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. The same basic soup instructions previously described apply.

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp 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

Directions

Recipes always say to rinse and pick over the lentils. I don't bother because I don't know what I am supposed look for. It doesn't seem to matter. In a soup pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion, garlic, and apricots until soft. Stir in the cumin, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the lentils and broth. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 - 35 minutes. Puree part of the soup in a blender and add back to the pot or use a handheld wand blender. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. 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.

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD

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