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

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.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 425kcal
Author Elizabeth


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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