Dec 4, 2013

Chicken and Lentil Soup



This delicious, hearty lentil soup made with chicken, cilantro, cumin and spices is perfect for warming your belly on those cold winter nights. What's more, it's easy to make, economical and very satisfying.

I was in the mood for this last night so I thought it would be a great time to update the photos. I've slightly modified the original recipe which I posted back in 2009, but the results are just as good.

I've been making this soup for years, my family loves it – including my four year old (to my surprise)! It makes a big pot which means plenty of leftovers for lunch. It freezes well and can be reheated with a little water if it gets too thick.

This soup is delicious, easy and nourishing, not to mention budget-friendly!

Lentils were actually the first legumes I liked as a kid. My mom would me a similar soup with carrots and celery and since I was picky – she usually pureed mine. I love preparing them because they cook so much quicker than dried beans, and a small amount goes a long way. They are high in protein, Vitamin B, folate and soluble fiber and have twice as much iron as other legumes. You can easily cut this recipe in half or freeze left-overs for lunch which is what I like to do. Chicken breast would work in place of thighs if you prefer white meat. Ground annato (also known as achiote) is commonly used in Latin cuisine, it's used mostly to add color and adds a subtle flavor, but if you can't find it paprika would work instead.

Chicken and Lentil Soup
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 9 • Size: 1 cup • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 179 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 23 g • Carb: 33 g • Fiber: 14 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 219 mg • Cholesterol: 42 mg

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried lentils
  • 12 oz (3) boneless skinless chicken thighs, all fat trimmed
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chicken Better than Bouillon
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium ripe tomato
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground annato (or Spanish paprika, or even Sazon)
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

In a large pot combine lentils, chicken, water and chicken bullion. Bring to a boil, covered over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred, return to the pot.


Meanwhile, in a chopper or by hand, mince the onions, scallions, cilantro, garlic, and tomato. Add to the lentils with garlic powder, cumin, oregano and annato and cook, covered until the lentils are soft, about 25 more minutes, adding more water as needed if too thick. Adjust salt to taste as needed.

Makes about 9 cups.

122 comments :

  1. Great looking soup Gina. Love how fast it is!!

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  2. I love that lentils don't have to be soaked overnight. This can also be made with slightly less water served over rice!

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  3. This. Looks. Fantastic! I love lentils, and adding chicken and Sazon (one of my favorite things!) is just genius!

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  4. Wow, this is a different twist on the lentil soup that I usually make! I love the addition of chicken and Sazon. This looks like another winner, Gina!!!

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  5. Another delicious dish!!! Can't wait to make more of your recipes. I've tried the roasted chickpeas . . . amazing, black bean salad . . . awesome and many more. Thank you so much for posting. It is making weight watchers easier for me.

    Charlene

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  6. Can this be cooked in a crock pot? For how long?

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  7. I've never tried it in the crock pot, but I'm sure it can since dried lentil dont take as long to cook as dried beans. I would probably cook it 6-8. Let me know how it comes out if you do use the crock pot.

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  8. This soup looks tasty. I'm going to try it. I find myself coming back here for cold weather food. And love the blog.

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  9. @ Pod- I love this soup! Thanks for the comment!

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  10. Made it today and yum! So healthy. How much you would say is 10oz. cup wise? Congrats on your beautiful baby.

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    Replies
    1. Seeing as a cup is 8 oz, 10 oz is 1.25 cups.

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  11. Made this tonight and have never had lentils before. OMG this is fantastic! I used sazon by goya, it is available at walmart in the latin section. Great recipe!

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  12. @carrie, wow you never had lentils! Glad you liked it for trying it for the first time. I love lentils.

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  13. I cooked this on low in my crockpot today. Very tasty...could use a little salt and pepper, but delicious! Thanks for the recipes!

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    Replies
    1. did you add all the ingredients at once?

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    2. How long/on what level should it be cooked in the slow cooker?

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    3. Yes, please share your crock pot version!

