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White bowl filled with lemon and artichoke chicken soup and garnished with crumbled feta cheese and red chili flakes.
4.69 from 16 votes

Lemon Chicken Soup Recipe

Filled to the brim with carrots, celery, artichoke hearts, and tender chicken in a light and lemony chicken broth. Pure, delicious comfort food perfect for sore throats and chilly winter months.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 504kcal


  • 6 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions peeled and diced
  • 5 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 5 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt + black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper more if you like it hot
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 lemons zest and juice
  • ½ cup Israeli pearl couscous
  • 28 oz artichoke hearts two 14 oz cans
  • ½ cup green onions chopped
  • crumbled feta cheese for serving


  • Make your broth. Add the chicken thighs, chicken breasts, and bay leaves to a large stockpot. Add approximately 3-4 quarts of cold water and a generous pinch of salt to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes (avoid overcooking the chicken breasts as they will start to try out).
  • Cook the vegetables. As the broth comes to a simmer, chop and prepare the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. To cook, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. Add the carrots and celery and mix well to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. In the last two minutes stir in the minced garlic and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using). Mix well to combine.
    If the veggies start to brown or burn, reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Strain the broth. After the broth has finished simmering and the chicken is fully cooked, remove the broth from heat. Use kitchen tongs to remove the chicken pieces from the pot and transfer to a clean cutting board to cool. Carefully strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into the same pot as the cooking vegetables.
  • Meanwhile, shred the cooked chicken once cool enough to handle. Then, add the shredded chicken to the pot with the simmering vegetables.
  • Simmer. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the pot and return soup to a boil. Add the pearl couscous and artichoke hearts, mix well to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are fully cooked.
  • Serve. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste and garnish with chopped green onions and crumbled feta cheese if desired.


  • To make this recipe gluten-free, swap the couscous for white rice, brown rice, or quinoa.
  • You can also swap the couscous for small pasta like orzo pasta or ditalini pasta (not considered a gluten-free option).
  • In a hurry? Save on total cooking time and use store-bought chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth with shredded rotisserie chicken. Adjust seasoning as needed. You will need approximately 8 cups chicken broth for this soup.
  • Feel free to garnish with fresh herbs such as fresh parsley or fresh dill.
  • Add additional lemon juice and lemon zest for a deeper lemon flavor.
Originally published January 2, 2016


Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 850mg | Potassium: 662mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2213IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg
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