Typically, fall and winter are the seasons that are all about comfort soups for me. But today I’m sharing my amazing Chicken, Lentil, and Spinach Soup recipe that is hearty and satisfying enough to be considered comfort food but still light and fresh enough for spring.
It seems that spring has been a little late to arrive this year, and it’s got me craving a nice big bowl of warm, comforting soup. This soup is so wonderfully full of flavor and is substantial enough to be considered a meal on it its own, but it’s definitely not heavy or rich, like many other lentil soup recipes can be.
Every time I make this soup, I forget how much I love lentils and I vow to cook with them more often. But then somehow I manage to forget again, usually until I’m cleaning out my pantry and find a half empty bag of lentils.
Lentils are packed with fiber, protein, Vitamin B, and iron, and offer a vast array of health benefits. If you haven’t ever tried them yet, you should definitely get on board the Lentil Express, and start finding ways to incorporate them into your diet!
But this soup has really become a favorite of my entire family. And I love being able to make them a meal that is so full of nutrients and so delicious at the same time.
The chicken breast stays juicy and tender from simmering in the soup, and the fresh baby spinach adds a nice pop of spring color, as well as a boost of nutrients. The carrots, celery, and onions add a nice flavor to the broth, and your house will be filled with the beautiful aromatics while you‘re cooking it.
Now, the key to this soup being deliciously perfect and the best chicken soup recipe you’ll ever make, is to NOT overcook the lentils. You really have to keep an eye on it, and make sure that your lentils stay tender, but firm. If you cook them too long, they’ll get mushy. And no one wants mushy lentils in their soup.
Another important step is the freshly squeezed lemon juice. It may seem like it’s not such an important ingredient, and you may be tempted to skip it if you don’t have any lemons on hand, but I highly suggest that you don’t. The lemon juice adds a delicate brightness to the flavor of the soup, as well as a bit of acidity. All of this helps the soup to taste fresh and light.
This soup is not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make, freezes and reheats well, and is super low in Points, making it an ideal Weight Watchers soup recipe.
PRO TIP: To make this a vegan soup recipe, just leave out the chicken, and use water or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. The chicken just adds a meaty texture and some extra protein – it won’t alter the flavor too much by leaving it out.
If you all love this recipe as much as I do, and if you make it yourselves, please let me know! Take a picture and tag it #laalooshrecipes on Instagram so I can see it. I love seeing what everyone cooks!
WANT MORE SOUP RECIPES? I’VE GOT ‘EM RIGHT HERE!!
Chicken, Lentil, and Spinach Soup Recipe
- 1 lb chicken breasts - (skinless, boneless)
- 1 cup French dried green lentils
- 1 6 oz package fresh baby spinach
- 1 onion - (finely chopped)
- 2 carrots - (chopped)
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 6 cloves garlic - (chopped)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 6 cups fat free chicken broth or water
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add in the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste, and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook until the tomato paste begins to darken a little, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the broth or water, lentils, paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add in the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium low, cover, and continue to cook for about 35-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and lentil are tender, but not mushy. Check periodically to stir, and make sure that the soup isn’t boiling or bubbling too much.
- Using two forks shred the chicken breasts. Stir in spinach and lemon juice. Cook until spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Turn off heat. Stir and lemon juice and season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
- The entire recipe makes 6 servings
- The serving size is about 1 ½ cups