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      A richly spiced Moroccan-inspired soup, full of flavor, nutrients and soul-warming color.  Saffron, dried apricots and preserved lemon give this Chicken Lentil Soup depth.  It is easy to throw together, making it perfect for any day of the week!

Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup with Preserved Lemon and Saffron Broth -A richly spiced Moroccan-inspired soup, full of flavor, nutrients and soul-warming color.  Saffron, dried apricots and preserved lemon give this brothy Chicken Lentil Soup it's depth. Easy to throw together, perfect for weeknight dinners.

It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.  ~Charles Spurgeon

My son Fin and I have committed to a walk around the block, with Bo dog,  just before bedtime.  Leaving the cozy warm house is not always easy, however, as soon as we step outside there is something so tranquil and calming about the darkness and the feeling of the night air on our skin.  It is like our cells recognize the season and we become more grounded and settled sensing place and time of day.  It is a lovely simple ritual that slows us down and brings us right into the moment.  I try to remind myself that someday I may be longing for times like these with my boy, giving me incentive to carry on with simple actions that bring joy.

This time of year also signifies soup season for me.  I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… it just feels so nurturing!  Plus it is easy to pack nutrition into the soup.

This Moroccan inspired Chicken Soup is pretty easy to throw together.   The colors of this soup make it that much more delicious.  Perfect for winter’s dark days, a little color does wonders for body and soul.

Moroccan chicken lentil soup ingredients

Gather up ingredients.  Taking time to enjoy the aromas of the spices.

grate the fresh ginger

With organic ginger root, don’t bother peeling.

saute onions and ginger

Start sautéing with onion and ginger.

brown the onions

Sauteing for about 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften and caramelize.

add the spices

Add spices.

sauté the spices

brown the spices and onion

Saute’ another minute more to enliven the flavor of the spices.

crush the saffron

Lightly crush saffron.

add the broth and chicken and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add stock, lentils and whole chicken thighs.  Simmer 30 minutes.

shred the chicken

Remove cooked chicken thighs and shred.

stir in the honey

Add shredded chicken back into the soup along with the fresh spinach, preserved lemon and honey.

A richly spiced Moroccan-inspired soup, full of flavor, nutrients and soul-warming color.  Saffron, dried apricots and preserved lemon give this brothy Chicken Lentil Soup it's depth. Easy to throw together, perfect for weeknight dinners. #moroccanchickensoup #moroccanlentilsoup #chickenlentilsoup #healthysoup #lentilsoup

Divide the fragrant brothy soup among bowls and enjoy with fresh baked pita bread or crusty bread.

A richly spiced Moroccan-inspired soup, full of flavor, nutrients and soul-warming color.  Saffron, dried apricots and preserved lemon give this brothy Chicken Lentil Soup it's depth. Easy to throw together, perfect for weeknight dinners. #moroccanchickensoup #moroccanlentilsoup #chickenlentilsoup #healthysoup #lentilsoup

I hope this Moroccon Chicken Lentil Soup recipe brings you some moments of happiness.


You may also enjoy: 

  1. How to make Preserved Lemons!
  2. Our 20 Best Broth-Based Soup Recipes
  3. Moroccan Lentil Quinoa Soup
  4. Moroccan Chickpea &  Sweet Potato Salad
  5. Homemade Pita Bread


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Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup with Preserved Lemon and Saffron Broth

Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup with Spinach, and Preserved Lemon

  • Author: Tonia Schemmel | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup, chicken,
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: moroccan
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A richly spiced Moroccan-inspired soup, full of flavor, nutrients and soul-warming color.  Saffron, dried apricots and preserved lemon give this brothy Chicken Lentil Soup its depth. Easy to throw together, perfect for weeknight dinners.


Units Scale


  1. In a medium soup pot, sauté the onion and ginger in olive oil over medium heat, until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, and cayenne, saute another minute.
  3. Add chicken stock, lentils, salt, saffron, dried apricots, and chicken thighs.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cover with lid vented for 30 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove chicken and shred, pulling apart with 2 forks.  Return chicken to the soup pot.
  6. Add the preserved lemon, honey, fresh spinach, and parsley, and serve!


Serve with crusty bread or fresh pita bread.

Soup will keep 4-5 days in the fridge.


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 412
  • Sugar: 7.7 g
  • Sodium: 1088.9 mg
  • Fat: 13.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.5 g
  • Fiber: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 42.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 147.3 mg

Keywords: chicken lentil soup, moroccan chicken soup, moroccan lentil soup, moroccan chicken lentil soup recipe, chicken soup recipes, broth based soup recipe


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Recipe rating


  1. After making and loving your recipe for Grilled Shawarma Chicken more than a dozen times (great for home meals, cookouts and camping trips) we made this for the first time today. Our family of 4, which includes a very picky 9 year old, loved it! We did not have Preserved Lemons on hand but we simmered the soup with a lemon cut in half for 5 minuets and it added a great punch. Skipped the honey and it was still fabulous! This is on the fall/winter menu rotation for sure! Many thanks for all your great recipes!

  2. I’ve now made this dish four times and it is a new favorite at home. I’ve made two batches of the preserved lemons and realized I didn’t let the first batch preserve long enough. But this new batch of lemons and my fourth time making this was fantastic!! I didn’t think this dish could get better than the first time.

  3. Hello, just trying to figure out why there are so many carbs per serving in this recipe?? Can you break it done for me? Thank you!

