My starting point with this soup was a recipe I saw posted at Skinnytaste. But, as usual, when reading the recipe, I decided I needed to make it my own. I never make soup without packing it full of a bunch of veggies, because when they are cut up and buried this way, the kids eat more of them! The shocking thing about this recipe is that we all really like it – the whole family, although we each add our own spin. I love it with a splash of green Tabasco sauce, a cup of baby spinach and some diced avocado mixed in, the kids like to mix shredded cheese into theirs.
I make this in the pressure cooker I got for Christmas – an Instant Pot (affiliate link), which is my current favorite kitchen gadget, but you can make it on the stove top as well. I love this recipe because it is so fast and requires very little prep work. If you are pressed for cooking/prep time, you can replace the onions, celery and carrots with a container of pre-chopped mirepoix from the store.
Pressure Cooker or Stove Top Lentil and Chicken Soup (Serves 8)
- 1 lb dried lentils
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 8 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced thin
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (fresh, but I have also substituted 1/8 c. dried!)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (undrained) (I use no salt added)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot:
All you do is put all the ingredients into the Instant Pot (affiliate link) or other pressure cooker, hit the soup (or high pressure) button and cook for 30 minutes. After the pressure releases, shred the chicken and mix it back in. Serve!
- In a large pot combine lentils, chicken and chicken broth.
- Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and shred, return to the pot
- Add remaining ingredients and cook, covered until the lentils are soft, about 25 more minutes, adding water as needed if too thick.
- Adjust salt to taste as needed.
This soup is very customizable and great with some add ins! My kids love to add cheese and I love to take a handful of baby spinach and mix it into my bowl, along with some diced avocado and green Tabasco sauce.
I freeze leftovers in single servings for later lunches all the time as well, and it’s just as good defrosted and reheated.
Other great add ins:
- Additional green onions and/or cilantro
- Pico de gallo or salsa
- Sour cream or plain greek yogurt