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  14. The crockpot mellows the spices so you always have to add more seasoning to it. Glad you liked it.

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  15. Gina you have done it again!!! This was so easy I am beginning to fool myself than I can cook haha!!! This makes enough to freeze half and bring to work for lunch and won't everyone be jealous!!

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  16. I knew you would love this!!!

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  17. Your recipes are fantastic! I tried this one today, and the flavor of the finely chopped scallions and garlic was just what I needed today! Thank you for all your recipes!

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  18. can sazon be substitued for another spice/seasoning?

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  19. sazon is salt, garlic,cumin, coriander, and annato. the annato can be omitted because thats basically just for color. i would just mix all those spices together in equal parts and use 1 to 2 tsp of it to equal a paket of sazon. idk maybe gina has a better suggestion.

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  20. @vlo- Thanks for answering, that sounds right.

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  21. no problem, i was just scoping this recipe when i saw the question. :)

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  22. Wonderful recipe!!! I left out the tomato, used 4 cups of fat free/reduced sodium chicken broth and 1 bullion, made my own Sazon (avoiding MSG), and and about 1.5 lbs of boneless/skinless chicken breasts (which probably adds a point per serving?).

    I am on day 3 of Weight Watchers and found your site through Google. Love it!!

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  23. Making this today, thanks to you! I've been in the mood for this soup, one of my faves!

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  24. I made a batch of this tonight and it was spectacular. I'm a big lentil fan, and I fell in love with sazon thanks to your delicious pollo sabroso recipe, so this was a perfect pairing for me. Thank you for such a great recipe!

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  25. I ran this through the new Points Plus calculator and it came out to 5 points per serving if you do 8 servings. :)

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  26. It came out to six points per serving when I threw it in my recipe builder. I don't care...it's delicious!

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  27. OK my daughter and I just devoured a bowl of this stuff. It tastes like it has been cooking all day! Absolutely delicious and SO quick and easy! Thank you once again for making Weight Watchers, and healthy eating in general, such a pleasure! Thanks to your family too for "testing" the recipes first! :-)
    Cristy & Kimberly

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  28. This looks lovely! just a small question, might sound stupid. But what are breast halves? Would that be one breast and the half of another or am I completely off the mark here? I really want to make this but I want to make sure I don't go overboard with the calories!

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  29. Sorry, 3 chicken breasts, on the bone.

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  30. Thank you so much! No need to apologise haha! Can't wait to make this!

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  31. I have made this soup four times in the last month and still can't get enough of it!

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  32. I was wondering, if you omitted the chicken what would the points/calorie content be? Thanks!

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  33. First of all, I LOVEEEEEE your site -- your recipes are delicious and have been my go-to source for menu ideas. My husband is now on a first-name basis with "skinny taste." :)

    On this recipe -- I'm getting 5 points when I put it the Points calculator...am I doing something wrong???

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  34. This soup is delicious! I made it this evening and it turned out wonderfully. It looked nothing like your picture, but maybe that's because I made my own Sazon after I had no luck finding it.

    Either way it was tasty, hearty and kid approved. I came across your site while looking for a healthy dessert option for a New Years party and I've been making your recipes ever since.

    Thank you for all of the cooking inspirations!

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  35. Made this tonight and it was great!! Used boneless breasts that I cooked separately in the crockpot beforehand and then shredded. Also used broth instead of the bouillon and ended up having to add more since it was thick. Also pureed it with an immersion blender before adding the chicken or the onion mixture. Made the texture a little more kid friendly. Thanks Gina!

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  36. Jennifer L.1/16/12, 3:49 PM

    Just finished cooking this soup and it smells incredible in my house! So flavorful! Have never used sazon seasoning and cannot wait to use it in other things.

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  37. Made this for the first time tonight. Used some leftover rotisserie chicken and added some baby potatoes. This is probably the best soup I have ever made, and the best lentil soup i have tasted!!!

