Lemon Chicken Chickpea Soup

SoupMoroccanGluten-FreeChicken Thigh

Moroccan inspired lemon chicken soup with chickpeas, rice, turmeric, and cumin. Delicious!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Now here’s a soup to brighten up a cold winter day! I looked to the flavors of Morocco for inspiration for this lemon chicken chickpea soup.

The soup is seasoned with turmeric, cumin, and ginger—spices that not only warm the belly but give the soup its vibrant golden hue.

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Lemon Chicken Chickpea Rice Soup

The sharpness of the lemon is balanced by the warmth of the chickpeas, and we’ve added some basmati rice to give the soup more body.

The result? A bright, warm, and wonderfully satisfying chicken soup.

And, if you, like me, are fending off a cold, you need this chicken soup! Ginger, turmeric, and of course the chicken, are all power fighters when it comes to cold season. Enjoy!

How to Make Lemon Chicken Chickpea Soup

Lemon Chicken Chickpea Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 celery rib, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (or powdered ginger)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 strips of lemon zest from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • Cilantro or parsley for garnish


1 Coat the chicken pieces with the spices: Whisk the salt, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss with the spices to coat.

2 Brown the chicken in olive oil: Heat olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed soup pot on medium high. Add the chicken pieces and brown lightly on all sides, 5-7 minutes total. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.

3 Sauté onions, celery, garlic, ginger: Add the chopped onion and celery to the pot. Sauté until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook a minute more.

4 Add chicken, stock, bay leaves, lemon zest strips, then simmer: Add the chicken pieces back to the pot. Add the stock, bay leaves, lemon zest strips. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.

5 Add rice, chickpeas, lemon juice, simmer: Add the rice, chickpeas, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked through.

6 Add salt pepper to taste: Remove bay leaves and lemon peel strips. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro or parsley to serve.

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Lemon Chicken Chickpea Rice Soup

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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39 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sharon

    About to make this and wonder if you have ever added an avogomelo mix at the end? Would probably add some of the lemon juice that way. I started off wanting to make my avogomelo soup with added chickpeas and then found your recipe. Also will use some leftover shredded chicken.

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  2. Edl

    Holy macaroni was this delicious! I am not a big chick pea fan, but thought I’d try this. The broth was one of the best I have every made.


    Show Replies (1)
  3. Cara

    This is SO yummy! I made a half-sized recipe and used chicken breast, and it turned out great. I agree with other posters… don’t skip the cilantro garnish! Definitely will make again!!


  4. Michael

    Made this soup tonight, and it ticked off several checkboxes in my culinary “need to try” list. Soaking chickpeas overnight and cooking them from scratch to the desired texture, and using a raw lemon for juice and sliced rind / zest as opposed to just using a bottled substitute.

    I also used homemade stock from the bones of the thighs that went into this recipe, since I had to soak and cook the beans ahead of time. It all came out wonderful, with a light crisp flavor that is a subtle blend of the lemon, ginger and garlic. My only change would be to add more rice and chickpeas – I ended up using 2 cups of beans but kept the rice as directed. Delicious!


  5. TanyaRenee

    Loved it! Easy and delicious. I added the cilantro to the soup. Yummy!


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