25 October 2010

Red Lentil Apricot Soup

Although we are told to never judge a book by its cover, I find myself attracted to recipes with interesting names. The names at least draw me to read the recipe. Then I decide whether or not it is something I want to make. Most of the time it works out.

Lentil soup made with apricots is new to me and I wasn't quite sure about the apricots with the lentils. It sounded like it could be an interesting flavour profile, so I went looking for recipes. Of course none of them were the same. After reading through quite a few, I put together my own version. And I have to admit, I am happy with the results. There is just enough apricot to make you taste and say, "Hmmm.... what is that flavour? It's good."

Gathering up ingredients:

Aromatics and apricots all diced up:

Sautéing in my favourite piece of Le Creuset (Lilac Mist):

Broth and lentils added:

Tomatoes and seasonings going into the mixture:

Cooked and ready to blend:

Soup all blended:

And served in a lidless Harlequin sugar that is doing double duty as a soup bowl:

Red Lentil Apricot Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dry red lentils
6-7 cups veggie or chicken broth
1 can of diced tomatoes with juice
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp dried thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper or cayenne
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
Chopped fresh chives, parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion, bell pepper, apricots, and garlic. Do not let brown. Add lentils (rinsed and picked over) and 6 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for 10 to 20 more minutes. Stir in the lime or lemon juice and remove from heat. Let stand a few minutes to let flavours meld.

Blend with a stick blender or in portions in your regular blender. If the soup is too thick, add enough of the remaining broth to get it to the desired consistency. Reheat, then taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped chives, parsley or cilantro to serve.

Notes: For those who like ham, you could start with ham broth and add some chopped ham to the soup. I think that flavour would go well with the apricot undertone. I would probably omit the lime or lemon juice if going this route.

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Ces said...

Oh goodness! So beautiful!!! I love your dish and dishes. Remind me again the pattern for the flatware...

Becky said...

Thanks Ces! I loved this whole colour combo. The flatware is Cityscape by Oneida.

Erica said...

Hi Becky.....Love your colourful dishes and tablecloth, so pretty. This soup loks delicious, my family love anything with butternut squash in it.

.....thanks for sharing your photos and recipe. :-)

Hilary said...

This looks lovely Becky. We love red lentil soup here.....must try this recipe. What size can of diced tomatoes did you use?

Thanks for sharing!

Craig Miyamoto said...

Very interesting! I would never have thought to juxtapose the words "apricot" and "soup" ... who knew!?

Becky said...

Erica, I hope if you try it that you will like it.

Hilary, duh. I can't believe I didn't specify the size. I think it was about 14 oz. Give or take a little, I'm sure it won't matter.

Craig, I know! It was just so intriguing to me. I believe this soup is Armenian in origin. If you make it be sure to add the lime juice. I think it really needs that to reach it's full potential.

webbie said...

I just got around to trying this recipe last nite. Very good. Unfortunately, I didn't have fresh herbs to garnish with, so I was forced to use bacon...8-0!

Yummy stuff and I've got enough to last a while. Several bowls in the freezer. Thanks for posting this.