's done. So fabulous right? For the slow cooker, simply set a timer and you're good to go.
Estimated nutrition facts below calculated before optional cream + toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 284kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 2g, Sodium: 1364mg, Potassium: 1049mg, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1475IU, Vitamin C: 40.8mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 5.2mg

If you get a chance to try this tasty vegetarian lentil tortilla soup, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation!

healthy instant pot slow cooker vegetarian lentil tortilla soup recipe

special diets and swaps

VEGAN CHEFS

Skip the cream and the cheese and you’re good to go

T-REX CHEFS

Use chicken broth if needed and you’re 100% welcome to add chopped or shredded chicken to this BUT promise me you’ll still add all the veggies and legumes too? Deal?

optional stove-top soup instructions

Bring a large pot to medium heat and add a drizzle of your favorite cooking oil. Sauté your onion until edges are golden, then add your bell pepper, jalapeño, and corn. Cook until peppers are tender, approx. 5 minutes.

Next add veggie broth, tomato sauce, salsa verde, beans, and spices; stir to mix. Let mixture come to a boil and add your dried lentils. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes.

The longer you let it cook the more pronounced the flavor will be. Feel free to cook a little longer if time permits, up to you! Lastly swirl in your cream. All that’s left to do is scoop out a bowlful, pile on the toppings, and face-plant into this tasty vegetarian lentil tortilla soup!

reader favorites

 

Jenn Laughlin Peas and Crayons Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Hi! I’m Jenn and I’m here to help you eat your veggies! It’ll be fun, painless, and pretty darn delicious as I teach you to plan your meals around fresh, seasonal produce with a little help from healthy freezer and pantry staples.

Read More

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This has become a staple in my house! Everyone loves this and all the variations that you can do with toppings!

  2. 5 stars
    Holy smokes this was tasty. Big hit with my vegetarian husband. I used red beans instead of pinto as that’s what I had on hand, and cooked in slow cooker for about 6 hours on high. Then used immersion blender to make it all creamy. DEFINITELY adding this to the rotation, thanks for sharing !!!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was delicious! I just shared the recipe with my WW Instant Pot group (if you leave out the cream it’s zero points!).

    The only thing I would change is the amount of time for the natural release. I did a full natural release and it took about 30 minutes, after which my lentils were a bit mushy. Next time I’m going to try 12-15 minute natural release followed by a quick release.

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Really fun with all the toppings, but would be totally tasty and satisfying without toppings too.

  5. 5 stars
    I‘ve been making this delicious Taco soup for years now and it never disappoints! Thanks for this fantastic recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite foods. I make it every other week in colder months. I’ll eat it for 5 days then say I’m bored and 1 week later craving it bad. I omit the heavy cream and just stir in 1T plain Greek yogurt to my bowl before heating up. I think pico is a must for this with bit light sour cream and tortilla strips . I’ve shared it with so many ppl and my diet group of course linking it to this page to give proper credit.

    1. I’m with you on the pico! So glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe and thank you so much for sharing the link with friends!

  7. 5 stars
    I’m eating it right now! SO GOOD! And the ingredients are all items I usually have in my pantry so this will definitely go in the regular rotation. Not to mention, the nutritional value with the lentils and 2 different beans is excellent. Thank you!

  8. Discovered this during C-vid from our daughter-in-love. A fabulous explosion of spices & flavors. Make sure lightly pickled red onions are one of your toppings!!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe dozens of times for family and friends and it’s always a crowd favorite. It’s easily modified to be vegan or you can add chicken. It’s filling, delicious, and creamy. And it’s very inexpensive to make!

    1. Hi Michelle! The recipe card indicates “¾ cup dried red lentils” – are you having trouble locating the recipe card? At the top of the post (where the title is) there is a handy “jump to recipe” button you can click and the recipe card itself is printable. LMK if you need additional help! xo

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe regularly for years now. So good. Probably my favorite thing to make. Also really easy and inexpensive. I’ve stopped using the tomato paste, and it hasn’t made any difference.

      1. Hi Rebekah! You can but some changes need to be made depending on cook method used.

        General rule of thumb is 3 cups cooking liquid for 1 cup lentils. Expect the green/brown lentils to double or triple in size so I would go with 1/2 cup dry green/brown lentils and 1.5 cups extra broth in this recipe. Slow cooker cook times will be around 5 hours on high or 9+ hours on low. Sometimes I’ve had brown lentils take an extra half hour (even on high). For stove top you will add extra time and some extra liquid as well but I would need to test it to know an exact number for each. For instant pot, the recipe would need to be reworked for brown lentils. One reader said an extra 8 minutes worked for her but, again, since they soak up more liquid a test run may be needed.

        Another method that’s speedier if you’re on a time crunch would be to simmer the lentils stove-top which takes about 20 min according to most package instructions. You could also add canned brown lentils in place of the dried lentils with no changes to the recipe. Hoping this helps! We adore this soup and cannot wait for you to try it! xo

  11. 5 stars
    This is my favorite soup recipe of all time. Hands down. Discovered it a few years ago and make it i. large batches throughout winter and fall. What I like most about it, is that it is not super high refined sugar (I.e. without noodles or potatoes), incorporates veggies, and is flavorful. So good.

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe did not disappoint and it’s so easy to make adjustments to get it to taste exactly as you want it to. The only adjustment I made for simplicity was using a McCormick taco seasoning packet to replace all the seasonings since they’re similar and added a little garlic salt and powder to taste. Simple and my boyfriend loved it too 🙂

  13. 4 stars
    Love this recipe. I’ve made this like 15 times probably. Both slow cooker and I attempted it in the IP twice. Got the burn notice both times but it comes out cooked regardless. I omit the salsa (use additional broth instead) and triple the spices and add coriander. I use a full can of corn. I stir in light sour cream when serving instead of heavy cream and top with tortilla strips. Delicious!

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic! I’ve made it several times, with and without the cream added at the end, and both versions are fantastic. I add keep the jalepeno seeds in for an extra kick, and put a full can of corn in. Love it!

  15. 5 stars
    My whole family loved this recipe – my teen even requested I make it weekly! It’s perfect as is, and I love how everything can just be dumped in the slow cooker. Easy and delicious!

    1. Hey Jessica! At first I thought you meant regular milk which won’t work but canned coconut milk (especially the solid coconut cream part on top when you open the can) should add some creaminess to the soup. It will have a strong coconut flavor though so you could 100% just opt to go cream free as the soup is still super tasty without any cream! I personally would just go cream free.

      If you’re dairy-free and do want the creaminess, another popular swap is to make a cashew cream for the soup which won’t affect the flavor like coconut milk does. Hope this helps!

  16. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe 20+ times in the slowcooker forweekendight dinner with family and friends. Its filling and everyone meat lovers alike just LOVE IT!!!!

  17. 5 stars
    I have to say, this is one of our staple recipes. I make it (double recipe/chicken “carnivore” style) at least once a month for my family of 6. 1 lb of chicken per recipe, so 2 lbs when I double. It works as 2 dinners, lunches, and freeze the leftovers for other lunches. My 4 kids (ages 7-13) all L-O-V-E it. Shhhh, don’t tell them it’s healthy! I don’t add cream but have added a packet of ranch dressing seasoning if I have it. THANK you so much for sharing this! I have sent it to so many friends who say, “what was in your kid’s thermos today?”

    1. Sarah thank you so much for popping back over to share this review! I’m over the moon thrilled your family has given it staple recipe status. Love it!

  18. 5 stars
    I’ve made this for 2 out of town family members and they both loved it. That and my 5yo keeps asking me to make it!

    1. Thank you Priya! I’m so thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe and that your 5 year old is loving it too — best news ever!

  19. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and have made it three times with each time having to move it to the stove because my instant pot gives me a burn notice. The issue seems to be the red lentils getting stuck to the bottom. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong – plenty of liquid with the broth and crushed tomatoes etc. any tips? 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you’re loving the recipe! I’ve made it so many times over the years and can never replicate the sticking/notice in my 6 quart IP so the only thing I can think of is either an ingredient swap or increase of a particular ingredient that isn’t playing nicely? Though it sounds like you totally have it covered using the red lentils and broth/tomato juice liquid content. The IP can be such a finicky appliance though I do love it all the same lol! What if you tried layering the ingredients keeping the broth as the bottom layer and when you add the crushed tomatoes and lentils don’t mix them in?

  20. 5 stars
    I give this soup 10 stars on a scale of 1-5!!! LOVE IT SO MUCH!! I did IP & it is DEFINETLY the best tortilla soup I’ve ever eaten!! I love the flavor – I love the cooking options – I love the versatility (since I did throw in some leftover taco meat – but it was not at all necessary)!! The possibilities are endless!!I am going to share this recipe with my friends, take a lot to sick friends, & make some for my freezer!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful soup – I’m now putting the recipe into “My Favorite Soups” recipe book so I never lose it!! 😋 ❤

    1. Whooo hooo!!!! So so happy you’re digging it! Thanks for sharing the love and for your glowing review. Totally made me smile!

  21. 5 stars
    This recipe was absolutely delightful. I topped with avocado and Greek yogurt. I cannot stop eating this. Making my second batch tomorrow!!

  22. 5 stars
    This is so tasty and one of my favorite things to make in the instant pot. I’ve been sharing the recipe with everyone who will listen. Leftovers are just as delicious, although I do find the lentils continue to soak up the soup so I thin it out with more broth before reheating. Will definitely be in the monthly rotation at my house from now on.

  23. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for the first time. Delicious!! Followed recipe using a slow cooker. Was done after 4 hours, on high. Used half n half instead of heavy cream and vegetable broth. Delightful with the added toppings of cilantro, red onion, jalapeno and a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips.

  24. 5 stars
    I made this tonight!! It is so so good. I used coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Had cilantro and avacado as toppings. Husband loved it! I will be making again!

  25. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. I’ve made it a couple of times. For the vegans – sub canned coconut milk 1:1! Gives the creaminess that cream would and doesn’t taste like coconut at all.

  26. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe for a while, it’s been on a pretty regular rotation in our house. I love how versatile it is and how flexible it can be – no pinto beans? Just use refried beans! The flavor changes a lot based on the type of salsa used. I mostly use frozen veggies to make it a quick and easy weeknight meal. My family really enjoys it!

  27. 5 stars
    This is so awesome on its own without the additional toppings but when they are added, wow! I didn’t use the cream but added avocado, vegan tortilla strips and vegan cheese. It will definitely be included in our monthly rotation.

  28. 5 stars
    Household staple now! So delicious, flavorful and filling. We don’t use the cheese or cream and it’s still amazing!

  29. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING and I really appreciate you taking the time to fill out the pressure cooker info. As you said so many recipes do not include that info. I’m making this for a second time tonight. I’ve been craving it! Love this recipe 😍

    1. Aw thank you! I’m so happy you’ve been enjoying the soup and that the pressure cooker info was helpful! xoxo

  30. 5 stars
    This recipe is SO good! Whole family ate it. It was so easy too. Thank you!! I will definitely make this again.

    1. Hi Lara! We add them on top so they don’t totally dissolve in the instant pot. I opted for crispy tortilla chips but there should be a note in the post about using more traditional corn tortillas if desired. Hope that helps!

