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.
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
Servings: 9 • Size: 1 cup • Points +: 5 pts • Smart Points: 5
Calories: 179 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 23 g • Carb: 33 g • Fiber: 14 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 219 mg • Cholesterol: 42 mg
- 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
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.