Chicken and lentil soup is hearty, filling, and delicious. It is perfect for fall and winter weather to warm you up and provide some comfort. Sometimes all we need is a bowl of good soup.
- Use regular brown lentils. They are the cheapest, have a mild flavor, and hold their shape well during cooking. I tested this recipe with red lentils and they turned to mush because they’re smaller and cook faster.
- Rinse the lentils and pick over them for anything that shouldn’t be in there. Sometimes there can be things like small stones and other debris in there.
- Chop the onion, celery, and carrots into the same size pieces so they cook at the same rate.
- Trim excess fat from chicken thighs to lower the number of calories.
Mirepoix refers to a mixture of equal parts, onion, carrot, and celery. The vegetables are slowly cooked in oil to bring out the flavors without browning them. This recipe uses the olive oil flavored by the chicken and sausage to cook the vegetables to bring out the maximum flavor. This is a really common base for a lot of soups.
Deglaze a.k.a. get all the brown bits! The chicken and sausage are cooked in the pot first so they leave brown bits behind. This is what gives the soup a real depth of flavor. Be careful they don’t burn while the mirepoix is cooking. When you add the chicken broth and bring the soup to a boil, make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot to get all the flavor.
Lentils and PCOS
Eating a diet rich in pulses and legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans may be beneficial for women with PCOS recent research has shown. A 2020 study showed that those following a diet rich in pulses and an aerobic exercise program had improved body composition at the end of a 16 week period. The control group was a group of women following therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC).
Lentils are also high in soluble fiber which slows down their absorption. They are high in protein but also high in carbohydrates as you can see from the nutrition label at the bottom of this post. Therefore, like everything else, they should be eaten in moderation.
In addition to being a low glycemic index food, pulses are known to lower insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is one of the driving mechanisms behind many symptoms of PCOS, so any improvement in this can have a positive knock-on effect.
This soup is even better the next day! Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Chicken and lentil soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure it is completely sealed to avoid freezer burn.
Interested in more recipes with pulses?
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If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @lemonandsophia! I love hearing what people think and what changes or additions you make.
Chicken and Lentil Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (see notes)
- 2 Italian sausages cut into small pieces (optional)
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 carrots chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced or finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup brown lentils rinsed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- fresh parsley to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides (about 4 minutes each side) and remove to a clean plate. It's ok if they're not completely cooked through as they'll finish cooking later. While the chicken is browning, chop the onion, carrot, and celery into evenly sized pieces.
- Add the Italian sausage to the pan and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook over medium heat until soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Scrape the brown bits left by the chicken and sausage off the bottom so they don't burn.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add the cumin, lentils, and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-25 until the lentils are soft but not all the liquid is absorbed.
- Serve topped with fresh parsley.