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  38. This is tasty - thank you for your recipes! I love that your recipes are Weight Watcher friendly. I refuse to lose weight eating boring food! :) Just a note - I ran this through recipe builder and came up with a Pts. Plus value of 5. Still a bargain for a healthy and filling soup. Thanks!

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  39. Gina, How could I translate this to a crock pot recipe?

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  40. Hi Gina - I discovered your sight earlier this year, after joining WW for the first time and love your recipes. Super helpful that you include the points plus value - Thank you!! I made this recipe over the weekend and both the BF and BFF loved it! Great flavor and so easy to make. We went a bit unhealthy and ate it with a fresh crusty baguette (just a small piece for me, of course) and it was perfect! Can't wait to try others!

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  41. Mad this for this week's lunch - I don't care that it's close to a hundred degrees here either. I'm going to eat and enjoy! Thanks for a great recipe, Gina!

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  42. i just cooked this soup. looks and tastes Perfecto!!! oh forgot to tell - i cooked with red lentil and in cast enamel pot. So delishes!
    i adore you site, Gina <3

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  43. Gina, points plus value. Your heading says 3, recipe says 2?? Thanks Mary

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  44. Another winner Gina! I don't know what i would do without you! Thank YOU!

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  45. You said 3 small chicken breasts I have some already shredded from a previous meal how many oz would you say that be..

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  46. Cooked this last night and am eating it again now for lunch- it is amazing! I am 3 for 3 now for your recipes turning out wonderfully, I think I am hooked to your site. Thanks for your work! :)

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  47. I'm excited to make this this weekend! I'm really confused on the points though... Under nutritional info, it lists this as 2 points, but the title says 3. Users said that they plugged it in to the calculator and got 6 and 8 points. Huge differences, can you please clarify?

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  48. What if I use ready made broth instead of bullion..how many cups would I need?

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  49. Hey what are the points plus for this recipe?

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    1. The info is all above the recipe

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  50. Is this 3 points on points+ - if I'm reading the title of the recipe correctly?? Thanks!

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  51. Made this yesterday can't wait to have some today. I didn't have cilantro on hand so I used some of my home made sofrito. I cheated and used Trader Joe's steamed lentils.

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  52. I love lentils, but it never occurred to me to add chicken. Yum!

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  53. I love lentil soup & made some the other night....loosely following this recipe. I didn't, however, boil the lentils (and no chicken, i am vegetarian). Anyway, I had to throw it out because although it tasted DELISH it made me gastastic! Anyone have any idea why? Perhaps I am just sensitive to lentils?

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    Replies
    1. Lentils are a bean and if they're not cooked all the way, can play hell on your system.

      I always borderline over-cook my beans since a disasterous encounter with under-cooked edamame. :/

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  54. This soup looks so fantastic!

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  55. Excited to try this. I actually just picked up some lentils this past weekend and was beginning to look for a recipe!

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  56. hi gina - instead of the 8 cups of water and 1 tbsp bouillon, could i use low-sodium chicken broth and water? maybe 4 cups of each or how would you divide? thanks!

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  57. I love lentils and will trying this soon! It looks delicious
    !

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  58. This is one of my favorite recipes of your to make when it's cold and rainy out. I love it! And it's very nostalgic. Mi abuelita used to make a dish with a very similar taste con pollo y lentejas. Thanks so much!

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  59. anything else I could use besides cilantro?

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  60. I can't wait to make this soup. My mouth is watering already!

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  61. How have I not seen this before? Most of my meals come from your site. Lentil soup is one of my favorite, go-to meals and this will be a great new twist. Have you played around with different veggies? I can't imagine lentil soup without spinach, so may add it. Just in time for the cold snap!

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  62. This soup looks so easy and delicious. I'm gonna make it in the crockpot :-)

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    1. Hi Martha, can you please post how you'd do it in the crockpot? I was thinking the same thing.. i'm thinking low for 6-8 hours, but would that make the lentils "mushy?"