  31. 5 stars
    I found this recipe while vegetarian. Even though I’m eating meat again, I still make this soup at least once a month. I love it! I follow the optional note and leave out the cream altogether, and this soup just works wonderfully. Without the cream it’s also vegan! Just wanted to drop by and say thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  32. 2 stars
    I wanted to like this, had tons of great ingredients but to me the soup felt thin, and I mean in flavor. No body. And why is there listed avocado oil? There is no sautéing and usually there is in a tortilla with lots of garlic – no fresh garlic and 1/2t garlic powder did not bring any garlic flavor. I’m not sure what I will add to resurrect this soup.

  33. 5 stars
    I love this soup! Really delicious. And a great way to get in veggies and fiber. My whole family loves it! I’ve made this once a week for the past 3 weeks. Thank you!

  34. 5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic! I made this today without the cream and salt because I didn’t have any on hand. It’s flavorful and couldn’t be easier to make. It took less than 10 minutes to chop the vegetables, open the cans of beans, and put it all into the Instant Pot. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  35. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and I have it on my repeat list. I am a one person household and eventually eat it all! I normally get tired of a big pot before I can get through it, but not this! Thank you for sharing!

  36. 5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and it’s absolutely delicious. Definitely lots of flavor and so hearty. I would add much more jalapenos though if You want to really taste the heat.

  37. 5 stars
    I make this recipe about twice month. I live alone and it is the easiest and tastiest. I’ve even fallen in love with lentils because of it. I freeze it in one serving containers and take it for lunch. I never tire of its hearty and zesty flavor! Thanks for this great recipe!

  38. 5 stars
    Definitely a keeper! Very tasty with or without chicken and cream! I was directed here from someone that dehydrated it for backpacking. This batch I’m eating, next I will dehydrate! Thank you!

  39. 5 stars
    This is my absolute favorite soup, and I’ve made it probably a dozen times in the Instant Pot over the past year. I recently moved and no longer have my IP, and I was considering buying a new one mostly just for this recipe since I missed it so much. Instead, I tried making it on the stove and I’m so happy to report it’s just as easy, delicious and flavorful! So excited to make this soup throughout this winter. Thanks so much!

  40. 5 stars
    A family favorite that’s on regular rotation in our house! After maybe 50 or so makes, I finally left a review. (Plus its currently in the IP cooking so I have loads of free time 😉 )

    We’ve modified this a bit over the years:
    Saute veggies in IP for 10ish minutes first to get some more flavor
    2 cans black beans, 1 can pinto, skip the red lentils (our grocery store is alllll ways sold out, so we de-lentiled the lentil soup)
    After it’s finished cooking, take an immersion blender to about 75 percent for a creamy consistency
    In lieu of heavy cream, sub for full-fat coconut cream.

    Thanks for such an amazing recipe and many delightful dinners!!

  41. 5 stars
    We love this recipe, we just add a couple more jalapeños for some extra kick! We make it often! Use Fritos as your spoon and it is really good!

    1. I always load mine up with extra jalapeños too – love it! I’ll have to try it with the Fritos scoops yum. So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Billie!

  42. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I did make one change; I was out of corn, so I used hominy. I will probably do that again, though…. I think it adds to the “tortilla” flavor, but definitely also ups the calories.
    Thanks for this great recipe!

  43. 5 stars
    Holy cow! I wish I could give this 10 stars! SO stinkin’ delicious! I’ve tried many (MANY) lentil recipes, trying to find one I liked, but this is the first one I actually enjoyed. BF at four bowls (so much for leftovers!) It always makes me feel good to serve healthy, delicious dinners to my family.
    I will be making this one again and again and again. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

    1. Hi Sally! You’ll want to experiment with any needed liquid increase and cook time as the green lentils typically require more liquid to soak up and a bit longer cook time. Taste wise it’ll be great but without testing it out first I can’t advice on exact changes needed without a good run through under my belt. Are you planning on using a slow cooker or Instant Pot? With the IP it’s a bit more fickle but slow cooker should be crazy easy to adjust as needed. xoxo

    2. 5 stars
      I use green lentils in this recipe and I cook it in my instant pot for 17 minutes since the green lentils take longer to cook and it comes out perfect and I have done it this way many times with no other changes to the recipe.

  44. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe many, many times, it’s that good. I like to make a batch and freeze individual portions for a quick dinner when I don’t feel like cooking. I make it in the instant pot and use cream cheese at the end. Great recipe.

  45. 4 stars
    Tastes incredible even with burning. I’ve made this a handful of times and every time I’ve gotten the burn warning on my IP and low and behold there’s just a crusty black layer at the bottom of the pot. I think this recipe would benefit from adding a cup of water or so. I’m trying that as I type this so hopefully no burn warning this time.

    With that in mind the only alterations I made was using an Anaheim pepper in place of a bell pepper, cause I love how they taste, and I used two tiny Serrano peppers in place of one jalapeño for added heat.

    1. Hi Zach! I’m glad you’ve been loving the soup! The Instant Pot is incredibly fickle (seriously so so so testy) so sometimes the littlest thing can set it off and burn the bottom of soups and chilis. I’ve never been able to recreate a burn with this recipe in my own Instant Pot but know for sure it happens in others and, without being there, its hard to place the cause. You’re using thin red lentils instead of brown/green, correct? You could 100% try a higher liquid content (broth or water) and even keep that liquid as the first layer in the pot before adding the rest of the ingredients. Keeping the lentils and tomato-based ingredients towards the top layer in the pot and the thinner liquids at the bottom could certainly help in this case. Keep me posted? xo

  46. 5 stars
    It is so delish! I’ve made this consistently every week for a couple months now. It’s a great whole foods plant based staple in our home! Adults love it and kids beg for it! So happy to have found this recipe! 🙂

  47. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I made it in the Insta pot. I did not have any sour cream. So at the end I added a little vegan cream cheese. This is very good and will be a keeper for me. Thank you!

  48. 5 stars
    Great one and so easy in the pressure cooker. I followed pretty much as written, using two jalapeno, no oil, and added two teaspoons taco seasoning (Penzey)Very nice and bright flavors. I think would be great for company. Can’t wait to try many of your other recipes that are vegetarian soups and chili’s, excellent. Can’t wait to have left overs and may try it in a spaghetti squash a one of your recipes shows–I think it is thick enough for that purpose.

  49. Hi! I didn’t have pinto beans so I put garbonzo beans in it. It’s cooking now- do you think it will be ok?

    1. Hi Heather! I’m OBSESSED with garbanzo beans in soups! I’ve used them in my tortilla soup before as well as in my minestrone soups and just adore it. They have a different flavor and texture (less creamy and soft than pinto) but I personally really enjoy it both ways.

  50. 5 stars
    I’m very new to cooking and this is one of the best recipes I’ve tried so far! It was so quick and easy and tasted delicious! Definitely will be trying out more of your recipes.

  51. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh! Absolutely love this soup! The red lentils just seem to disappear and add this luscious thickness to it. Sooo yummy! This is definitely on a repeat list!

    1. Hi Jess! I’m having some blog/internet technical difficulties but wanted to pop in with the instructions for you!

      General rule of thumb is 3 cups cooking liquid for 1 cup lentils. Expect the green/brown lentils to double or triple in size so I would go with 1/2 cup dry green/brown lentils and 1.5 cups extra broth in this recipe. Slow cooker cook times will be around 5 hours on high or 9+ hours on low. Sometimes I’ve had brown lentils take an extra half hour (even on high) but I’m wondering if those were expired lol!

      Another method that’s speedier if you’re on a time crunch would be to simmer the lentils stove-top which takes about 20 min according to most package instructions. Hoping this helps! We adore this soup and cannot wait for you to try it! xo

  52. Hello Jen, I want to make this recipe for a group on Zoom and like the fact that it’s healthy! I will definitely use the lower sodium broth and any canned beans will be low salt as well. I just bought an Instant Pot, and haven’t used it yet. This tortilla soup recipe will be the first time I actually use the Instant Pot. What are the specific instructions to make this recipe with the Instant Pot, or did I miss this along the way? I see a Stove Top or Slow Cooker method, but want to make in Instant Pot? How long will it take start to finish, as I will most likely do this ahead as the class is only half an hour long. Thanks again for this great idea Jenn, I cannot wait to make this yummy looking soup!

    1. Hello Patty! I’m so excited you’ll be trying this recipe! Terribly sorry for the delay; I’ve been without internet for over a week now – eek!

      The recipe card has the detailed instructions for the Instant Pot and you will want to use split red lentils here for the best results (as brown/green lentils require alternation for the IP due to size/liquid ratios). The instructions you will follow are the first set of instructions in the printable recipe card. Hope this helps! xoxo

  53. 5 stars
    I didn’t have bell peppers so I added zucchini instead. I figured there were peppers in my salsa! I added cashew cream at the end. SOO good and so much flavor. The nutrition is also amazing. So glad i finally made this recipe 🙂

  54. 5 stars
    Have made a lot. I substitute when I don’t have everything the recipes calls for (i..e two cans of black beans instead of pinto and black) and it still comes out great. Always use the crockpot. Dump everything in there and it is delicious. Especially terrific in our cold, snowy weather this month. Having company today so I just started a batch in the crockpot. THANKs for a great recipe!

  55. 5 stars
    We make this all the time it’s SO GOOD OK!! You’d think it would taste like it’s all canned stuff but it tastes amazing. We love it with tortilla chips and cheese on top (healthy right!). Also if you have it, a little dash of liquid smoke or smoked paprika both add a nice flavour 🙂

  56. 5 stars
    This soup was by far the best I’ve had in a long time!
    Rich, creamy and delicious!
    I made on the stovetop and added some turmeric for added health benefits.
    Thank you so much … it’s my new favourite tortilla soup.

  57. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday in my slow cooker. It was delicious! I forgot to add the cream but will try it that way today. Followed the recipe with the addition of a can of green chilies. I sautéed the onions in the oil and added two minced garlic cloves. Then I added everything to the slow cooker and cooked on high for 5 and a half hours. I ate it with grated cheese, fresh jalapeños and sliced radishes on top. Today I’m adding sliced avocado. Looking forward to it! Yum!

  58. 5 stars
    This is so good!! I made it using brown lentils in the IP and went for 8 extra minutes to get the lentils cooked to the texture I liked. It was fine the night I made it, but I added a little bit of water to loosen the soup a bit when heating the leftovers. This will be on heavy rotation in our house this winter!

  59. 5 stars
    Outstanding! I don’t change a thing and follow the recipe exactly. It has just the right spice and layer of flavors! I can’t get enough and lick the bowl!

    1. Hi Andrea! What types of grocery stores do you have in your area? Here in FL my options for red lentils are Whole Foods or Publix and I think one of my friends snagged some at Walmart recently as well. For online options, Bob’s Red Mill brand lentils and Whole Foods brand lentils are often available on Amazon.

      Regular brown/green lentils are absolutely tasty here too but there are two factors you’ll want to consider: 1. the recipe needs to be adjusted for them in regards to cook time and liquid content bc they soak up so much more liquid and and are larger, making them take longer to cook. 2. They keep their shape vs. getting pulverized into a creamy, almost chili-like consistency in the soup – so the texture will be a little different. Still an excellent option though! Let me know if you need some advice with these if you’re making the swap and what cooking method you wanted to use, as this will make a differences in the adjustments made. xoxo

  60. 5 stars
    I was hesitant to try a new tortilla soup because I have one that my family loves but I liked the idea of one with more beans and lentils that I can make in the instapot. I did not use any cream and just added a small can of green chilies and upped the seasonings about 50%. We used seasoned tortilla strips, avocado and cilantro as toppings and it was very, very good! I did add some shredded chicken on my husbands and he said it excellent, 5 stars! I like doing it in the instapot and not having to saute the onions (I did not use any oil and after I wondered if I was supposed to saute the onions, what else is the oil for?) Thank you for this great recipe!

