Lentil soup with dried apricots

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Lentil soup with dried apricots

In the near future, Kaiser Permanente will be partnering with the Golden State Warriors basketball organization to bring some new healthy food options to the Oakland Coliseum. Next to the nachos and the double chili cheese dogs will be a turkey, guacamole, and provolone sandwich on a whole wheat oatmeal roll and a tasty Asian chicken salad.

Served in colorful boxes with our Kaiser Permanente logo, the offerings will meet Kaiser Permanente's Healthy Picks guidelines such as having less than 30% of calories from fat. At some events up to 20,000 meals are served. Just maybe a significant number of those someday will be healthy choices.

Having just offered a lentil soup recently, I thought twice about sharing another one. But it was so good, I had no further doubts.

Summer stonefruit vendors often offer dried fruits in the lean winter months. The sweetness of dried apricots balanced by the seasonal lemons (again from my friends' bountiful tree) made this lentil soup good when made and even better the next day. 

This soup can be frozen for a quick dinner another night. I hope you enjoy this low-fat healthy soup.

The same basic soup instructions previously described apply here as well. Recipes always say to rinse and pick over the lentils. I don't bother because I don't know what I am supposed to look for. It doesn't seem to matter. 

Servings: 8


  • 1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice — this takes a few lemons
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. In a soup pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and apricots until soft.
  2. Stir in the cumin, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and broth. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Puree part of the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot or use a handheld wand blender.
  5. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Garnish each bowl of soup with cilantro. This soup can be frozen for a quick dinner another night. I hope you enjoy this low-fat healthy soup.