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  63. Such a good recipe for these cold an snowy days. Great stuff to warm us up.

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  64. I love making this recipe of yours! I'm a big fan of your original version - would it be possible for you to still post the original recipe somewhere?

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    1. I love the original recipe as well. I printed it a long time ago but would love to have it online somewhere in case I lose mine.

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  65. Does it matter what kind of lentils you use? I have red lentils in the cabinet.

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  66. Gina,
    The spoon in the picture - is that Oneida Coronation silver plate? It looks like my mom's old wedding pattern.

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  67. This soup looks soo good. I got a good while without tasting a soup like this, perhaps I should try to make it. Thank you!

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  68. I love lentil soup but I never though to add chicken. I can't wait to try this! I think I'll try it in my crockpot...I love having dinner ready when I walk in the door from work.
    Love your site as always!

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  69. Hi Gina,
    What type of lentil did you use in this recipe?

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  70. I just moved and the evenings are a lot colder than what I'm used to. This soup sounds perfect for a evening on the couch with the fireplace roaring and a good movie. Thanks Gina!

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  71. Gina, I would love to try this but can't stand large amount so of cilantro (i.e. 1/4 cup), so is there something else that you would recommend as a substitute? Thanks!

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    1. I would think parsley would work instead.

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  72. is chicken Better than Bouillon the same as chicken stock?

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  73. Yummy! We Indians call this `dal' and its an everyday staple. It's never ever made with chicken though, so this is an interesting twist. To make leftovers fun - fry up some onion, garlic and tomatoes, add the leftovers, whizz it in a blender and serve with a dollop of plain yogurt. Dal and yogurt are a match made in heaven!

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  74. For variety, add some apple cider vinegar (or red wine or any other kind of flavorful vinegar) toward the end of cooking, or a spoonful once it's served. Some tomato paste (1 Tablespoon or so) while it's cooking, along with a bit of brown sugar, will give you some new flavors. One of my faves. Great work, Gina!

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  75. I just made this today for lunch and boy is it delicious! I LOVE the Progresso canned lentil soup so I was a little leery of trying this recipe - because why mess with a good thing? Plus, how easy is it to just open a can? But the addition of chicken and cilantro to lentil soup forced me to say what the heck and take off in a mad dash to the local grocery - and oh, how glad I am! This soup was Ah. May. Zing. Also,if it were any easier my 6 year old could make it (it literally took me 10 minutes of actual work to make.) Thank you so much Gina!

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  76. I made this today and it was really really good - even my 13yo daughter, who doesnt eat soup, tried it and had two bowls. Definitely recommend and will make this again and again!

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  77. Found this recipe in my inbox this morning. I had all the ingredients, so put it together and then went to my Weight Watchers meeting. What a wonderful soup to come home to, especially on such a frigid night. Thanks for another great recipe.

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  78. Found this recipe while looking on Pinterest for a chicken and lentil recipe. While I won't be making this exactly ( at least not this time, but likely next time), your recipe will help me use up a left over roadt chicken and my over abundance of lentils. Thank you!

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  79. I'll be making this for our snowy Sunday dinner!

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  80. I used to think "blech" when I would see lentil soup...not anymore, this is delicious! Thanks again for another yummy recipe! :)

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  81. Just made it and it was awesome!! Substituted chicken stock for the water and bullion. Also, I put a dollop of light sour cream for a point+ and it was worth it.

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  82. I made this for dinner tonight. It was the perfect end to a lovely snowy day! Hearty, flavorful, easy and so filling! I'll certainly be making this again!

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  83. Such a good recipe for these cold an snowy days. Great stuff to warm us up.

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  84. I really really don't like Cilantro. Would it make a big difference if I omitted it?

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  85. I'm very sad that I never wrote down the old recipe. The old was 3pp. Now 5pp and chicken thighs. I despise chicken thighs! The old recipe was perfect! Anyway to tell me the old recipe? The one in my recipe box changed too. Im wicked bummed. =(

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    1. I also dislike thighs, but in this soup they work so well. It is worth giving it a try.

