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Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe

This Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe is a hearty, filling recipe that is perfect for those chilly days. Shredded chicken is mixed with red lentils, vegetables, warm spices and topped with fresh herbs. You will love this easy soup that also freezes well! 

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe in a dutch oven.

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CHICKEN LENTIL SOUP RECIPE 

One of my the most popular recipes on my site is this Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup and this Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup during soup season. 

These were recipes I shared way back when I started my website and have been my favorite for years. 
I love that my readers also really enjoy these soups and make them time and time again for their families.

When the chilly weather rolls around lentil soup are my go-to. They are easy to make, filling and freeze great for later. 

Today’s Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe is a recipe I have been wanting to share for some time and finally got around to it.

This one is a favorite of mine. It is different than a lot of my other lentil soups that are vegan or vegetarian. This version uses shredded chicken. 

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe in white bowl

You can either use the leftovers from this Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken, rotisserie chicken or make this slow cooker chicken and use that.

If you use the slow cooker chicken I would leave out the beans and salsa and just cook the chicken is broth and shred it for the soup. 

This Chicken Lentil Soup uses some of my favorite spices that are warm and rich. It gives this delicious soup so much flavor and pairs really nicely with the lentils and the chicken. 

If you like lentils you should also check out some other recipes like this Lemon Lentil Soup, Lebanese Lentil Soup, Red Lentil Curry, Mediterranean Lentil Salad or this Slow Cooker Lentil Soup.

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe with spoon.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS CHICKEN LENTIL SOUP

EASY TO MAKE: This soup is really easy to make. You start by sautéing the vegetables and then add everything else in and let it simmer. It really couldn’t be an easier and the whole family will love it. 

FREEZES WELL FOR LATER: Lentil soups freeze great for later. I like to make a big batch and freeze half of it for later. When you are ready to eat the soup let it sit in the fridge overnight and then reheat on the store. Add a splash of water or broth if the soup is too thick. 

FEEDS A CROWD: This soup recipe feeds a crowd. You can double the soup to make an even bigger batch. It is a great soup to start a holiday meal with or pair with your holiday lamb, chicken or roast. 

KEEP YOU FEELING FULL: I love a healthy meal. The lentils are packed with fiber and protein. You will feel full and satisfied after this healthy soup. 

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe ingredients.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

extra virgin olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil to sauté the vegetables in. You can use whatever olive ol you have on hand but I like using a good quality oil to add flavor to the soup. 

vegetables: this soup uses garlic cloves, diced onion, carrots and celery as the base of the soup. You can of course use other vegetables or leave these out but I like the nutrition it adds to the soup and the flavor. 

spices: the spices are my favorite part of this soup. They are warm, rich and add a lot of mediterranean flavor to the soup. I added cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, curry powder and cayenne pepper.

I know a lot of people don’t keep coriander on hand – you can skip that spice if you don’t have it. These spices make this a flavorful chicken lentil soup recipe.

lentils: this soup is packed with hearty lentils. I used red lentils because I find them hold up nicely in soups. Make sure to rinse them and pick through them to get rid of anything that isn’t a lentil. 

vegetable stock: I like to use a good quality vegetable stock or vegetable broth in this soup. Chicken broth or chicken stock also works great. Try making my Homemade Chicken Broth to use. 

lemon juice: I am a lover of lemons. I especially love adding it into lentils soup recipes. I added the juice of a lemon to this soup but you do not have to. The soup is great without it as well. I think it helps bring a sweet, citrusy place that compliments the spices well. 

shredded chicken: this is a great recipe for leftover chicken you have on hand. You can either use the leftovers from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, this Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken, or make this slow cooker chicken and use that. I add the chicken in at the end just to heat it but I don’t leave it too long in the soup or if will dry it out. You want tender chicken. 

fresh herbs: fresh herbs are the perfect finishing touch to this lentil soup. I love fresh dill and fresh parsley.

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe with napkin.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN LENTIL SOUP 

SAUTE THE VEGGIES & SPICES: Heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Sauté the onion and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes then add the cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, curry powder, cayenne red pepper, salt and black pepper and continue to sauté about 4 minutes until the spices bloom.