    1. Hi Amanda! The red lentils get somewhat pulverized (by the Instant Pot) into a chili-like consistency for this particular recipe. They’re there in every bite just texturally different. I use brown/green lentils for the recipes I want whole lentils in (that keep their form) so let me know if you’d like some links to those to try next! They’re also amaaaazing in tacos omg!

  61. 5 stars
    Our all time favorite cold day recipe! I sub a little coconut milk since we are vegan and it’s so delicious!

  62. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was amazing! Definitely a keeper! Thank you! I used coconut cream in place of the heavy cream and regular salsa since I couldn’t find salada verde! Thank you

  63. 5 stars
    I have made this probably 20-30 times 😊 I prefer the stove top method but have used the slow cooker as well. I keep it vegan so everyone can have it regardless of dietary choice. It’s really an amazing dish and the most customizable meal I make. I have served it to guests on top of a wedge of cornbread with ‘pretty’ toppings- it looks kind of elegant like that. Thx!

    1. Hi Lisa! The nutrition calculation is for the soup recipe without the optional cream or optional topping additions – this way everyone can add exactly which optional extras they would like and simply adjust the values for only what they added. My favorite fast way to calculate this is via myfitnesspal.com – they have a nutrition calculator that works via copy and pasta and add ons can be quickly calculated. Hope this helps and I’m so glad you’re loving the recipe! xoxo

  64. 5 stars
    One of my first recipes I tried using the Instapot. It will be a staple for sure! So much flavor and great texture. A great option for meat and non-meat eaters alike.

  65. 5 stars
    Really awesome recipe. When I opened the Instant Pot, I was worried because it looked more like a soup than a chili, but it thickened after sitting there and became the perfect consistency! I also doubled the spices and added a whole can of corn. Super versatile recipe and EASY. Adding this to our regular recipe bank for sure.

  66. 5 stars
    My all time favorite recipe- even without the heavy cream. I love it cold before it cooks on chips too ❤️

    1. I thought I was the only one using it as a dip for chips lmao! So glad you’ve been loving the recipe. Thanks Amber!

    1. Oh no! That shouldn’t happen at all. If you need help troubleshooting LMK. Were any swaps made or ingredients added/left out? What time and temp did you use? Happy to help look into the cause as it totally shouldn’t burn.

  67. 5 stars
    The whole family LOVED this Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup! I used an immersion blender to partially blend the soup before adding the cream and it was perfect.

  68. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I completely forgot to put in the oil, tomato paste and salt and pepper- still was a huge hit!!!

    1. Hi Lara! I didn’t want to make the print out too long so I have the “OPTIONAL STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS” at the bottom of this blog post. LMK if you need me to email it to ya! xoxo

  69. 5 stars
    I made this in a crockpot and loved it! I did omit the jalapeño and beans since I didn’t have- it was still amazing! Instead of the beans I used dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans still count as beans perhaps?) and added more water for the chickpeas to soak up. I also added more time for it to cook. Would 100% make again!

  70. 5 stars
    Delicious, filling soup! I doubled the seasonings (nothing about this recipe, I just always do) and it was great. Crushed up tortilla chips as a topping is world-changingly good.

    Thanks for the recipe! It’ll stay in regular rotation at our house. 🙂

  71. 5 stars
    This recipe is wonderfully easy and so delicious. It’s also really forgiving – I’ve swapped out spices, used frozen butternut squash when I didn’t have corn, etc and it always tastes fantastic. Keeps well too. I usually make a batch on the instant pot and eat it did lunch throughout the week.

  72. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe and every person who enjoyed it wanted the recipe? It is especially satisfying as it burst with flavors without requiring meat!!!!

  73. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for my family. They are battling CV. Said it was delicious and would make it again. My son said it was a ‘light beam in an otherwise sh***y week’. Thank you!

  74. 5 stars
    This soup is a beautiful thing. Lots of good flavor and just the right kick. I will definitely make this again!!!

  75. 5 stars
    This is great! its not often I find good recipes on the internet. I wouldn’t call it a soup though, maybe more of a Mexican dal because of how thick it is. I also upped the spices substantially.

  76. 5 stars
    We’ve made this 5 times in the past several weeks! We love it. Also served it for a group meal and it was easy and a hit.

  77. 5 stars
    It was going to be a late night with kids sports practices ending late and no cooking time (and a husband who decided to become vegan at the beginning of the pandemic). I found this recipe by chance and as luck would have it, I had all the ingredients, and threw it together 15 minutes before I had to be out the door. Now, generally, a last minute recipe like this would fail in our house but this one didn’t! I didn’t have fresh jalapeno but I did have a can of diced chiles and threw them in instead. That was my only substitute. The flavors were so great! And even my oldest kid, who hates beans, had 2 servings! We tend to eat spicy foods in our house, so next time I’ll bump up the flavor (and salt), but I have printed this recipe and it’s now an official go-to meal!

  78. 5 stars
    Yummy! I tripled the spices and ate it with sour cream and chips. Only took four hours in the slow cooker on high 🙂 Will be making again!

  79. 5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious. We are vegan so I replaced the cream with Violife cream cheese because it’s what I had. This will be my go to tortilla soup for sure. Thank you for the great recipe!

  80. 5 stars
    My whole family loved this, even the kids. I omitted the cream as we are trying to go vegan when we can. Everyone said that it needed to be put into rotation. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. Hi Mandi! The recipe would need to be reworked for green/brown lentils for the Instant Pot method as they expand almost double the red lentils do and also soak up so much more liquid. The ratios have to be just right for the Instant Pot. An easy hack would be to boil the green/brown lentils on the stove and then add them to the soup once cooked.Some readers might have had luck reworking for different lentils in the comments as well so I’d check those out. Hope this helps! xoxo

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I think I will cook them separately on the stove until I can find a more solid ratio. It was impossible to find red lentils at my grocery store, so I’ll have to try this recipe again with those next time. Thanks!

        1. Happy to help! It’s def worth trying both ways — I love this soup so so much and I’m so excited for you to try it!

  81. 5 stars
    This soup is a great alternative to chili! We love slow cooker recipes & with fall being here this will be in rotation. We are vegan & I made a thinner cashew cream to substitute for heavy cream.

  82. 5 stars
    This soup is delicious!! The flavor is incredible and I love that it’s meatless. I made it in the slow cooker. I will definitely be making this again!

  83. 5 stars
    This recipe is hands down my favorite tortilla soup recipe. I live alone but make the full recipe and freeze half of it so i always have a quick meal option that I know I like on hand. I have made this as instructed and also vegan friendly and it has tasted great both ways!

  84. 5 stars
    This is such a fabulous recipe. It is on “repeat” in my home all Fall and winter. If you haven’t tried it, please do yourself and those you cook for a favor and make soon. Delicious, healthy, comforting, just yummy.

  85. 5 stars
    I am so so soooooo in love with this recipe. I’ve made it three times now and would probably cry if I ever lost it. Give it a few more times and I’ll probably have it all memorized exactly. I do it in my pressure cooker and it has turned out perfectly every time. Thank you!!

  86. 5 stars
    One of my family’s favorites! I use whipped cream cheese instead of heavy cream and add the jalapeno as a topping. Easy and delicious!

  87. 5 stars
    This is my new favorite recipe! I don’t usually cook many vegetarian dishes, but this was unbelievably flavorful and easy. I omitted the jalapeño and substituted the pinto beans for an extra can of black beans. It came out perfectly, and I will definitely be making this often!

      1. Was scrolling through to see if the frozen question had been asked. If I use cream cheese, would that not freeze well? Also, I rarely use cream cheese for soups but it sounded so good for this. How much should I use? Thanks in advance!

        1. Hi Amy! I love using cream cheese in soups as well – especially tomato based soups! Start with 3 oz and you can always add a little extra if you’d like it super luxe! The thing with freezing dairy is, upon reheating, sometimes the dairy separates from the soup a little but it won’t alter the taste. What you could also do is pull some of the soup aside to freeze and then just add a little cream cheese to the remainder. Hope this helps! xoxo

  88. 5 stars
    The lentil tortilla soup came out delicious!! I ended up adding and extra jalapeño and shredded chicken at the end.

  89. 5 stars
    Easily one if the most delicious soups I’ve ever eaten! It’s a struggle to try to find something my 3 yo and 5 yo will both eat, well they had seconds of this! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  90. 5 stars
    This was awesome. Super easy to make in instapot. Very cheap . My hubby isn’t vegetarian and loves it. I will make him some with chicken and Chicken broth. Now I can face our cold winters knowing I have this to warm me up.

  91. 5 stars
    I love this base. We skip the corn because of my tastes and for some reason week keep forgetting the half and half, but it still is becoming one of our favorite soups even in the summer.

  92. 5 stars
    My all time favorite recipe! So good! I make it for my husband, my Dad who is super picky and everybody else!! I added 1 cup of half and half instead of 1/2 cup. I also added the whole can of drained corn because I didn’t want to save it. It made 10 cups and came out to about ~215 per cup. Then I sprinkle cheese on top. Also, I use low sodium chicken broth. SO GOOD!

  93. 5 stars
    Excellent! Used vegan chicken broth, didn’t need to add any extra salt. So good by itself, didn’t add any cream, or lots of toppings. Just crumbled a few tortilla chips on top. Definitely making this again.

  94. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe. So so so delicious. I am such a picky eater but loved it. Can you please tell me how long I should cook it if I am using brown or green lentils? Thank you so much

    1. I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Latha! Which cooking method will you be using? That will help me advise on the lentil swap! xo

  95. 5 stars
    This is one of our favorites! I add a can of mild green chilies and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Always a hit in our home.

  96. 5 stars
    This was so amazing! Thank you for making it so easy and yummy and giving so many options. This will be in my rotation forever!

  97. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday and it is the most amazing vegan (I left out the cream) tortilla soup I have ever made! So flavorful! I like your recommendation of not seasoning with salt because it was perfect as is.

  98. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! I’ve made this twice now, 2nd time I was out of tomato paste so omitted that and it was still delicious. I used Better than Bullion Vegetarian “Chicken” instead of the stock also. Very easy and my entire family loves it.

  99. 5 stars
    I made it in the Crock Pot, it was great! It was my first soup made in the Crock Pot. Super proud of it.

  100. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite soups. My 12 year-old-son even loves it and he is very difficult to please! I have made it with and without the cream. Both ways are delicious but I think I prefer the cream. I also love how you can’t taste the lentils but they provide a wonderful protein. The chips are essential! I think one could play around with beans and veggies and it would still be delicious because it is such an excellent recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Jamie! I love using quinoa in vegetarian chili and you could totally add it here! Are you making it in the instant pot, stove top, or slow cooker? The methods and liquids will need tweaking just a bit depending on your cook method.

  101. OMG, absolutely love this recipe, used my IP of course and added a few fresh ingredients even romaine lettuce. It’s fabulous. Thank you. Great directions and side notes too.

