Broccoli Lentil Soup with Shredded Chicken

\This is a delicious, filling and hearty soup, perfect for cold winter nights.  The soup is pureed, so no one will know there are lentils in it.  Trust me, I have made it twice over the past week (once parve [see parve option below] and then once with the chicken for Shabbos) and no one even suspected lentils.  However, if you don’t mind revealing this fact to your friends and family, go right ahead!  It makes it more fun when served as this week’s parsha soup. 

Though I personally prefer not to always share that a soup has lentils, when I serve it for parshas Toldos, I make sure to reveal the truth! 

Of course, the lentils are in honor of Parshas Toldos and the sale of the firstborn status for a bowl of lentil stew.  As Eisav declared when he came home, tired from a day of hunting in the field: הַלְעִיטֵנִי נָא מִן-הָאָדֹם הָאָדֹם הַזֶּה – pour some of that red, red stuff into me, for I am tired.  To which Yaakov replied, sell me today the birthright.  After some negotiation, Eisav sold the bechorah (first-born status) for a bowl of red lentil stew (see Bereishs 25:29-34).

Even though this recipe does not use red lentils, it’s still a fun and delicious soup in honor of this week’s parsha and Shabbos. 

Broccoli Lentil Soup with Shredded Chicken

In a large stock pot, heat some oil over medium heat.  Add 1 large (or 2 small) diced onions to the oil.  Let the onion sauté for 2-3 minutes.  To the onions, add one large bone-in, skin-on chicken breast and two chicken wings.  Let the onions and chicken sauté/sear for about 5-7 minutes, stirring as necessary.

To the pot, add:

3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped; 1 zucchini, unpeeled and chopped; 2 red potatoes, peeled and diced; 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped (I use the carrots from the 1lb bag, so they are not especially big.  If you are using large carrots, use no more than two); 2 cubes frozen parsley and 1 cube frozen garlic.  Sauté all together till the vegetables are beginning to soften, stirring frequently.

Add in one bag (24 oz) frozen (checked) chopped broccoli.  Sauté for a few minutes longer.

Season the vegetable/chicken mixture with black pepper and salt, to taste. 

Add in one box (32 oz) vegetable stock.  I like the Empire Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth.  Add in 6 c. water and 2 bay leaves.  Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.  Add in 2/3 c. (green) lentils, which have been rinsed well/checked over. 

Cover the soup and simmer, 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Vegetables will be very soft and the chicken will be cooked through.    

When the soup is done, using a slotted spoon, remove the bay leaves and discard.  Then remove the chicken pieces from the soup.   When the chicken is cool enough to handle (or like me, if you don’t have time to wait and don’t mind burning your fingers a bit!), remove the chicken from the bone and discard the skin.  Shred the chicken (this will be very easy as it will be very soft) and set aside.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender (keep in mind this is a fleishik soup, so don’t put your parve immersion blender into the pot!).  When the soup is smooth (and the lentils are camouflaged), return the shredded chicken to the pot.  Bring the soup back to a simmer and serve hot. 

Delicious with crusty bread on the side, or better yet – with homemade challah at the Friday night Shabbos seuda.

For the parve option:

Broccoli Lentil Soup

Sauté one large onion; 2 stalks celery, chopped; 1 chopped, unpeeled zucchini; 2 red potatoes, peeled and diced; 2 carrots, peeled and chopped; 2 cubes frozen parsley and 1 cube frozen garlic.   After a few minutes, add in one bag (32oz). frozen, checked, chopped broccoli.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Add in 1 bay leaf and one box (32oz.) parve vegetable stock/broth.  Add 4 c. water.  Bring the soup to a boil.  Add in 2/3 c. lentils.  Top the soup with a small drizzle of pure maple syrup.  Cover and cook at least one hour, till the vegetables are very soft.

Remove bay leaves.  This soup can be served chunky if you like, or pureed if you prefer. 

Don’t forget these other wonderful and delicious lentil soup recipes: (parve) (meat)

Happy cooking and kol tuv,


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