Recipes · Cooking tips · Techniques

Chicken Lentil Soup

Chicken Lentil Soup

This chicken lentil soup makes a hearty, delicious dinner. It’s made with wholesome, affordable ingredients and makes a great weeknight meal.

Chicken lentil soup in a white bowl on a light colored flowered linen.

 

In this lentil recipe, chicken thighs are cooked with onions, carrots, celery, garlic and spices until the lentils are tender and the broth is rich and flavorful. Then the chicken is shredded and the soup is finished with the shredded chicken and fresh greens. It’s a fantastic lentil soup that will please the whole family.

 

Lentils are great beans; they’re super nutritious, they don’t require soaking, and cook up pretty quickly (by bean standards anyway). Incorporate more lentils into your dinner rotation with one of these delicious recipes:

Lentil Sausage Soup   Bacon and Lentil Soup   Italian Sausage Lentil Soup   Lentil Chorizo Soup

Lentil Potato Soup

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 pound Chicken Thighs, skinless, boneless
  • 1 teaspoon Salt, plus extra to season the lentils at the end
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Large Carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1 Celery Rib, finely diced
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 12 ounce Package of Lentils, sorted, rinsed and drained
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth
  • 5-6 ounces Fresh Kale, Chard, Spinach or a combination of greens – washed

 

Prep work

Prep is quick and easy with this lentil soup

 

We’ll start by sorting the lentils. Don’t skip this step! I frequently find small rocks in lentils. More so than any other bean, so pick through them thoroughly. Here’s an image of a stone I found, not in this batch, but I wanted to illustrate the importance of sorting.

Image of dry lentils on a wood cutting board and a small stone that was found in the lentils.

 

  • Sort the lentils by placing them on a sheet pan or on a clean, flat surface. Pick through them and remove any foreign objects, such as tiny rocks, twigs, misshaped beans, etc.
  • Rinse the lentils with cold water and drain.
  • Season the chicken thighs on both sides with the salt.
  • Dice the onions, celery and cut the carrots into rounds or half rounds. They’re going in the pot at the same time, so keep them in the same bowl. I like using nesting bowls to organize all my ingredients. They make prep work a snap!
  • Next, mince the garlic, measure out the tomato paste, oregano and chicken broth.
  • Wash the greens if not using a prepackaged, washed variety and that’s it, the prep work is done!

 

Brown the chicken

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes, turn cook another 4-5 minutes to brown on both sides.

 

Take the pot off the heat while you work with the chicken so that the bits on the bottom of the pot don’t burn, and the oil doesn’t overheat. Do not wash.

 

Remove the chicken from the pot and place them on a pan or plate. Keep the chicken warm by covering loosely with a piece of aluminum foil, and/or place the pan in the oven or microwave to keep away from drafts.

 

Don’t worry that the chicken is not cooked through, it will finish cooking in the lentil soup.

 

Start the soup

Place the pot back over medium heat and add the onions, carrots and celery. Gently cook the vegetables for 3 minutes, while stirring frequently.

 

Next, add the garlic, tomato paste, oregano and black pepper to the pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly.

 

Add the chicken broth, lentils and the reserved chicken thighs (including any juices collected in the pan) to the pot. Stir well. Raise the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil. It will take about 5-6 minutes for the liquid to come to a boil.

 

Lower the heat to medium when the broth is at a full boil. Cover the pot and cook the lentils for approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

At this point the chicken should be completely cooked through and the lentils should be close to al dente. Now, some people like their lentils a little firmer than others. At this stage, they will have a bite in the middle.

 

Taste the lentils to see if they have almost reached the desired tenderness. If they are still a bit hard for your taste, continue cooking them for 10-15 more minutes and taste again.

 

Lower the heat and stir more often as the lentils thicken, they could start sticking to the bottom of the pot.

 

Shred the chicken and add the greens

Lower the heat on the soup to medium-low to low. Keep it at a simmer. Use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot and place them on a cutting board or platter.

 

Add the greens to the soup. Give everything a good stir until they wilt and fit comfortably in the pot. Cover the soup and continue cooking.

 

Shred the chicken using two forks and add it back to the soup.

 

Continue cooking 2-3 minutes until the chicken is heated through (or until the lentils reach the desired consistency). Stir often to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

 

Taste the lentils and add salt if needed. As a reference, didn’t add any extra salt to ours.

 

Cook’s Note: It’s best to wait until the end to add any salt to this lentil soup. The chicken is seasoned with 1 teaspoon, plus chicken broth and tomato paste both contain a good amount of salt already. We can always add if needed.

 

Serve the chicken lentil soup alone, with white rice or a generous piece of crusty bread, if desired.

A close up image of lentil soup with shredded chicken served in a white bowl with a spoon to the left had side.

 

You may also like:

Linguine with Chicken and Tomatoes

Braised Chicken Thighs

Chicken Egg Noodle Soup

Chicken Meatball Soup

Creamy Pasta with Chicken

 

Chicken lentil soup in a white bowl on a light colored flowered linen.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chicken Lentil Soup

This chicken lentil soup makes a hearty, delicious dinner. It’s made with wholesome, affordable ingredients and makes a great weeknight meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken
Servings: 6
Calories: 425kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 pound Chicken Thighs skinless, boneless
  • 1 teaspoon Salt plus extra to season the lentils at the end
  • 1 Medium Onion finely diced
  • 1 Large Carrot peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1 Celery Rib finely diced
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 12 ounce Package of Lentils sorted, rinsed and drained
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth
  • 5-6 ounces Fresh Kale Chard, Spinach or a combination of greens – washed

Instructions

  • Sort the lentils and remove any foreign objects, such as tiny rocks, twigs, misshaped beans, etc. Rinse the lentils with cold water and drain.
  • Season the chicken thighs on both sides with the salt.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn and cook another 4-5 minutes to brown on both sides.
  • Take the pot off the heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and place them on a pan or plate, keep warm. Don’t worry that the chicken is not cooked through, it will finish cooking in the lentil soup.
  • Place the pot back over medium heat and add the onions carrots and celery. Gently cook the vegetables for 3 minutes, while stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic, tomato paste, oregano and black pepper to the pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly.
  • Add the chicken broth, lentils and the reserved chicken thighs (including any juices collected in the pan) back to the pot. Stir well.
  • Raise the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium when the broth is at a full boil. Cover the pot and cook the lentils for approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste the lentils to see if they have almost reached the desired tenderness. If they are still a bit hard for your taste, continue cooking them for 10-15 more minutes and taste again. Stir more often as they thicken.

Shred the chicken and add the greens

  • Lower the heat to medium-low (to low). Remove the chicken from the pot and place them on a cutting board or platter.
  • Add the greens to the soup. Give everything a good stir until they wilt and fit comfortably in the pot. Cover the soup and continue cooking.
  • Shred the chicken and add it back to the soup.
  • Continue cooking 2-3 minutes until the chicken is heated through (or until the lentils reach the desired consistency). Stir often to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Taste the lentils and add salt if needed. As a reference, didn’t add any extra salt to ours.
  • Serve the chicken lentil soup alone, with white rice or with a generous piece of crusty bread, if desired.

Notes

Keep the chicken warm by covering it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil, or place the pan in the oven or microwave to keep away from drafts.
As the lentils start to thicken stir them more often. They have a tendency of sinking to the bottom of the pot and could burn.

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1649mg | Potassium: 1183mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4065IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 6mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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