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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lentil Apricot Soup for a meatless monday meal

If you follow #SundaySupper on twitter, you know that a recent theme was 'orange'.  This reminded me of a terrific Meatless Monday recipe that features orange ingredients.  Personally, I’m a meat eater, and hard pressed to dine on a plate of assorted greens if said plate does not feature a link to some form of livestock. But I have a renewed appreciation for healthy eating, thanks in part to Cooking Matters, and so I present this "Meatless Monday" recipe.  

Soup is great as the days start getting colder, and lentils pack a considerable amount of protein.

Lentil Apricot Soup sounds kind of weird, but trust me, it’s really tasty. You’ll need:

2 TBS olive oil
1 onion – chopped
2 cloves garlic – chopped
1/3 cup dried apricots – chopped
1.5 cups red lentils – rinsed
5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
3 roma tomatoes – chopped
1 sweet potato – cubed
½ cup quinoa
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp thyme
Salt/pepper to taste
2 TBS lemon juice

Saute the onion, garlic, apricots in olive oil. Remove and sauté the sweet potato with a little thyme. Toss the onion, garlic and apricots back in, once the potato has softened a bit. Add lentils, quinoa and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat, simmering covered for 30 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, and season with cumin, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and serve.

The sweet potato adds a ton of flavor to this soup. The apricots provide some tasty sweetness, and the cumin adds a mellow warmth. 

The quinoa, while it doesn’t look extremely attractive, contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. As a grain, it also completes the protein for the lentils. So even though this is a veggie dish, you’re getting a nice helping of protein, and lots of fiber to fill you up.  We served this with some warm beer bread from Avalon Organic Bakery in Detroit.  I didn’t miss the meat! 

What’s your favorite winter soup?

1 comment:

  1. My favorite soups are a toss-up between a close facsimile to the borscht served at The Royal Eagle in Harper Woods (Think: elegant Russian food served in a restaurant in an Orthodox monastery)and the dill pickle soup like the one served at Polonia in Hamtramck. I definitely have to try the lentil-apricot soup. Sounds yummy!