  102. 5 stars
    I made this on the stove top because I do not have room for other appliances. Also in these challenging times, with limited products, I was looking for something with no meat. i typically like tomato and bean type recipes and was not disappointed by this one. This recipe has surpassed many others. Outstanding!!! It can be spicy or not. I also changed the beans – I used northern beans and black beans. I did not add the corn. will definitely make again. Thank you!!!

  103. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I followed the recipe except added a bit more of the spices. I did not add cream at the end and I didn’t have the crushed tomatoes only had the tomato sauce. It was fine and didn’t need the crushed tomatoes it was still excellent! (I love tomatoes so would definitely buy them for next time. My husband is vegan so this worked perfectly. I have been searching for a tortilla soup without chicken and now I have it!!!!!!! Thank you.

  104. 5 stars
    Made this twice in one week because I liked it so much! It was so wonderfully filling. On the side I made cilantro lime cauliflower rice and sautéed some bell peppers and topped with fresh cilantro and greek yogurt. The second time I made it without cream and was still just as delicious. Thanks for recipe!

  105. 5 stars
    This was a HUGE hit in a usually picky household! I made some changes, mostly because I made this with things I had in my cupboard. I used white kidney beans instead of pinto beans. I didn’t use a jalapeño pepper, because I didn’t have one, and I have small children. I used 13 oz of diced tomatoes because that is what I had and I forgot to add the cream! It was delicious. I served it with wheat tortillas and cheese. Yum!

  106. 5 stars
    This was a definite winner. I doubled everything except the pinto beans (because 2 cans wouldn’t fit) and cooked in the slow cooker. Topped with avocado and chips. The soup was spicy without being overwhelming. Will definitely make again!

    1. 5 stars
      My family loves this recipe! One of our first recipes we tried with the instant pot and now it’s so reliable for us. I’m trying to prepare some post partum freezer meals so I’m wondering the best way to freeze this? Prepare as normal and then freeze after it’s cooked? Then heat it on the stove top when we need it? Or freeze it uncooked? Thank you!

      1. So happy you’re loving the recipe, Malisa! Thank you!

        I always steal a bowl or two to eat right away (after cooking) and then freeze the rest in various portions depending what we need/want. When it’s time to defrost I just pop it in the fridge the night before and then reheat via stovetop. I’d like to try freezing it uncooked to see if I can make it a dump-and-cook meal for the IP where it can be added to the IP frozen and cooked; I just haven’t had a chance to play mad scientist and test it out yet, lol!

  107. 5 stars
    My family loved this soup and it was incredibly easy to throw together. This is my new go-to weeknight dinner meal and I can have the extra in the freezer for lunches. It’s a keeper!!

  108. Omg, this looks absolutely delicious! In the process of becoming more plant based, I was looking for vegetarian recipes and came across your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  109. 5 stars
    holy crap this was SO GOOD! i almost didn’t save the recipe, I can’t even remember how or where I found it, because it looked kind of… boring. But it was easy, fast, and full of good for you ingredients so I gave it a try and now it’s definitely going to be a staple! My picky kids who rarely like anythiing i make loved it (it wasn’t too spicy for them either), and so did my husband. I made it plant based by using cashew cream, and blending about 2 cups to a puree and adding back for a wonderfully creamy texture. We ate it with avocado and chips, so good! Made it on the stove since i dont have a crock pot or pressure cooker. THANK YOU!!

  110. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time tonight and it was a hit! Even my VERY picky toddler loved it. I omitted the jalapeño, salsa verde and cayenne pepper because she is sensitive to spice but added 1/2 cup extra vegetable broth. I topped myself and husbands with the salsa verde and pepper jack cheese and added the
    Crushed tortilla chips. So exited to eat this again tomorrow. ?

  111. 5 stars
    Wondering if I can remove a few cups of this after it has cooked and purée it then return to the pot to make it creamier/thicker?

    1. Hi! This recipe intrigued me because I love lentils and it seems to be bursting in flavors, I’ve got it in the slow cooker but I accidentally missed the part where the cream (half & half) should be added later. I guess time will tell, but I thought I might ask, what will happen to the soup if I added the half and half in at the same time as the other ingredients? Thank you! Can’t wait to remake this the RIGHT way, all these positive reviews are making me so excited!

      1. I’m so excited for you to try it, Soraya! The cream at the end is just to prevent curdling which can happen from being heated for so long. The soup should still be super tasty!

        1. 5 stars
          Thanks so much for your reply Jenn! It did curdle but it did not affect taste whatsoever, making again the proper way! Can’t wait. We are loving the subtle but spicy kicks in the soup topped with pico & crunchy tortilla:) thanks for a great recipe.

          1. I’m so happy to heat it, Soraya! Thanks so much for popping back in to let me know. I could literally live off this soup! xoxo

    1. Hi Stacy! The recipe calls for 3/4 cup dry red lentils. It’s between the corn and the spices since I usually list my recipes in the order I add my ingredients. xoxo

  112. 5 stars
    Great recipe! My husband is vegan so I added some cashew milk for creamy appearance.
    Added corn tortillas for that southwest flavor. Easy and Delicious so I thank you!

  113. How can I substitute brown lentils for this recipe? No grocery store near me has red lentils! I don’t mind cooking this on the stove if I can substitute the regular lentils. Thanks!

    1. Hi Iris! Using regular lentils with the stove-top method works great!

      The IP often can’t handle how much the regular lentils expand (and all the extra liquid they need) but if you’re making it on the stove you’re good to go! General rule of thumb is 3 cups cooking liquid for 1 cup lentils and expect the green/brown lentils to double or triple in size so I would go with 1/2 cup dry green/brown lentils and 1.5 cups extra broth in this recipe. They’ll want to simmer around 15-20 min to cook through so adjust stovetop time as needed and you’ll be good to go! Hope this helps! xoxo

    1. Hi Liz! Greek yogurt is typically very low in fat and low-fat dairy products don’t handle high heat very well. I’d skip the cream entirely (many readers do, and I do as well when I don’t have it handy) and if you want to add a dollop on top for a tasty garnish, have at it! xoxo

  114. 5 stars
    Loved this! And I kind of customized it to what I had on hand. I eat plant based so I didn’t add dairy but even adding extra broth, it came out very thick. That might be in part because instead of a can of black beans, I had a can of mashed black beans with jalapeno from Trader Joes that I used instead. Will make again!

  115. 5 stars
    This was delicious. Next time I think I will add some diced green chilies. Thanks for the new recipe. My family loved it.

    1. 5 stars
      Because I didn’t have jalapenos on hand, I used a black bean can from TJ’s that had it in there and I used Rotel for my canned tomatoes that had chilis in it. It was great!

      1. 5 stars
        I’ve been trying to cut back on eating meat. I love chicken tortilla soup so when I saw this figured I’d try it for my lunches at work for the week. Topped with avacado and crushed tortilla chips. Very good definitely will make again.

  116. I’ll have to give this one another try. Burnt the heck out of it. If you follow the directions, you will burn it in the instant pot. Instead of adding the veggies first, add the liquids first, then the solids. Even with a good stir, I received the “burn” message on the instant pot. Scraped and reset and the same thing happened again (probably burnt from the first go around). Looks like I’m ordering pizza tonight. Very disappointing. .

    1. Sorry to hear it Dave. May I ask what size Instant Pot you used and if red lentils were used (green and brown will burn) or if any swaps were made? When my friends and I make this as directed it works 100% of the time for us, so I’m here to help troubleshoot if you need it! xo

      1. Thanks Jenn,

        I’m about to give this another shot. 6 quart instant pot; red lentils. I’m going to give it another shot tonight. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

      2. 5 stars
        UPDATE: It turned out great! Second time was the charm. I added most of the liquid first, then the solids. No issues. Great recipe. My wife was happy.

      3. 5 stars
        I too had the problem of it no coming to pressure and just boiling it but I noticed it quickly so I was able to try again before I did much damage.

  117. Will be making this soon! You can sub coconut milk or coconut cream for the heavy cream if you’re trying to stay vegan, or if you are trying to avoid dairy 🙂

    1. I would maybe fold in vegan cream cheese to make it creamy. I make a cream of potato soup with that for my vegan niece.

  118. 5 stars
    Delicious!! Easy and now an all time favorite. Delicious on its own but the toppings: chips, cheese and cilantro really top it off, thick and creamy and healthy.

  119. 5 stars
    I have made this several times and absolutely love it! My son and his buddies gave it big thumbs up as well.

  120. 5 stars
    Hi! This was my first time making this recipe and I’m relatively new to the instant pot but loved it! I didn’t use cream because I was trying to be vegan friendly but I think I was missing some of the creamy consistency. Do you have any suggestions for substitutes for heavy cream that are healthier options? Also I have a 3qt instant pot duo mini and felt like I was going over the 1/2 to 2/3 fill line. Are these proportions for a larger instant pot? I used chickpeas instead of pinto beans and also loved that.

    1. Hi Anita! These proportions are for a 6 Quart Instant Pot. I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

      For the creaminess, you have a few options! You’ll want to add it at the end (after cooking in the Instant Pot, just like the heavy cream step) to prevent any sticking/burning but you can actually blend white cannellini beans (canned – drained and rinsed) up into a puree and add them to the soup for extra thickness/creaminess. Homemade cashew cream has also been used by quite a few readers to add creaminess to the soup as another healthy and tasty option.

  121. 5 stars
    Have made this three times. What a keeper! Flavor is addictive. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe.

  122. Hi Rachel! Wondering how I could sub canned lentils for the dried ones? Should I reduce the amount of vegetable broth?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Haily! Drain and rinse the canned lentils first and they should work great! You can keep the broth amount the same for a brothier soup (totally what I would do!) or reduce it by 1/2 a cup.

    1. Hi Amy! I have a few delicious quinoa chili recipes that have been tested but in this particular recipe, I have not tested the swap. Quinoa fluffs up three times its size so the recipe would need to be reworked around it and experimented with.

  123. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe!!! Added soy milk for the creamy factor and added chili beans too. Puréed 1 1/2C of the soup and added it back in for an awesome texture! My family and I are trying the Vegan lifestyle and this was great! Thank you!!!

  124. Um, you can’t really call it tortilla soup unless you have actual tortillas in the soup. Like in the soup itself, not crushed tortilla chips as a garnish on top. Part of what makes tortilla soup so magical is that the bits of corn tortilla melt into the broth as an essential flavour component. I’m sure this soup is delicious. Call it a Mexican soup. But a tortilla soup it is not.

    1. Hi Rachel! There’s a note to add optional torn corn tortillas to the soup for those of use who love the addition and want to make it more authentic. I personally add them whenever I have some handy but also love the soup both ways.

  125. 5 stars
    Making it right now and I got distracted and out 1/2 cayenne hoping it wont be too spicy and I have kids eating it! Slow cooking right now and can’t wait to try it! So easy to whip up!

    1. Hi Brenda! The first set of instructions within the recipe card is for the Instant Pot and the second is for the slow cooker. You’ll follow the steps 1-6 from right under the “instructions” portion of the recipe card basically. xoxo

  126. Hi! This looks soooooo yummy. I’m planning on making it this weekend. Are you able to tell me how big is 1 serving?

    1. Hi Sonali! It’s a little over a cup and a half per serving. Since it’s loaded with healhty veggies I usually portion out a little extra for myself and make it a meal! xoxo

  127. This looks delicious, but I’m allergic to lentils….is there something else you would suggest using to substitute for those? Thanks!!

