By far one of the most comforting lentil dinner recipes I’ve ever made, this chicken and yellow lentil soup will warm you up and soothe your soul. You’ll love this homemade chicken soup recipe!
I am a huge fan of a good, homemade chicken soup recipe. This version with its super (or should I say souper) simple stock is rich in flavor.
Making this recipe is easy, albeit a little time-consuming. Fortunately, most of the time is spent waiting for the stock to finish cooking. But good things come to those who wait and in this case, the good thing is a gorgeous, golden broth that needs virtually no accompanying ingredients because it tastes that good on its own.
In this chicken and yellow lentil recipe, you only have a few main steps and components:
- The homemade broth. This is the most important part. I keep it simple and simmer a chicken with small yellow onions and black peppercorns. Be sure to keep those onion papers on; that creates the beautifully colored broth!
- Yellow lentils. You can use red or brown lentils or even canned white beans if you prefer. Stick with something that is cream or yellow colored so as not to muddy the beautiful stock.
- Carrots, onion, and dill. These are the simple soup ingredients. You can get creative and add other things like celery or spinach at the end.
- Saffron. This is optional and I used a very small pinch more to enhance the color as opposed to bringing in a strong saffron flavor.
How to make this chicken and yellow lentil soup recipe:
First, prepare the broth. Start by covering a whole chicken with water and add salt, black peppercorns, and yellow onion quarters. Be sure to leave the paper on!
Bring the stock to a boil and then simmer and cook, skimming off any foam from the top of the broth as it cooks. Continue simmering for about 2 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a bowl. At this point, I like to bring the broth to a boil for about 10–20 minutes to reduce it further. At this point, the stock will deepen in color. From there, simply strain the broth into a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. You should have approximately 8–10 cups of stock.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and skin.
Next, prepare the soup. This is the easy part! Simply sauté a diced onion in a little butter and add a few diced carrots. Season with salt and pepper, and add the yellow lentils. Next, add the chicken along with the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are cooked through.
Finish the soup with a pinch of saffron (if you like) and a handful of minced dill, and enjoy a bowl of warming, comforting goodness!
Looking for more chicken recipes? Check my archives!
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Chicken and Yellow Lentil Soup
- Large stockpot
- Fine mesh sieve
- 3 pound chicken
- 2 yellow onions quartered with paper left on
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2–3 teaspoons salt more or less depending on preference
- 8–10 cups homemade broth from above
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 4 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 cup yellow lentils rinsed and picked over
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh dill roughly chopped
- Pinch of saffron, crushed optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the broth:
- Place the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with water by 1 inch. Add the quartered onions and the black peppercorns and salt.
- Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. The broth should be a relatively steady simmer, so keep the heat between low and medium-low, depending on your stove. Skim off any foam or scum that floats to the top.
- Cook for 2 hours or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Continue skimming off any foam that floats to the top as the chicken cooks.
Strain the broth:
- After the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and transfer it to a bowl. Bring the broth back to a boil for 10–20 minutes until reduced slightly and deepened in color. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. You should have 8–10 cups of broth.
- Carefully wipe out the stockpot and return it to the stovetop.
Prep the chicken:
- Pick the meat from the bones once the chicken is cool enough to handle. Discard the bones and skin.
Cook the soup:
- In the stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onion along with the carrots. Sauté for 6–8 minutes—season with salt and pepper. Add the yellow lentils and the cooked chicken. Pour in the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes or until the lentils are tender—taste and season with salt and pepper.
Finish the soup:
- Add the chopped dill to the soup and a tiny pinch of crushed saffron, if you like. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Enjoy!