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Apricot and Red Lentil Soup

Apricot and Red Lentil Soup 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Nov 28, 2016

Dried apricots give a wonderfully bright flavor to this simple, surprising soup, which has roots in Armenia.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes 8 cups

  • 4 medium tomatoes (1 1/4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2/3 cup dried split red lentils
  • 4 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving


Hull and halve the tomatoes. Use the large-holed side of a box grater to grate the tomato halves, cut sides down, over a bowl until nothing is left but the skins. Discard the skins.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and turn sweet, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic, apricots and cumin seed; cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato pulp and cook for a few minutes.

Add the lentils, pour in the broth and increase the heat to medium-high. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid is barely bubbling. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender, 20 minutes.

Stir in the thyme leaves and lemon juice, then remove from the heat.

Use an immersion (stick) blender to blend about half the soup in the pot, leaving the rest to give the soup texture. (Alternatively, you can transfer half the soup to a blender, puree, and return it to the pot.) Add the salt and pepper, taste, and add more as needed.

Divide the soup among bowls, top with the parsley and serve hot.

Recipe Source

Adapted from "Samarkand: Recipes & Stories From Central Asia & the Caucasus," by Caroline Eden and Eleanor Ford (Kyle Books, 2016).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6): 240

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 8g 12%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 150mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 37g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 7g 28%

Sugar: 16g

Protein: 8g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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