    1. Thanks Sheetal! In place of the lentils use 1 extra cup of canned/cooked black beans or pinto beans and you’re good to go!\.

  128. 5 stars
    So great. I subbed a few things based on what I had in my kitchen and it was still excellent!

    -I used whatever beans I had on hand (one can cannellini and one can mixed black/pinto beans), and I used green lentils because I didn’t have any red.

    -I subbed one poblano pepper for both the bell pepper and the jalapeño.

    -I didn’t have any corn so I omitted it, but fresh corn would be an amazing addition!

    -I garnished with cilantro, slices avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.

    Super easy and yummy. Compared to other veggie soups, I loved how little chopping was involved.

  129. 5 stars
    This was so delicious that I can’t wait to make it again. It was a bit too spicy for me so I may cut back a bit on the chili powder. It tasted wonderful both without and with the creme. I think next time I make it, I will add more veggies. What else I like about it is that it’s filling thanks to those lentils! I did not use a crockpot and instead just made it in my normal put in about 30 minutes. Fresh corn, as opposed to frozen, makes a real difference. I threw that in at the last minute so that it wouldn’t be soft and mushy. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  130. 5 stars
    I made this wonderful soup. The flavors blend nicely. The only thing I left out was the heavy cream. I don’t think you need it especially if you are eating it with sour cream. This dish was very easy to make a very tasty. Thank you for sharing.

  131. Wondering if you could use coconut milk (vegan) instead of the cream or do you think it would be too strong of flavor?

    1. Hi Karen! Because coconut milk can be pretty flavorful (though I love it sooooo much!) I would skip the cream entirely. A lot of readers have gone cream-free and some have used a homemade cashew cream to add vegan creaminess. Also if you feel like you want to experiment with one bowl you can drizzle a little coconut milk in and have a taste test!

  132. What type of bell pepper do you typically use? Red, green, orange? Going to try making this in my slow cooker this week! Can’t wait!

    1. So excited you’ll be trying the soup! I usually grab whatever I have handy! Orange, yellow, and red will be a bit sweeter and green bell pepper will add a bite of earthiness. All are deeeeelicious!

  133. 5 stars
    I have made this soup twice now. I have an almost 3 year old and a 4 year old who are very picky eaters and my husband is all about meat…. everyone loves it. It’s super strange not to have someone complain about what they are eating. I sent the recipe to a friend and she said everyone in her family had seconds (which is a big deal). I made it for some long time bean and lentil fans last night and was told it was the best soup they have ever had. It’s so easy to make and so delicious. I don’t add the jalapeño pepper and only do half the amount of cayenne pepper (my family can’t handle spicy foods) and it was perfect. Mild with just the right about of kick. I’ve also made it with both chicken broth and vegetable broth; it’s great with way! I am so happy to have found this recipe! Thanks!

  134. Hi! First time using the recipe and got the burn notice twice!!

    Can you tell me the way to layer the ingredients?

    1. Hi Bobby! I missed this comment last night (sick kiddo at home here) but hope you were able finish cooking the soup! Instant Pots are really sensitive with their recipes and everything has to be pretty exact or it gets all pissy, lol. Size differences in pots can also pose challenges and require adjustments. I layer it based on order of ingredients listed (ex. broth towards the beginning and lentils towards the very end) With any recipe, if needed, you can transfer it into a pot on the stove and finish cooking that way just to not deal with the Instant Pot’s attitude.

    1. Hi Meera! I haven’t yet but would love to test it out for ya this Fall! My first thought would be to add an extra cup of beans in place of the lentils or just make it as is minus the lentils. It will be a brothier soup but still super tasty!

  135. Making this today and super excited about it! I accidentally added the heavy cream to my crockpot though instead of waiting to add it later with the toppings. Will that cause a problem?

    1. Hey Stephanie! It might curdle a teeny bit from the heat but I wouldn’t stress it too much. All the veggies should hopefully mask it if that happens. xo

  136. 5 stars
    This soup is AMAZING!! This is THE BEST tortilla soup I’ve ever had. I did not miss the meat at all…

    I made this in a 3 QT at instant pot, for 20 minutes cook time instead of 15. It just barely hit the do-not-overfill line. I was a little worried, but it turned out great. I omitted the bell pepper because the one I bought for this went bad.

  137. 5 stars
    I love my instant pot because it’s fast and easy to clean, but until now i had not found an instant pot recipe to RAVE about!

    This recipe is AMAZING! I sent it to everyone I know who has an IP. I love that it is easy and also easy on the pocketbook! I used a whole onion and two red bell peppers and two jalapenos, but other than that I followed it completely. I can’t wait to have it for leftovers tomorrow! I will definitely be trying out your other recipes!

  138. 5 stars
    This is very good. I like the subtle heat from the jalapeño. I might try it without the lentils one time to make it more broth like (just a bit different texture but same yummy flavours). Thank you

  139. 5 stars
    This soup is so, so good! Flavors are perfect. My daughter is a vegan so we skipped the heavy cream but diced up a few corn tortillas and added with the rest of the ingredients. It had a nice, thick consistency and was very hearty and filling. This will be in our regular dinner rotation, so convenient for busy weeknights.

  140. 5 stars
    I used a total of 1.5 cups dried beans that I soaked overnight, in place of the canned beans. I added 10 minutes to the instant pot cooking time and it came out delicious.

  141. 5 stars
    Amazing! My teenage boys absolutely loved this and asked when are we having it again. I did end up blending the soup for a smoother texture.

  142. 4 stars
    Super easy, delicious and family friendly. Can definitely be punched up or down with spicier salsa, more garlic, maybe a little bit of juice from canned chipotles? Best kind of recipe – great as is, fun to experiment with.

  143. Choosing this for our FIRST instantpot recipe! We just received it. We got the 8qt for our family of 6. I will triple the recipe. Looks amazing! Thanks!

  144. 5 stars
    This chili is SO good!!! I saw it serves 6 but was wondering what the portion would be, 1 cup each? Do you know how many cups this makes? Thanks!

    1. So glad you’re loving it Rachel – thanks! I think the total yield is around 10 cups whenever I make it so the serving size is a pretty hearty one!

  145. 5 stars
    So I found your recipe on Pinterest and made it several times, even came in 3rd during a chili cook off ?This is the best lentil soup ever! I just made it today during a weekly weight loss challenge, this week is vegetarian and I’ll be eating this all week for work. Thank you for an amazing vegetarian recipe! ?

  146. 5 stars
    I’ve used recipes from blogs for years and have NEVER commented on any of them until now. This is my absolute favorite lunch. I eat this several times each week and have since I discovered this recipe last winter. I leave out the heavy cream and just add a scoop of nonfat Greek yogurt to my serving. I’ve used all pinto beans, all black beans, left out the corn, used poblanos instead of jalapenos – the recipe is so versatile and so easy in the Instant Pot. The servings are incredibly filling. Thank you for sharing!

  147. This looks so delicious! It can be difficult to find things without meat that are hearty enough and have lots of protein!

  148. 5 stars
    This soup was delicious. I’m new to both vegetarianism and instant-potting, so I’m feeling tbe need to expand my repertoire. I love one-pot meals using ingredients I pretty much always have on hand, so this is perfect. I know my kids will love it, too.

  149. 5 stars
    This dish sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Question: have you ever tried swapping out the heavy cream for plant based milk?

    1. Hi Mary Ann! Yes totally – it’s great with a drizzle of coconut milk or coconut cream or you could also use a little cashew cream! I think several readers have used cashew cream for theirs and LOVED it!

    1. Hi Rebecca! Sorry for the delay and I hope you loved the soup! The avocado oil is something I like to add to my soups to add just a touch of richness to it. It’s totally optional!

  150. 5 stars
    This is my favorite thing to make ever. I’ve made it every week for the past year. It’s super easy to make vegan and literally tastes amazing! I’m so impressed and happy I found this recipe!

  151. Is this soup spicy hot with adding jalapeño as one of the ingredients? I’m making this for a family who has kids so I don’t want it to be spicy.

    1. Hi Amie! It’s not spicy to me but you can certainly skip the jalapeño just in case and allow the adults to add sliced jalapeño on top of their bowls if desired!

  152. 5 stars
    This was delicious! The whole family loved it. I did use green lentils so it actually had a bit more of a chili consistency but I think may have preferred that since we all love chili. I doubled the spices and did not add the cream. Other than that, I didn’t change anything. For those new to the instant pot, I did the natural release for 15 minutes after cook time ended and then quick released the rest of the steam. This will definitely end up in our regular meal rotation now that we’re trying to eat vegetarian a few days a week.

  153. 5 stars
    Thank you! I’ve been trying to eat more vegetarian meals throughout the week and using lentils is genius! I can now make my favorite tortilla soup again! I’ll definitely be making it over and over. ?

  154. 5 stars
    This was a fantastic crock pot recipe! I prepped it the night before and put it on the stand in the morning and it turned out wonderfully! I left out the jalapeno and used one quart of broth because I had green lentils. I topped it with sour cream and my husband loved it!

  155. 5 stars
    Made this in my IP. Followed directions exactly. Turned out great. It needed salt, but that’s easy to add. Even better the next day. We garnished with black olives and avocado. This one is a keeper and I don’t typically like recipes as is.

  156. 5 stars
    This is fabulous! We went vegetarian about 6 months ago and finding new recipes especially for my Ninja, has been a struggle. One of our family favorites was chicken tortilla soup so I figured that this was worth a try. Boy am I glad I did! It’s so good I would feed it to anyone vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore, it’s that good.
    Unless I’m mistaken, it’s also gluten free! Win win! Thank you so much for this recipe.

  157. This looks delicious! However, i’ve been to 3 different stores and cannot locate red lentils. I saw below that brown lentils can be substituted, but there aren’t exact measurements. I’m new to cooking and don’t want to mess this up. Does anyone know exact liquid measurements when using brown lentils?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Ashley! Brown lentil’s liquid measurement will vary based on what method you’re using. Do you plan on making the soup in the IP, stove-top, or slow cooker?

    2. Hi Ashley, i found canned red lentils at WalMart and you can also order dry red lentils through Amazon Pantry.

    3. Any place that sells organic food (like Earth Fare, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s) will have red lentils! I buy mine from Publix!

  158. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday w/o salt or cream- it’s by far my favorite thing I’ve made. I could eat this daily and never get tired of it- so flavorful. I doubled the spices!! Thank you so much.

  159. 5 stars
    Wow! I had this recipe saved for a while and it’s too bad it took so long to make it. My grocery store only had green lentils, so I was glad to see a comment below to cook them separately. That was my only change. This will be one to make over and over! We appreciate leftovers and this made a ton!

