This easy Aleppo Pepper Spiced Dill Lentil Chicken Soup is a comforting warm bowl of tender chicken with carrots and celery in a hearty turmeric lentil broth with a hint of Aleppo peppers and fresh dill.
Easy Chicken Soup
In the realm of comforting and hearty soups, there's something truly special about an easy Dill Lentil Chicken Soup recipe. The best part? It's not just delicious on the day it's made, but the flavors come together even more beautifully the next day.
The great news is that this homemade soup is not only packed with flavors that the whole family will adore, but it's also an ideal choice for a weeknight dinner when you need a quick, nourishing meal.
Simple Step-by-Steps Recipe
In this post, I'll walk you through the simple steps to create this easy soup that combines the bold and warming kick of Aleppo pepper with the refreshing touch of dill, making it a go-to recipe for good things happening in your kitchen.
Try these other easy recipes:
- Aleppo Pepper Spiced Vegetarian Borscht
- Smothered Salmon Salisbury Steak with Tomato Mushroom Gravy
- Air Fryer S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Curry Lentil Turkey Stew
- Green Lentil Kale Stew
Starting with simple ingredients, let's begin this easy lentil soup recipe by seasoning the chicken thighs with onion, garlic, cumin, and ground white pepper powder with kosher salt for a good kick.
Then, brown it in a heavy bottom pan like a Dutch oven in olive oil. Remove the chicken and add the onions, carrots, and celery, and sweat until tender.
Finish the Soup
Next, add the chicken back and cover with chicken broth. When the chicken is cooked, remove it and set it aside to rest before shredding.
Then, to the pot, add split red lentils, turmeric powder, Aleppo pepper flakes, and kosher salt for seasoning. Once the lentils are cooked, add the chicken and fresh dill and serve! Super easy, right?!
See the recipe card for quantities.
Video Quick Tips
- Mastering Flavor: Elevating Your Soups and Stews!
- Basic Celery Chopping Skills!
- How to Dice Onions
- Discover the Magic of Dill: Benefits & Chopping Tips!
Follow these step-by-step pictured instructions to create a delicious and comforting dill lentil chicken soup that will warm your heart and delight your taste buds.
Massage the chicken well with the spices before searing to create an even golden brown crust.
Sear the chicken for at least 2 to 3 minutes for a juicy chicken.
Sweat the vegetables until the onions are cooked, releasing their aromatics to build the flavor foundation for the soup.
Covering the vegetables while they sweat helps cook them faster without losing moisture.
Add the chicken back and cover it with chicken broth; cooking in the broth will deepen the liquid flavor for a good chicken stock.
Since this is not a thick stew, the broth will completely cover the chicken and vegetables.
Remove the tender chicken and let it rest for five minutes to allow the juices to redistribute to prevent dry chicken.
Add the lentils. Red split lentils quickly cook in about 10 to 15 minutes to cook.
Add the Aleppo peppers and turmeric powder for an excellent heat, earthy taste, and deep color.
Shred the chicken to the size of your liking.
Shred the chicken to the size of your liking.
Using fresh dill gives the soup its subtle, herby refreshing flavor.
Combine all ingredients well before serving.
Busy Folks - Become a better home cook with cooking tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. In addition, some related detailed steps can be found there.
For a complete meal, serve with sides of crusty bread and a fresh house salad with your favorite vinaigrette.
- Chicken Thighs - Use a fresh whole chicken, rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, chicken breasts on the bone, or boneless skinless chicken breast. Just remember that raw bone-in chicken takes longer to cook, and be sure to remove and discard the chicken carcass.
- Split Red Lentils - You can use other lentils. But know that they take a longer time to cook. Green lentils typically take about 25-30 minutes to cook, retaining their firm texture, making them also perfect for salads and side dishes. Brown lentils cook in approximately 20-25 minutes, ideal for soups and stews. Yellow lentils usually soften in 15-20 minutes, which is great for Indian dals, while black lentils, or beluga lentils, can take around 20-25 minutes and maintain their shape and texture, perfect also for salads and hearty dishes.
- Aleppo Pepper Flakes - You can substitute this with regular red pepper flakes, but remember, these are much hotter, so use the amount you prefer.
- Fresh Dill - You can get away with using dried dill or dried thyme or an addition of bay leaves. This will, of course, change the taste profile of the dish, but with all the ingredients in this recipe, they will complement each other.
- Turmeric - You might get away with adding a pinch of saffron, giving it an earthy taste and the desired yellow-orange color.
Change Heat Level - Modify the recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Spicy Lentil Soup - To some like me, Aleppo peppers are not that spicy; if you wish to make it hotter, add Calabrian peppers or red pepper chili flakes. If doing so, you will want to deepen the profile of the soup by adding tomato paste; this process does increase the recipe's cooking time.
- More Vegetables - For a more hearty soup, add small diced potatoes, pumpkin, or squash.
- Hot and Cool - For a palette-pleasing temperature effect, add a dollop of sour cream. This will especially work well with the spicy lentil soup version.
- Vegetarian Creamy Red Lentil Soup Recipe - Omit the chicken. Use vegetable broth. Add a couple of bay leaves and thyme to the sweating vegetables. Remove the bay leaf after the lentils are cooked and puree in the pot with an immersion blender or a countertop one.
Medium Dutch Oven - Using a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, for soups provides even heat distribution and retention, preventing hot spots and scorching, which can be common with lighter pots. This results in a more consistent and flavorful simmer, ensuring your soups are cooked to perfection without constant stirring or worrying about burning, especially when the soup thickens with the lentils. For this recipe, I used the Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with a Lid. It's great on stove tops, ovens, and grills, taking temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit!
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the warm chicken lentil soup recipe in a shallow 2-inch container to cool down quickly. Then, store it in an airtight container. As a result, the meal will last up to four days.
- Freezer - Follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container or flat in a labeled freezer-sealing bag. Doing this will ensure it will last for up to 3 months.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
- Tender Chicken - To enhance the flavor of your chicken lentil soup, add the chicken towards the end of the cooking process, preventing it from becoming overcooked and maintaining its tender texture.
- Meal Prep - Use this easy chicken lentil soup recipe for meal prep. Make a double batch to freeze half as instructed under the "Storage" section and place the rest in small containers to take on the go!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can substitute dried dill for fresh dill in this recipe, but use about half the amount since dried dill is more concentrated in flavor and depth.
Absolutely! Simply omit the chicken, use vegetable broth instead, and add your favorite meatless protein or extra lentils for a hearty vegetarian version. See the quick instructions in the "Variation" section of this post.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Super simple. Great for meal prep, too!
Yes, this soup freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags, leaving some room for expansion (due to the broth), and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Soup Recipe suggestions
Looking for other soup recipes like this? Try these:
Poultry Recipe suggestions
Looking for other poultry recipes like this? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent foodborne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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