Add the carrots and celery and sauté until carrots are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

ADD THE BROTH: Add the vegetable broth and lentils and stir to combine.

SIMMER THE SOUP: Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

STIR IN LEMON JUICE & CHICKEN: Stir in the lemon juice {optional}. If you want to pureed all or half of the soup with an immersion blender or blender do that now.

Stir in the shredded chicken.

GARNISH WITH FRESH HERBS: Serve the soup with dill, parsley and crushed red pepper. Serve with crusty bread or pita bread. 

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe in pot.

WAYS TO MODIFY THIS CHICKEN LENTIL SOUP RECIPE

VEGETABLES: I enjoy extra vegetables in this soup like cauliflower, jalapeños for spice, potatoes, bell peppers or sweet potatoes.

BEAN: You can add additional protein to the soup by adding chickpeas or white beans. 

GARNISHES: Garnishes are always a great way to take a soup to the next level.

Some garnishes I love in this lentil soup is feta cheese, fresh cilantro, Greek or plain yogurt swirled in to create a thicker, creamier soup.

LENTILS: I like red lentils because they break down and become soft. With this soup I blend it, or at least half of it, but you can easily eat this soup as is.

If you have brown or green lentils on hand you can swap those in or use half red and half brown lentils or green lentils. Some people prefer the texture of the green or brown-so that is totally up to you! 

SPICES: You can add smoked paprika, sweet paprika, chili powder, Italian seasoning or za’atar. 

GRAIN: Mix up the grain in this soup. You can try brown rice, white rice or quinoa. 

THICKENING: You can use tomato paste or creamy coconut milk to help thicken this soup. 

HOW TO STORE THIS RED LENTIL CHICKEN SOUP

You can store this soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You might need to add broth or water when you reheat to the soup as the lentils tend to soak up the broth as it sits. 

You can also freeze this soup for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Make sure you let the soup cool completely before freezing it. 

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe with spoon and napkin

WHAT TO PAIR WITH CHICKEN AND LENTIL SOUP

A lot of times when I eat this soup it stands great on its own. I will often warm up a piece of pita or naan to go with it and make a simple salad. Here are some other ideas:

OTHER LENTIL RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

VEGETARIAN LENTIL CHILI 

TURKISH RED LENTIL SOUP

LENTIL MUSHROOM STEW

GREEN LENTIL SPINACH SOUP

RED LENTIL COCONUT SOUP

ITALIAN STYLE LENTIL SOUP

SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH LENTILS

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe in a dutch oven.

Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Chicken Lentil Soup Recipe is a hearty, filling recipe that is perfect for those chilly days. Shredded chicken is mixed with red lentils, vegetables, warm spices and topped with fresh herbs. You will love this easy soup that also freezes well! 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • Juice of 1 lemon, optional
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • Fresh dill, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Crushed red pepper for garnish

Instructions

    1. Heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
    2. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes then add the cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, curry powder, cayenne red pepper, salt and black pepper and continue to sauté about 4 minutes until the spices bloom.
    3. Add the carrots and celery and sauté until carrots are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
    4. Add the vegetable broth and lentils and stir to combine.
    5. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
    6. Stir in the lemon juice {optional}. If you want to pureed all or half of the soup with an immersion blender or blender do that now.
    7. Stir in the shredded chicken.
    8. Serve the soup with dill, parsley and crushed red pepper.

Notes

STORAGE: You can store this soup in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You may want to stir in more broth or water when you reheat the soup. Somtimes the liquid gets soaked into the lentils.

FREEZING: This soup freezes very well if you want to have leftovers. Let it cool completely before freezing in an air tight container for up to 3 months.

If you want a bit thicker of a soup add 2-3 Tablespoons of tomato paste once the onion, garlic and carrots are cooked.

Some other additions that are nice include quinoa or couscous, chickpeas, grilled chicken, butternut squash or zucchini.

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Robin

Friday 5th of January 2024

This soup was SO delicious! It was perfect for a cold January night. Thank you for sharing!

Julia

Saturday 6th of January 2024

You are welcome! I am so glad that you enjoyed it. This one is so perfect for winter!

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