  160. 5 stars
    Delicious! Will make it many more times. I used the Instant and it was so easy. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  161. I couldn’t find red lentil at the store so i will be substituting with brown. Is it a must that i cook them before ? Cook them all the way? This will slow cook while at work so i dont want to come home to mushy lentils! Thanks for any advice 🙂

    1. Hey Kristian! If you’re slow cooking with a crock-pot or other traditional slow cooker you will still be able to make the soup as long as you add enough liquid to cook the brown lentils. Green and brown lentils are thicker/larger than red so they absorb more liquid and take longer to cook than red. General slow/low cook time for brown lentils in a slow cooker is 8 hours on low so they’ll cook while you’re at work. I’ve only done this soup with red lentils in the slow cooker so I can’t fully advise on how much liquid you’ll add to wind up with the same exact results as the recipe above. I’m thinking at least a quart of broth will be needed, possibly some extra liquid and then the seasonings will need to be increased a little to make the soup maintain its flavor. Let me know if you get a chance to experiment! I’ll try to test this recipe with brown lentils over the summer when I have some spare time! xoxo

  162. If I double the Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup in my instant pot do I still pressure cook it for 15 minutes or should I add more time for pressure cooking?

    1. Hey John! Super stoked you’ll be making the recipe but wanted to give you a heads up – there was someone who tried to double the recipe in an 8 QT and reported that it would not work and switched to the safety auto-shutoff feature (aka the dreaded burn notice) b/c the pot cannot handle that much soup. They totally need to come out with a 10 QT for us so we can make big batches of soups!

  163. 4 stars
    Made as directed except doubled up on chili powder and cumin….tasty! Almost felt like it needed something else..carrots? Not sure. But it was filling in that wholesome, fiberous sort of way!

  164. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! Well done 🙂
    I did choose salsa verde and half and half cream and it was delicious. One bowl your full it’s yummy and I also added some lemon pepper chicken. What a flavorful dish that I cooked during the week night!

  165. 5 stars
    Great flavors, and a healthier take on the original! I Would definitely make this again! So tasty and very filling; much heartier than traditional tortilla soup thanks to the lentils. This is now my favorite red lentil soup recipe!

  166. 5 stars
    Honestly one of the best soups I’ve ever made. I made about half the serving size since it was just me eating but my family tried some and ended up loving it as much as I did and asked me to make it for them sometime! Thank you for sharing!

  167. 5 stars
    We love this soup! One question, can it be frozen? If I just add all the ingredients uncooked to a freezer bag would it still work? What would I need to adjust to make that possible?

    1. So glad you’re loving it Paige! It freezes really well one cooked, but I’ve never tried freezing it before cooking. I’m sure it’s possible but I would have to test it to be able to answer questions about cook times and adjustments. Let me know if you get a chance to experiment before I do! xoxo

  168. 5 stars
    We love this soup! One question, can it be frozen? If I just add all the ingredients uncooked to a freezer bag would it still work? What would I need to adjust to make that possible?

  169. 5 stars
    This has been a staple in my house for months now. We LOVE it and it is such an easy “go to” for us. I roughly chop everything and toss it in the instant pot. I do make a few modifications.
    1)I use 1 whole onion instead of 1 cup
    2)I skip the oil and tomato paste (first time as an accident and we didn’t notice a difference)
    3)I add about 6 cloves of garlic
    4)I use 4 to 5 fresh Roma tomatoes instead of canned sauce/tomatoes
    5)I use the corn from 3 to 4 fresh cobs
    6)I use fresh salsa verde
    7)I add about 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche at the end instead of heavy cream
    8)I use my immersion blender and blend it all together at the end for a balanced flavor.

  170. 5 stars
    This was amazing! The kids also loved it. I subbed coconut cream in but it was good without it too. Thanks for the great recipe.

  171. 5 stars
    This was one of our first recipes made in our Instant Pot and we now make it EVERY week. This soup is so delicious. We add 2-3 jalapenos because we like the soup spicy but we wouldn’t change anything else about the recipe! The soup smells amazing and it is even super yummy reheated as leftovers. So happy we found this recipe!

  172. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe. I made this tonight. My husband loves it, I love it, and even my picky 4-year-old wanted more. I will definitely be having this again.

    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hey Kari! You’ll use dried red lentils (If you’re using green/brown def pre-cook b/c they like to soak up all the soup and activate the auto shutoff feature) but any beans added have to be precooked. Dry beans typically take about 45 min to cook in the IP, and they would soak up all the water and turn the veggies into mush if done all at the same time. Hope this helps! You can certainly cook the beans early in the week to have on hand for soups and side dishes all week long! xoxo

  173. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely amazing and an instant family hit! For the cream, due to allergies, I used coconut cream!

  174. 5 stars
    So good! I didn’t use the cream or salt and pepper (mostly bc I forgot) but it didn’t need either in my opinion. A good, clean, real ingredients meal!

  175. 5 stars
    This was amazing! It will be a new staple for us. I followed the recipe exactly except I didn’t use any cream, and it was perfect.

  176. 5 stars
    We make this one every few weeks at our house because it’s so easy, healthy and flavorful! I skip the cream at the end and it’s still great without it.

  177. 5 stars
    This is the BEST tortilla soup we’ve ever made! I added a bit more spices and used “better than bullion vegetarian no chicken base” instead of veggie broth. Even the picky kids loved it! Though, crushing the chips to add on top might have had something to do with that lol. This is now a staple in our home

    1. So so happy to hear it Lace! Whenever someone reports that their kiddos loved it I basically do an extra happy dance around the kitchen – I know they’re always brutally honest haha! xoxo

  178. 5 stars
    I have made this at least 10 times! I agree it is “the soup!” On weight watchers, even if you add 1/2 cup of heavy cream, it’s only 1 pt per serving! Thanks for making something that is, not only delicious, but friendly on the waistline too!

  179. 2 stars
    Interesting that there are only 5 star ratings listed. This should have been a red flag. I followed recipe exactly-used the insta pot. Turned out gross. Hardly any flavoring and was too thick. I couldn’t even eat more than a couple spoon fulls. I’m usually pretty good at rescuing a recipe, but nothing I could do here. I would not recommend this recipe, not that this comment will ever be posted.

    1. I think it’s just that most of us really love the soup, Casey. It’s okay that you didn’t, no recipe in the history of recipes pleases 100% of people, but this one is delicious to most!

  180. 5 stars
    Omg this was excellent!! I messed up the lentils but that was 100% my fault, oops. Regardless this is a go to for any cold day! I did mine in the crockpot but I do have an instapot so may try it in there when I need food quick. Thanks for an awesome soup!

  181. 5 stars
    I LOVE this soup so much! I add about 6 cups of vegetable broth and a little more garlic but it is one of my favorite comfort foods. Both my friend and I make it and we call it “the soup” because we both love it so much and make it so often. 🙂 THANKS!!!

  182. 5 stars
    Made this in my Instant Pot and it turned out perfectly. Love that I could just dump everything in at once! I followed your recipe exactly and the flavor was lovely. Thank you for sharing!

  183. 5 stars
    This is absolutely amazing! I’m getting ready to make it for the 3rd time in 3 weeks. 🙂 It’s so flavorful, filling, and versatile. I’ve shared the recipe with a close friend and she fell in love as well. Thank you so much for this deliciousness! I don’t use the heavy cream, and it’s amazing.

  184. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner today, and it was really easy and delicious! It has a really good flavor. I prefer making soups on the stovetop, since I just never know how long things are REALLY going to take in my crockpot, SO I was going to follow your stovetop directions, BUT being a busy mom, I was too busy after school that I needed to do the easy crockpot method. I started my crockpot around 9:30 a.m., and we started eating around 5:30 p.m. I actually didn’t notice too many whole lentils anymore, so maybe I did it too long? The flavor is delicious, and it’s so good and filling that I personally don’t notice the lack of meat in it. Thanks for a great recipe!

  185. 5 stars
    Super good and easy! Made this before work on a snowy, icy day and came home to a wonderful meal. We used plain coconut milk yogurt as the cream. Can’t wait to have leftovers today!

  186. 5 stars
    Oh, I’ve been craving mexican all week! This will do it for sure.

    BTW – I love your ombre hair (random, I know).

    PS – I have never seen so many comments on a blog before. What’s your secret to such great engagement? it’s awesome!

    1. Thanks Caren!! I wish all my posts had this kind of engagement lol! This recipe just makes everyone want to scream yum from the rooftops I guess. Love it so!

  187. 5 stars
    My vegetarian child adores this soup. I have a hard time keeping up with the demand! How much could I make in an 8 qt. instant pot? Triple batch? I could also make in the slow cooker if you think those could hold more since no worries about pressure. Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe.

    1. So glad it’s a hit Marcy – thank you! I don’t have an 8 qt. to test it with (just the 6) but you could try a double batch in the 8 and if it’s past the max fill line just move it over to the slow cooker and cook it up there! For sure LMK how it goes! xoxo

  188. 5 stars
    I made this using homemade cashew cream instead of heavy cream and also used vegan cheese. It was delicious! I think I’ll add more spices next time, and I also added some oregano which I find goes well in Mexican type dishes. Definitely will make again!

  189. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I am so glad I discovered it. I like to eat mostly vegetarian at home but it can be hard to find recipes that are veggie but still packed with flavor (and protein). I used 1/4 cup of the cream and it is perfect. I have tried some vegetarian recipes in the past that are lacking in the flavor department but this is NOT it! It is so flavorful and delicious.

  190. 5 stars
    I just made this (or a variation, since in Germany the only canned beans I could find were kidney beans and white beans, so I used these) and it was fantastic! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    Btw, though, I noticed there are actually no tortillas in this tortilla soup (apart from the optional tortilla chips as toppings). Is this still a tortilla soup, anyway?

    Definitely yummy, though, no matter by which name!

    1. Thank you Lastalda! A traditional tortilla soup typically uses chicken and/r chicken broth and relies on the addition of chopped corn tortillas within the soup to add a little bit of thickness and lend it it’s name. I didn’t want to clog up the pressure cooker with the tortilla so I left them as a topping with the option of stirring some in after cooking as well! It’s a bit less traditional but I love it so! I’m so happy you enjoyed the soup! xo

  191. 5 stars
    this was the BEST soup I’ve ever made. And I make a lot of soup. I used cream cheese (instead of cream), my favorite red spicy salsa (instead of verde) and jalapeno juice (instead of jalapeños). and OMG I want to make this every day. Seriously. Just some crushed up tortilla chips on top totally added the crunch it needed and WOW.

  192. No store around me carries red lentils and I’m making this for dinner tomorrow. Can I sub for regular lentils?? And if so do I need to change anything?

    1. Hey Sydney! If you’re using a slow cooker you’ll only need to add 30-60 minutes to the slow cook time and some extra liquid you should be good to go! For the Instant Pot it likes to freeze up with a burn message because the green/brown lentils soak up a lot more liquid and take longer to cook. LMK which method you’re going for and we’ll figure something out! xo

  193. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! It is so cold where I live right now, and I needed something yummy like this to keep me warm..this is an AWESOME recipe. I made it earlier and my husband and I sat under a warm blanket, watched a movie, and had this wonderful meal…yummy!

  194. Hi do you have a recipe for the salsa verde you use. Is there an alternative that you can put in instead? (In uk)

  195. 5 stars
    Thank you! This was excellent!!! Love your writing and the recipe was fantastic! My guests gushed over the soup and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  196. 5 stars
    This was DELICIOUS! like the BEST vegetarian soup/chili I’ve ever had! I’m not a vegan or vegetarian but my goal is to eat less meat and more veggies. I didn’t miss the meat at all in this recipe I’ll definitely be making more of your recipes!

  197. This sounds yummy. What size instant pot did you use to make the recipe? I have the mini instant pot and I am wondering whether I will need to cut the recipe in half.

