This is one of my go-to soups whenever I want something quick and delicious. It’s also a perfect New Year’s dish, as the lentils represent prosperity and luck in the coming year. If the apricots seem weird to you in a soup, trust me! They add a touch of sweetness and cook down into melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
2 tablespoons oil or water, for sautéing
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup halved dried apricots
1-1/2 cups red lentils, picked through and rinsed
5 cups vegetable stock
3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 -15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
Heat up the oil or water in a large soup pot. Add the onion, garlic, and apricots, and cook for about 7 minutes over medium heat, until the onions begin to turn translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Add the lentils and stock. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree 1/2 of the stew in a blender or food processor (or using a stick/immersion blender), then return to the pot. Add the chickpeas, cooking until they’re heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings