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Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans Recipe

Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans. Hearty, filling chicken soup with a lemon twist!

Fall is here – which means soups are too! Chicken soup particularly ranks up there with the most comforting of comfort foods. This lemon chicken version is a delicious twist on the original, and just as soul-warming. Plus, it’s effortlessly packed with all sorts of veggies.

Wanna know my favorite part? Our lemon chicken soup includes two types of legumes -lentils AND white beans. I’m pretty much obsessed with legumes because they’re like a hybrid veggie-protein all in one! Packed with fiber, protein, folate, and iron. To top it off, they’re delicious and versatile. Favorite.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans. Hearty, filling chicken soup with a lemon twist!
Let’s make this deliciousness

Before you cook lentils, make sure to wash and sort them. Sometimes they have little earthy treasures mixed in like dirt or rocks. But don’t worry, a quick rinse and look-over does the trick.

For this recipe, we’re using red lentils. Aren’t they just gorgeous?!

Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans. Hearty, filling chicken soup with a lemon twist!

Once your lentils are rinsed and veggies chopped, heat a large stock pot or Dutch oven on the stove on medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in a few tablespoons of olive oil to make a traditional chicken soup base. When the onions become translucent, add garlic and spices and sauté for a minute. I added only half a teaspoon of salt because the broth we add next brings lots of sodium in with it. And you can always add in more salt later!

Now add your broth and lentils, bring the soup to a boil, and then let it simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know you’re ready for the next step when the lentils are cooked (they lose that vibrant orange color… sad, I know).

Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans. Hearty, filling chicken soup with a lemon twist! To finish ‘er off, just add in the remaining ingredients – shredded chicken, kale, drained white beans, and the lemon zest and juice. Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a boil until the added ingredients are heated through, maybe five minutes.

(I’ll let you in on a little secret- having some pre-cooked chicken on hand makes dinners quick and easy! Whether you pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store or simply cook up a few chicken breasts at the beginning of the week, you’re golden! Throw your chicken on a salad or into a pasta dish and you’ve got protein covered.)Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans. Hearty, filling chicken soup with a lemon twist! Serve this delicious chicken soup warm with some crusty bread and some freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. Quick, grab a spoon!

Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans. This soup contains a double dose of one of our favorite things!

Lemon Chicken Soup with Lentils, Kale, & Beans Recipe

  • 2 medium – carrot
  • 2 stalk – celery
  • 1 medium – onion
  • 5 clove – garlic
  • 1 tablespoon – olive oil
  • 8 cup – chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 1 tablespoon – parsley, dried
  • 1 teaspoon – oregano, dried
  • 1 teaspoon – thyme, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup – lentils, raw
  • 1 cup, chopped – kale
  • 2 cup – Chicken Breast, cooked, chopped
  • 2 can – white beans
  • 1 medium – lemon
  • 1 tablespoon – Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Chop carrots, celery, onion; mince garlic; set aside separately.
  2. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom, then saute carrots, celery and onion until the onion is translucent. Then add garlic and saute a minute longer.
  3. Add chicken broth, parsley, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper. Rinse and drain lentils, add to pot. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer 12-15 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through.
  4. Add kale, cooked chicken, rinsed and drained beans, and both zest and juice of lemon, to the soup. Simmer until the chicken is heated through and the kale is wilted.
Serves 6-8

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r's mom

This looks delicious, and I’m cooking it today for my family. I’m making it vegetarian by using vegetable broth. I’m cooking the chicken separately, and the meat-eaters in my family will add it to their portions at serving time. Super easy!

I do have one quick question, though. Should the lentils be covered as they are simmering? Just curious if they’d cook better (and as quickly) if a lid was not used.

Katrina Nelson

What a great idea so everyone can enjoy! To answer your question, I believe the lentils would cook just fine without a lid. They cooked surprisingly fast, compared to other lentils I have used. I hope this helps, and I am sorry if I missed answering before you made it. Let us know how it turns out!


Could this be easily made in a crockpot? What, if anything, would need to be adjusted?

Katrina Nelson

Hi Stefani! Good question – I think it would be great in a crockpot! I haven’t tried it yet myself, but my suggestion would be to throw everything in but the kale and lemon juice/zest and cook for a few hours. I’d use uncooked, cubed chicken and then just say it’s done once that’s cooked, then add in the kale and lemon items until the kale wilts. Let us know how it goes when you try it!


Hi Casey, I haven’t actually made this recipe in the Instant Pot yet, but I can give you my best guess and you can take it or leave it 🙂 I think it will work well.
Use the saute function to saute the onion and veggies to complete step 2. Then I would actually add uncooked, cubed chicken in with the broth, lentils, and spices. My guess would be that it will take between 6-10 minutes max on high pressure (use manual mode). I’d use quick release because I just like getting things done quicker, but you could also do natural.
Then I’d just throw in the kale, lemon/zest, and beans after pressure cooking and stir until the kale wilts. If needed you could use the saute mode again to heat it up for this step, but I bet you won’t need to.
Let me know if you try it and how it works for you!


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