    1. Hi Deborah! I used a 6 QT. Halving the recipe should be perfect for the mini if the max fill line gives you enough space! xo

    1. lol I’ll change the wording if it helps! it’s a 14-15 oz (so any size between 14 and 15 oz) can. Just the one.

  198. 5 stars
    I made this tortilla soup in my crockpot, absolutely delicious! We are vegan so no cream used and subbed vegan cheese as garnish. This will be my go to recipe when we need a comforting, delisious meal!

  199. I LOVE how you added the preheat/come to pressure time. I’m new to using electric pressure cookers and was so confused. Sounds delicious, will be trying.

  200. 5 stars
    Made this last night for my vegan daughter. It turned out delicious! I added a can of diced green chilies and put a couple of corn tortilla in it, which helped it thicken nicely. Didn’t add cream because of the vegan, but it was still wonderful. Served with vegan and regular sour cream, cilantro, lime, green onions, tortilla strips, cheese, and avocado. Will make again! Thank you!

    1. So happy y’all enjoyed it Kellee, thank you! Loving the addition of green chilies and tortilla too – delish!

  201. 5 stars
    I was skeptical about this soup (skeptical about a lot of things vegetarian), but it was DELICIOUS! No lack of flavor here. I will be making this again. Thanks for sharing!

  202. 5 stars
    Hubby and I made this recipe tonight in a vegan version. We are plant based and oil free (WFPBNO) and it was super easy to adapt. I have lots of leftovers to take for my lunch at work this week, yum!

  203. 5 stars
    My family is vegan, but this recipe is totally adaptable to our plant based lifestyle. I made it for dinner last night and it was delicious! I chopped some fresh red onion, purple cabbage, and avocado to add to the top and even had a little vegan “cheese” to sprinkle on the finished product. It was so yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  204. This recipe looks amazing! Just bought an instant pot and I’m excited to use it!

    Can you tell me what kind of lentils and how much to use? I don’t see that listed anywhere on the ingredients.

    Thank you!

    1. So excited for you to try the recipe Maribel! You’ll use 3/4 cup uncooked dry red lentils — you’ll want the thin reddish orange lentils (not the green/brown ones that take much longer to cook and need extra liquid)

  205. 5 stars
    My daughter has recently become a vegetarian. I made this tonight in my instant pot and she and her friend LOVED it. They are college students, and were thrilled with this dinner. My husband loved it too! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe.

  206. 5 stars
    This was delicious! My carnivorous clan scarfed it up. I made the slow cooker version. The house smelled wonderful & multiple bowls were consumed. Totally adding this to our dinner rotation!!!

  207. 5 stars
    Can’t tell you how much we enjoyed this soup recipe. I most appreciated all the options for cooking this soup that you provided. I have an old fashion pressure cooker, so I added all the ingredients to the pressure cooker with an addition of 2.5 cups of vegetable broth. I cooked the soup for 15 minutes and let it rest for 15 minutes before opening the pot up, per your instructions and the soup was ready. This is a busy time of year and to have a delicious meal on the table in under an hour was wonderful. Thank you again for sharing this soup recipe with us. And Merry Christmas!?

  208. 5 stars
    This recipe looks absolutely Amazing, and I’m making it tonight, but I have a question, Can I add tortellini to it?

    1. Yes absolutely! I wouldn’t put tortellini in the Instant Pot — just cook it on the side in boiling water for 7 min or as directed on package and add it after. For slow cooker you can add it in towards the last 10-15 min of cook time or cook on the side and add in. Hope that helps! Enjoy!

  209. 5 stars
    This is SO good! I made it this week and added in a can of coconut milk instead of heavy cream! Turned out great! YUMMMM

  210. 5 stars
    This was absolutely amazing! I am so happy that there are leftovers, I can wrap them in a tortilla for lunch tomorrow. I was so happy to see that the ingredients are part of our pantry staples, and it will be easy to throw in celery and carrots if I’m out of peppers. This is definitely going to be part of our weekly rotation. Thank you!

  211. 5 stars
    This recipe is definitely a keeper! It’s so easy to put together and is a great alternative to chili. Leftovers are delicious (and there was enough to feed my family of four for dinner, plus two generous lunch helpings for me) Next time I’ll play around with the seasonings a little to make it just a little more flavorful, but I like that, as written, it wasn’t too spicy for kids.

  212. 5 stars
    This is incredible! My husband eats nothing but red meat and junk food and potatoes and he devoured this. Fabulous Tex mex flavor and so hearty. I doubled the cumin and chili powder and used chix broth. Served w cheese, chopped cherry tomato and yes tortilla chips. Love this!

  213. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. Family loved it!! Definitely going into our weekly rotation. Thank you!! I tried to give it 5 stars but it wouldn’t let me. Sorry!

  214. 5 stars
    So good! I made the stove top version and added about 2 tsp. of cumin. Will definitely add to my rotation of homemade soups.

  215. 5 stars
    Just wanted to say I am so glad I found this recipe! My daughter and I are both picky eaters, so it’s hard to find meals that all 3 of us in my family will eat. This has become a staple, being made at least every other week. My husband adds in some extra heat to his bowls, and my daughter puts it on a tortilla shell and eats it like a burrito! We all really love it!!

    As for tweaks, we use chicken vs veggie broth, sweet peppers instead of green/red, salsa verde, and we do add the cream. I also sometimes put in a splash of lime juice.

  216. 5 stars
    I have made this so many times! And shared the link/recipe with about 20 people. This is hands down fantastic. Making again tonight. Thank you!!

    1. Thank you Wendy!!! So honored it made repeat status and I’m so grateful you’ve been sharing it with friends!

  217. 5 stars
    For a vegan option, you can also use cashew cream (1/2 cup soaked cashews, drain, put in blender with 1/2 c to 1 c of water depending on desired thickness, blend on high until smooth).
    This recipe is amazing! I love it and it will definitely be in my recipe book forever!

    1. So excited for you to try the soup Tina! Pacific Foods’s vegetable broth is one of our favorites and most stores carry it.

  218. 5 stars
    This was amazing!!!! We had a late, big lunch and needed something lighter and healthier for dinner. This was perfect and leftovers will be great for lunch this week. Thank you!

  219. 5 stars
    Just made this for the first time and it was AMAZING! I’ve been a vegetarian my whole life and always wanted tortilla soup, but none were ever vegetarian.

    1. Thank you Kelly! I was seriously stumped that vegetarian tortilla soup was never really a thing so I just had to make one! We can’t stop making it now! xoxo

  220. Sounds delicious! Question – did you use the Soup setting on the IP? I’ve used mine mostly for rice and I’m not completely with the difference among all the settings. I wonder if the setting used could be the reason some people have had with burning. Apologies if the recipe tells which one to use and I missed it when reading it.

    1. Hey Kathy! I try to write all my recipes with the manual setting. For this recipe, you’ll the IP to “High Pressure” for 15 minutes. I believe the soup button has a 7 minute high pressure cook time. The main culprit of the dreaded BURN message in the IP is usually altering a recipe’s ingredients. Reducing liquid measurements is a big one as well as using a longer cooking lentil (green/brown) in place of fast-cooking red lentils. LMK if you have any questions and I’d be happy to help! xoxo

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! I made it tonight and it was great! My pressure was still releasing after 26 minutes, so I went ahead and released it myself. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  221. 5 stars
    love it!!! made this in the slow cooker with a little less broth and more lentils so it would be thicker.. swapped whole jalapeno for a bit of hot sauce to keep it more mild, and skipped the cream. with pepperjack cheese and tortilla chips on top – YUM!! definitely will make this again.

  222. 5 stars
    This is probably my favorite go to recipe of all time now. The flavor profile is amazing and I’m already making it for the third time! It is healthy and hearty/comforting, yet at the same time doesn’t have that heaviness comfort food can leave. Thank you for posting!

    1. I would drain and rinse them first and you should be good to go! You can probably reduce the cook time from 15 minute to 10 minutes as well since the canned lentils will already be cooked. xo

  223. 5 stars
    Hey! I just made this amazing soup for the millionth time. We love it!! Before I posted some additions I made and now I have another suggestion. I found the 15 minute cook time in the Instant Pot left the green and red peppers and the corn too mushy. So this time I threw in everything except the peppers and corn and cooked for 8 minutes, then a quick release. Then I added the peppers and corn and brought it back up to pressure and cooked another 7 minutes with a natural release. It’s perfect, the corn and peppers are still soft but not mushy. I love this soup!!

  224. 5 stars
    This soup is a family favorite, I use chicken broth instead of veggie broth and I blend up the salsa and tomato so my kids will eat, They love it every time!

  225. 5 stars
    This is one of my all time favorite soups now. I make it every otherweek and love it with ALL the toppings. I use Ripple vegan half and half. It turns out amazing!!!

  226. Wonderful recipe! Used the slow cooker and was rewarded with a soup that couldn’t be beat! I was invited out the following day and would have much preferred to stay home and partake of this soup. Many thanks for the recipe and the instructions!

  227. 5 stars
    Made this, vegan style, and damn it’s good! She’s right in that it gets better as the week goes on, (if it lasts that long!) I personally don’t add salsa, and don’t feel it needs it! I also just use water, and there seems to be plenty going on here for flavor. With chips and avocado? SO good!!!

  228. 5 stars
    Just made this on stove and it is heavenly! I live alone and can’t wait to portion out in containers. I thought I’d miss meat but not at all. Added a little chipotle chili powder and lime juice but really wonderful recipe. It’s gonna be a staple. Thank you!

  229. 5 stars
    This is truly my favorite soup! I love that it’s spiy and I love that it’s vegetarian and since I live alone, I love that I can freeze it. I sound ‘over the top’, but it is so good on so many levels. Thank you so much!

  230. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I added some cream cheese at the end instead of the cream and loved it. This is a definite do again, and I might try doubling the spices too. Reminds me of a chicken tortilla soup I have at a local restaurant for which I have always wanted the recipe! Definitely could see adding some shredded chicken to this too.

  231. 5 stars
    Made this on the stove yesterday and it was so good! Will definitely make again. This recipe is a keeper!

  232. 5 stars
    I made this tonight in the Instant Pot and used green lentils. I read through some of the comments and saw comments about it burning. I added an extra cup of broth and it came out awesome! The Instant Pot wasn’t done naturally releasing pressure after 15 minutes, so I just quick released the rest. I made no other changes and would definitely recommend the recipe as is, but OMG Greg’s alterations sound delicious! Husband is a vegetarian and we always have trouble finding meals that are filling without being all veggies or pasta. I just found your website and this recipe hit the spot! We will definitely be putting this in our rotation. Can’t wait to make more of your recipes!

  233. 5 stars
    This soup is amazing! I’ve made it 3 times now. I did add and swap some stuff to make more and give it some more Mexican sabor. I used 3 cups of my homemade veggie broth and doubled the dry spices except the cayenne, I swapped the garlic powder for 3 big minced cloves of fresh garlic. I used a large onion and added a red bell pepper with the green one. Also increased the corn to one 15 oz can. I added one can of garbanzo chickpea beans, I tsp of oregano, one bay leaf, a few dried peppercorns, and a dried chili arbol. After cooking I stirred in some low fat cream cheese, juice of half a lime, and some lime zest. Cool, fridge and eat the next day with a squeeze of lime, Mexican queso fresco, tortilla chips, avocado, and cilantro on top. My friend from Mexico gives it 2 thumps up!

