Recipe: Chicken and Lentil Soup

This tasty chicken soup with a fusion of Mediterranean flavours is powered up with lentils, quinoa and loads of veggies. It’s like a big bowl of delicious, warm hugs.

This tasty chicken soup with a fusion of Mediterranean flavours is powered up with lentils, quinoa and loads of veggies. It’s like a big bowl of delicious, warm hugs.

Chicken and Lentil Soup

By Josie Malevich


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup pancetta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch each smoked paprika and hot pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 cup packed chopped kale or Swiss chard
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Baguette, for serving (optional)


Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook pancetta until lightly golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, cumin, paprika, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook for 1 minute.

Pour in chicken stock, water, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Stir in potatoes, lentils and quinoa. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in chicken, zucchini and kale. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 more minutes.

Remove bay leaf. Stir in parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with baguette if desired.

Recipe notes:

Homemade stock makes a world of difference in a soup. Here’s a super easy version for chicken stock with only 2 ingredients so that you can always have stock on hand. Don’t worry about adding any vegetables or seasoning to the stock because that will be added when you make the soup. All you really need is chicken bones and water.

Use the leftover chicken bones from a homemade or store-bought roasted chicken. Cover with cold water (about 8 cups) in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours; strain, cool and refrigerate or freeze. To cool down the stock faster, pour into smaller containers.  You can use raw bones too, but add the step of skimming the foam as it starts to boil. This works well with cooked turkey, ham, beef or pork bones too.

Try French green lentils, also known Le Puy lentils, in this soup. They have a rich earthy flavour, creamy texture and take less time to cook.

Servings: Makes 4 servings


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