  4. We really like this soup, delicious! Used raisins once in place of apricots and I actually like that better.

  5. This is my second time making this dish. The first time we finished the whole pot (including my 5 year old).
    This soup has is absolute perfection! Easy and quick enough for a weeknight but would be a great weekend dish as well.

  6. Made this today and really loved it! Great combination of flavours, very filling and well-balanced.
    I’m one of those “can’t leave well enough alone” cooks, but still stuck fairly close to the recipe, besides throwing in a bit of butternit squash I had in the fridge (which works great in here), using a bit more more than 1/2 cup lentils and a lot more water (somehow I find that many soup recipes need at least a couple of cups of water more than what’s written), and eyeballing some of the ingredients like saffron, apricots, preserved lemon and spinach (I hate dealing with fresh spinach but always have a bag of frozen spinach leaves, so just threw in some chunks of those, it was great). Also, forgot to buy parsley, so used frozen for that, too. But still, pretty close… and like I said, this is an excellent soup.
    I think if I make it again I’ll skip the honey, because the apricots add enough sweetness as it is, and maybe use some diced carrots instead or on top of butternut squash.
    For a vegetarian/vegan version, this might work with double (or more) the lentils instead of the meat, I think.

    1. Oh! And I added some chopped garlic to thr sautee atthe start. Only about one clove, just felt right in there.

  7. Made this tonight and it was absolutely amazing! I couldn’t stop talking about how perfect it was between bites, hubby went back for more, toddler… well, she seemed to like it until she decided it was more trouble than it was worth. We’ll just discount her opinion for now. It was easy to make, couldn’t have possibly tasted better, and I can’t wait for leftovers. I’m also thinking that it would great to try making a vegan version of this using veggie broth and more lentils. I saw the suggestion to try cauliflower below.

  8. So good! My husband does not usually like the “healthy” foods I like to make- but he loved this recipe as well.

  9. This was excellent and so easy to make. The flavors come together so well. I am so grateful for your posts and recipes. I have yet to make something that I did not enjoy in regards to the process and end product. Thank you for helping me appear to be a chef in my kitchen.

  10. Thanks for sharing this recipe. My daughter and I enjoyed the soup. Used lemon juice as i didn’t have preserved lemons. It went down fast,will be making it again.

  11. 4.5 stars….dynamic flavors…added granulated garlic and upped the ginger…used roasted butternut squash and beets in place of chicken, and kale in place of spinach….sweet, spicy, warming spices for a chill winter night…bet it will taste better tomorrow

  12. Made this last night, it was really good. I liked the depth of flavor, warm spices, and it went pretty fast and was easy. I’m trying to convince my brain that I like brown lentils, and this was a good foil. We did realize that, as a famliy, we just really aren’t fans of preserved lemons – unfortunate, since I just bought a $10 jar… Next time I’ll try it with lemon zest and juice at the end as another commenter suggested. I think the soup will benefit from the brightness of a little fresh lemon at the end.

  13. Hi! This soup looks incredible. Do you think it’s possible to replace the chicken with venison? If so, how would you do it?

        1. I almost always see braising or roasting the meat ahead, low and slow in the oven, until tender and falling apart, then adding it to the soup. You could use a tougher cut of meat for this? Shoulder, shank? I’m totally guessing here, but that is what I would do. I can’t see the meat getting tender otherwise, but you probably know more than me!

  14. Next time I will double this! I have never prepped a dish so fast for my teens and have it empty so fast!!!!!

  15. We just made it, subbed dried mango for apricots as Whole Foods did not have any. Delicious! Added extra spices for extra flavor as we like spicy foods, and more preserved lemons to top the plates. Will definitely make again – thank you, Silvia!

  16. I used harissa about 1/2 tsp rounded instead of cayenne just because it seemed fitting and I have a better feel of the heat I’m going to get with harissa vs. cayenne. One note I would add is don’t just dump the whole thing of broth in on the third step. Pour a little in and use your spatula to work the brown stuff off the bottom of the pan a bit, pour in a little more, then when you see the oil separating from the liquid dump everything else in and simmer. I made with eight thighs because that’s what I had defrosted and we like leftovers. It worked fine, just more like a soupy tagine than a bonafide soup. Thank you for this recipe!

  17. I’m excited to try this! Incidentally, I have all the ingredients on hand except for the dried apricots. Do you think I could substitute golden raisins?

  18. Hi! Love your post. It’s inspiring; both about enjoying the transquility of the season w/loved ones and the beautifully pictured brothy soup you’ve detailed. Just wondering, is it possible to make this w/just veggie(s)? Be well!

    1. Thanks Ola💛. I think it would be delicious with veggie broth. You could even add 1 1/2 cups cauliflower and/ or carrots…potatoes would be good too!

  19. OMG I can’t wait to make this soup! I have to gather some of the ingredients but one thing I always have on hand is the preserved lemon. I have a Meyer lemon tree that is about 20 years old (I’ve had it since it was a baby). Every year I make something special~like lemon curd or preserved lemon! I’m always excited when I find a recipe that calls for it. Sounds like a good New Years soup to me!

      1. Wow! This was so good. I don’t have any preserved lemons and couldn’t find any here in Central Delaware. I had a fresh juicy lemon. I used all of the zest and juice from half and it was great. It smelled so good I forgot the spinach. Toasted and buttered fresh walnut bread Ann’s I will definitely be making this again. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Hi, I'm Tonia!

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