    1. Love these zesty additions Greg and I’m so honored you’ve been making it on repeat! Woot! The queso fresco and garbanzo beans need to happen next time I make it – yum!!!

  234. 5 stars
    Absolutely obsessed over this soup! It was one of the first meals I made in my instant pot when I first got it. I have shared it with many of my instant pot loving friends as well.

  235. Okay so this recipe is a HUGE hit and I share it all the time! Cooking right now as I type this, in fact.

    Everytime I make this soup in the IP, I end up burning the bottom and then needing to transfer it to the stove. Wondering if there is something I’m doing wrong?

    Any help is appreciated!

    1. Hey Kolbi! So stoked you’re loving the soup! A few things could be contributing to this! Too thick of a mixture due to adding extra ingredients or more of something listed above. Even something as small as adding green/brown lentils in place of red lentils (which are very thin and cook faster plus soak up less liquid) can burn ze soup in the IP. Overfilling the pot (doubling the recipe or adding additional ingredients) is also a huge culprit. You mentioned it happens a lot, are there small changes/swaps/additions you tend to make to the recipe each time? Let me know and I’m super happy to help troubleshoot, as this recipe for sure has enough liquid to prevent you from having to transfer it every time and I’d love to make your life easier! 🙂 Chat soon – and thank you Kolbi! xo

  236. 5 stars
    I thought this looked good and it was terrific. I think this is a favorite soup. Only change was doubling the spices and adding dried oregano also. Very impressed with the recipe,

  237. 5 stars
    Phenomenal!! So easy and so flavorful! We skipped the heavy cream but did everything else. Amazing. This will be a go to on a regular. Also easy for food prep.

  238. 5 stars
    This recipe is on our family’s go-to list. Its filling just in its own and freezes well, so you can pack it as individual servings and pull them out of he freezer for an easy lunch or dinner any time.

  239. 5 stars
    Got my InstaPot yesterday and this was my first recipe. I’ve had multiple “burn” error messages and just kept stirring and scraping stuff up from the bottom. Didn’t seem to affect the taste, it was absolutely scrumptious. Reading the other comments about “burn” messages helped. Not sure what I did wrong, for once I actually followed a recipe, but I’m sure there was some “fudge” factor in my measurements. Still, it was really delicious so I gave it 5 stars.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Melissa, thank you! Chunky soups, chilis, curries, etc… are one of those things that can make the IP go wonky with that dreaded burn notice if even a single ingredient is off (it’s maddening, I tell ya! lol) so I’m glad you stuck with it! Too much of the thicker ingredients or less of a water/broth/liquid ingredient can make things go a little batty. We’ve also noticed that regular brown/green lentils vs the red lentils in the IP can soak up all the liquid.

      Again I’m so glad you stuck through it and hooray for your first IP recipe! So excited you chose mine! I’m stoked for you to try a bowl of the leftover soup tomorrow – gah! SO GOOD the next day!

  240. 5 stars
    My 6 year old said this is the second best food she’s ever tasted that’s not a dessert. Thank you! We cooked it together and made it with mild red salsa and no jalapenos. We omitted the tomato paste and used roasted diced canned tomatoes. Topped with sharp cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, and avocado. Delish!

  241. 4 stars
    This smelled insanely good at each step! Thank you to the reviewer who suggested Rotel tomatoes instead of salsa. The soup tasted as good as it smelled and didn’t need the cream but I only had one issue- so many beans! You really have to like beans to like this soup. I don’t mind beans in my food but the proportion was off for me. The lentils completely dissolved and made the soup creamy which is great but I wanted to be able to feel their texture. I would say this is more like a very tasty vegetarian chili. I really enjoyed the flavors so I might try this out with chickpeas instead of the beans. Thank you for an easy and delicious recipe. I just wanted to be honest in case someone else had similar tastes.

  242. 5 stars
    This was so good! I would never have thought to use the red lentils for thickening. You could not even tell they were in there. I used regular salsa as I didn’t have salsa verde on hand but can’t wait to make this again with the green salsa.

  243. Wondering if this would work with dried green/brown lentils…. they are larger than red lentils, but are currently in my cupboard.

    1. Hi Val! The only issue I’ve come across with the brown/green lentils is that they take longer to cook and need a lot more liquid. They soak up a lot of the broth and can burn in the Instant Pot if they soak it all up. I haven’t had a chance to see exactly how much extra this recipe needs but I’d say at least a few more cups of broth, which would also require a little more seasoning as well to cover any dilution. If you get a chance to experiment for sure let me know! Flavor-wise this recipe would be just as glorious with the standard lentils! 🙂

      If you’re using the slow cooker method then the green lentils are perfecto! They may need a bit extra time to cook and a smidge more liquid but won’t run into the same issues as the IP 🙂 For the stove-top method, I’d cook the green lentils on their own in boiling water then add them to the soup! 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        I made this soup with green lentils because I had them on hand. I added an extra cup of broth at the beginning and then a second cup a few hours into slow cooking it because the liquid was reducing. The soup turned out great! I would like to make it with red lentils next time, but if I only have green, I would make it again. I added a bit extra of each spice and the soup came out flavorful and cooked it for an extra hour.

        Also, the soup was even better then next day as the lentils continued to soak and the flavors combined.

        1. So super happy to hear it Brian, and I’m crazy appreciative of you sharing your process for using the green lentils in this recipe with the slow cooker method! Thank you oh so much! 🙂

  244. 5 stars
    MAde this tonight! Yum! I’ve had issues with Burn with several recipes I have tried and was so glad to have one turn out so fab. I used red salsa and ketchup instead of tomato paste since I didn’t have any and it was great! Thanks.

  245. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was yummy. Didn’t add any cream and didn’t miss it. Added a bunch of fresh cilantro at the end. Loved this!

  246. Hi again!

    “1/2 cup salsa verde (or your favorite salsa!)”

    Was looking online getting salsa verde but turn out it extremely difficult get it in UK.

    So can I use normal salsa instead (red ones)?

    1. Hey Jay! Absolutely! It works great with any salsa really – I’ve made it with whatever salsa is lurking in my fridge and it’s always yummy 🙂

    2. 4 stars
      Tesco has green salsa with the Mexican stuff. Quick question, I love making this but burn my lentils every time. I tried to find the solution in the comments but can’t! Help please!!

      1. Hey Jen! We can troubleshoot here or I can shoot you an email if that’s easier? Let me know! My first questions would be, are you burning just the lentils or the whole dish? Instant Pot? If so what size? Also which type of lentils are you using? I’ll help ya get to the bottom of this! xoxo

        1. Sorry it took me so long to respond! I didn’t get an email that you had written. It’s just the lentils burning, I have a stove top pressure cooker not an instant pot so maybe that’s why…I’m using red lentils. Thanks!

          1. Thanks for popping back over Jen! I’ve been reading more and more about the differences between stove-top pressure cookers and electric like the Instant Pot, and it seems like there’s a definite PSI/pressure difference between them with the stove-top cooker having a much higher pressure. They also cook about 3x faster as well (which is awesome!) but can leave to overcooking/sticking/burning when using a recipe developed with an electric pressure cooker — that could be where things get dicey each time you try to cook lentils! They also have a different capacity right? Is there a fill-capacity line that you know of with your pressure cooker? If so do you think the recipe goes past it? If it’s nowhere near the max fill line for your cooker, I’d say we can try upping the liquid to lentil ratio and decreasing the cook time quite a bit!

  247. 5 stars
    LOVE this soup! So tasty and delicious! I did leave out the heavy cream and tomato sauce since I didn’t have any in stock. Instead, I added 1 tbsp of tomato paste with the veg broth.

    1. Such a great swap Niti, and I’m excited to know it works this way as well (I’m always running out of things, lol!) Thank you! 🙂

  248. 5 stars
    I just made this vegetarian lentil soup in the instant pot and OMG it is SO SO good!!! I am so excited to try your other recipes! Thank you for sharing!

  249. 5 stars
    If I am doubling the recipe, do I need to change the timing for the pressure on the IP?
    I’ve made this recipe 3 times for my family, and have shared the recipe with my cousins too- it’s a hit.

    1. I’m so glad y’all are loving the recipe! 🙂 Thank you! A reader recently tried to double the recipe in an 8 QT and reported that it would not work and switched to the safety auto-shutoff feature b/c the pot cannot handle that much soup. They totally need to come out with a 10 QT for us that love to batch cook lots of food for freezer meals and potlucks/gatherings!

  250. “For a thicker soup, feel free to add some corn tortillas (torn into pieces) to the soup”

    Do I add that with everything before start cooking or I add that at end after cooking? I not quite sure.

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Great question Jay! Since the IP is super finicky, I’d actually add it right after cooking and let it sit/cool. Tear or chop them up real small and the piping hot soup will use them to thicken as it cools. I’d say maybe 2 small corn tortillas worth? 3 max if you like it crazy chunky! 🙂

      1. Hi

        Thanks replying! I wanted to check make sure. I don’t have instant pot yet (none in stock in UK at moment). I am planning use your recipe for my first instant pot cooking. Want get all info ready.
        🙂

        1. I’m so excited for you to get your Instant Pot Jay! It’s for sure a fun appliance! Kudos for doing all your research too – love that 🙂

          1. 5 stars
            Hi. I finally get my Instant Pot from UK. They delayed many months and now finally use your recipe for my first instant pot meal today. So very good! Defo will make it again in future.

            Thanks for help answering all my questions before.

          2. HOORAY! Jay I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for chatting it up with me and I can’t wait to hear what you try next!

  251. 5 stars
    The perfect soup for a dreary day. Best of all I had everything on hand. I loved the luxury of the Instant Pot. I did leave out the heavy cream, but only because I forgot to add it.

  252. I have a question as I am new to pressure cooking. I see you call for canned black and pinto beans but dried lentils. Why can’t you use dried black and pinto beans too??

    1. Hey Lara! Great question and I can totally explain this one for ya! 🙂

      What basically happens is that the delicate vegetables go beyond the point of tender and turn to complete mush. 30-40 minutes of high pressure (plus pressure build and release time) are usually needed to cook the beans and that is a lot of pressure for the veggies to endure, so they lose their shape and texture.

      My favorite time saving hack for skipping cans entirely is to make my beans in the IP meal-prep style and then freeze them all measured out in 1 cup or 2 cup servings after cooking/cooling. This way when I need beans for a recipe I can use my cooked-from-dried beans that I’ve cooked up in my IP and bypass the need for cans entirely! I try to do this whenever possible bc it’s such a time + money saver in the long run!

      Hope this helps and that you get to try the recipe soon – It’s one of my favorites soups, especially when it’s so crazy cold out! xoxo

  253. 5 stars
    Oh, my dear daughter shared this recipe of yours with me. Thank goodness as I was needing to come up with something for dinner. I didn’t have several of the ingredients, but was able to substitute well enough (creamed corn for the corn, chickpeas and shredded chicken, fire roasted spicy chili tomatoes for the salsa), but I thought it would add more depth of flavor if I sauted the onions and spices a bit before throwing everything else in….DON”T DO IT! I believe it made the bottom too hot and it started to burn before the time was up. Luckily I was able to scoop out most of it without having a scorched taste. Test? My hubby LOVED it! Just one of those, don’t do what I did 😉