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 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped in small pieces
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (close to 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons preserved lemon, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 34 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley


  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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  1. I’m in a soup club and I just made a trial run of this and needless to say I think this is going to be a serious winner. The complexity of the spices and the preserved lemon and honey at the end just make this a balanced and moreish soup I’m confident will impress. Thankyou so much for this recipe.

  2. Hi Tonia. I made the recipe and like Hi Tonia, as I had written, because I usually add preserved lemon to a recipe during cooking, I added the preserved lemon (pulp and rind) to the soup ahead of time. After it was done, there was no taste of the lemon. I should have listened to you!! So, after it was done I added more of the preserved lemon rind and pulp – minced it, put into the cooked soup and the soup was absolutely superb!!!

  3. I’ve been looking at this recipe for a while now-it sounds so good. I have preserved lemons. I usually cook them into the dishes I make. I see that your recipe states adding the lemons minced at the end of the recipe. So my questions are: Is it okay to put the lemons in with the broth and cook them? Also, if I do that should I remove the pulp first? Thanks so much. I love your recipes. I’ve made several!

    1. Hi Donna, It is fine to add the lemon with the broth. I usually just chop the pulp up right along with the peel, do which ever you prefer. The reason to add it all the end is to take advantage of the probiotics in the preserved lemons, you lose some of the nutrition with heat.

  4. Hi Tonia – I just discovered your site and this recipe today while searching for a broth-based soup that could be a whole meal and that had a little vavavoom to it. Made it for dinner for me and my 30-ish daughter. I had to comment – this is a lovely, lively, absolutely delicious soup. We both loved it. Thank you so much – I can’t wait to explore your other recipes!

  5. So delicious!!! There are so many layers of flavor in this soup you can’t stop eating it. I, fortunately, made a mistake with the recipe and added 8 cups of broth rather than 4 and immediately recognized what I had done, so I started a new pan of the onions, spices, etc. to double the recipe. I’m glad I did. I could eat this soup for breakfast!! The combination of savory, sweet and tart is addicting. Easy and delicious.

  6. This soup is fabulous. I’m going to serve it to guests soon…what’s a good salad and dessert to compliment?

  7. This soup is amazing! I somehow had all the ingredients on hand which never happens so I was excited to make this on a weekday. It was easy to pull together, smelled wonderful and was a hit with my family! I could not wait to have the leftover soup the next day! I shared the recipe with friends I was so excited about it and 3 of them made it and loved it too!!!

  8. Hey Sylvia I’m thinking about the Moroccan Chicken Lentil Soup tonight…I’m Vegan. What are your thoughts w/o chicken? Trying to go lite on the Soy/Tofu, any thoughts would be great. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jim, Start with a rich vegetable broth (we have a recipe on the site). You could add more veggies such as cauliflower, carrots, white sweet potato, oyster mushrooms. As well as chick peas or even jackfruit (you may need to balance the slight tartness with sweetener). Love to hear what you try!

  9. For my first time making this recipe, I found it easy to pull together on a weeknight. The result was incredibly flavourful yet balanced. Next time, I will prepare the preserved lemon ahead of time and buy saffron.

  10. I’ve made this twice now, both time for dinner guests who raved and asked for the recipe. A sure sign of a winning recipe!
    Thanks so much for ALL your great recipes which I turn to over and over again.

  11. Delicious 😋
    I have made this soup (more like a stew) twice. I used boneless skinless chicken breast this time – good – but more flavorful the first time with bone-in thighs. I also subbed 1/2 tsp ground ginger for fresh and added the apricots with the spinach so they maintain their texture a bit more. I’m certain leftovers will be over the moon.

    Diane ❤️

  12. Loved this. I was just looking for a recipe where I had everything on hand, and this was it. Huge success! If you have a big eaters in your family, I’d say that this will only serve 3 hungry adults, because everyone went back for seconds! The key is the preserved lemon – it sends it over the top. A keeper!

  13. Yet another keeper! This is ultra delicious and easy to make. We are big fans of preserved lemon and just loved the flavour profile. I used green cabbage instead of the spinach, as this is what I had left in the fridge. It worked out beautifully. Thank you for all your inspiration and spot-on recipes.

  14. Very good. The preserved lemon is critical. One suggestion would be to specify the WEIGHT of boneless chicken you suggest. 4 boneless thighs could weigh anywhere from 14-24 ounces. I used around 15 oz. of boneless chicken breast, which seemed about right.

  15. I made this on Monday and am really looking forward to the leftovers tonight. This is insanely delicious and a definite keeper. So much flavour. Great recipe!

  16. This is just insanely delicious! Such depth of flavour for so little time and effort. Wow.

    Am lucky to have a Moroccan grocer around the corner so preserved lemon was no problem and so dang good! Also able to get “Marrakech“ chicken already in a moroccan marinade. Used prunes instead of apricots just because my husband doesn’t like apricots.

    So eternally grateful for all the deliciousness you guys serve up!

  17. HooHaw! Made this exactly per the recipe; wanted to use up some of my preserved lemons. What a treat! I got 2 full quarts of the soup which looks like 2 lunches for the 2 of us. I agree that winter is soup weather & will look at other of Silvia’s offerings.

  18. This looks delicious! I don’t have dried apricots. What do you think about subbing either currents or yellow raisins?

  19. Oh Tonia! This recipe was really, really good. I had to leave out the preserved lemon (will be preserving this week to have some on hand from now on), but the flavors of this soup were both a little exotic (to me anyway) and really comforting. My favorite combination. The saffron really shines in this soup, and the honey finish at the end shouldn’t be left out, in my opinion. It brings balance to all the flavor profiles.

  20. Looks like a recipe inspired by Harira 🙂

    Made this today but a super simple version of it. Skipped preserved lemons, honey, and apricots, and I used powder saffron. I also used frozen spinach leaves.

    I reduced the recipe down to 2 people with an app, and the water was definitely not enough, I would double the water next time.

    I used breast which was fine. And i marinated the chicken in the same spices used for the soup. I also braised the chicken in the pot before adding the water.

    It was delicious nonetheless though! I will try with the honey next time for the sweetness. And will try with lemon juice at the end before serving.


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