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  86. I made this last night. Fantastic! And very filling.

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  87. I don't eat dark meat chicken- would this still taste good with chicken breast? If I used the breast, how many should I use- 1 or 2?

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    1. I used two chicken breasts when I made it last week!

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  88. Made this yummy soup last night; used red lentils. Recipe is a keeper! Very good for you! Even my picky son ate it! Thanks for the great recipe!

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  89. Made this the other night and oh my goodness it's delicious! I have had leftovers and am getting ready to eat them for lunch. We recently had a lot of snow, and it is still super cold here, so this is PERFECT. Super filling and SUPER comforting..thanks so much for your recipes! It's very tempting when it's cold out to gorge on fatty foods, but you provide an alternative that is seriously just as yummy. I always look forward to going home and cooking your recipes at the end of the day..it is such a joy to be able to provide healthy and delicious recipes for my husband and friends. Thanks again! :)

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  90. Soy fan de las lentejas su receta es fantàstica me encanta sobremanera,abrazos.

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  91. This is one of the best soups I've made from Skinny Taste! Delicious, filling & healthy. Also, so easy to make!

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  92. I made this soup and LOVE it!! I am a lifetime Weight Watchers member and Gina's recipes are all great. I served this soup to company for lunch and they asked for the recipe. I hooked them up with Skinnytaste. Keep up the good work, Gina.

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  93. Yum! Yum! Made it tonight and loved it. Made it in the crockpot.

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  94. i made this in my crockpot last night and it is amazing!!! i used chicken breast and sazon. cooked it on low for 8 hours. it is the best lentil soup ive ever made

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  95. Ive made this several times and just love it! I sub chicken breasts for the thighs.....use 8 cups of vegetable broth, adding in chopped carrots, celery and a can of diced fire roasted tomatoes. Its so good, Im making it tonight for our New Years Eve gathering!

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  96. This was really really delicious and so easy and quick to make.

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  97. just made this. it was a huge hit! my husband who hates lentils had an entire bowl! really yummy recipe!!

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  98. This was delicious! We added a couple splashes of hot sauce and it was a great addition.

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  99. This is on the stove right now and my house smells amazing! Didn't use cilantro, added carrots and a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh. Can't wait to eat it!

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  100. Could this be made in a slow cooker. If so for how long would it need to cook?

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  101. Made it last night and it was amazing! Some changes: started with a sauteed mirepoix (onion, celery, carrots) before adding the broth/chicken, used fire roasted canned tomatoes instead of fresh, used dried cilantro, and could only find thighs w/ bone and skin so I skinned them pre-cooking and took the meat off the bone when I was shredding the chicken. Gave it a little blend w/ the immersion blender at the end, and served w/ jalapeno cheddar cornbread. Soooo good!!

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  102. I just have to tell you how much I love this soup. I've made it four or five times now and freeze what we don't eat. Thanks for the recipe!

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  103. This is fantastic. We are on a HPLC diet and this fits in perfectly especially with the calorific values that you've given. Thank you so much Gina. :)

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  104. Mmmmm- delicious! Added spinach and siracha and used 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 water, and it is great! Thanks so much!

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  105. I've made this soup twice now and it's been a big hit both times! I typically hate thighs but they work great for soups! I omitted cilantro for parsley and it was great!

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  106. For those wanting to refer back to the original 2009 recipe, I've typed it out from my copy and posted it in the My Fitness Pal forums. I wanted to have it documented somewhere in case I lose my copy. If you go into their forums (Community) and do a search for "Skinnytaste Lentil", the post should pop up.

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  107. This soup is delicious! Even my boyfriend loved it. I substituted turkey ham for the chicken and left out the cilantro because of personal taste. I also added more onion than called for. It turned out great! It's super filling too, and makes plenty of leftovers for lunches or last minute dinners.

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