Lemon Chicken Chickpea Soup

SoupMoroccan CuisineGluten-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.

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!

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 Tbsp 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 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 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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Showing 4 of 21 Comments / Reviews

  • Morgan

    Wonderful soup for a Sunday night. I really wouldn’t change a thing- I used chicken breasts instead of thighs bc that’s what I had on hand. This recipe was a delight & I’ll def make it again. Thanks for another winner!


  • Harmony

    Any tips for how to modify to make in an Instant Pot pressure cooker? I love the soup but would prefer it to be done a lot quicker. Thanks!

  • Alicia

    Great soup on an unusually chilly summer day. Love that it utilizes tumeric and ginger as I’m looking for tasty recipes that use both without being obvious about it being “Indian” as I’m not a fan of Indian cuisine. Even hubby said this is a keeper. Quite a compliment for Mr. Meat and Potatoes. Don’t have much leftover to freeze.

  • Laura Walker

    Any suggestion for making this meatless? Would you just add the spices to the broth?
    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • Yvonne

    This was easy and really good. It actually got better the next day. I would say you could substitute white beans for garbanzo beans.

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