This is one of our favorite soups! It’s famous at our church’s Lenten soup supper. It has a really pleasant, interesting flavor that’s not too sweet and fruity. Most people want to know what’s in it but can’t guess that it’s apricots, so it’s perfect for “Guess the Mystery Ingredient” if you like to play that game. It’s easy to make and inexpensive.
This recipe is vegan and gluten-free and contains none of the most common allergy triggers, so it’s excellent for serving to groups with diverse dietary needs. However, if you are not a gluten-free vegan, we advise eating this soup with monterey jack cheese and rosemary-whole-wheat crackers.
To make a big pot of soup–about 10 main-dish servings–you will need:
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 dried apricots
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup crushed or finely diced tomato (frozen is fine)
- 2 cups grated carrot (frozen is fine)
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- salt and pepper to taste–we like white pepper in this recipe
Dice the onion and apricots. Crush the garlic. Saute these things in the oil in a large soup pot until onion begins to brown.
Add the lentils and broth. If carrots or tomatoes are frozen, also add them at this time. (We sometimes buy large amounts of vegetables on sale and slice/grate and freeze them. You can throw them into the pot frozen and break them up as they cook.) Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
Add tomatoes and carrots (if you didn’t already) and seasonings. Simmer another 10 minutes; if soup seems watery and you want it thicker, take the lid off, turn up the heat a bit, and stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the pot.
Serve as soon as you’re ready! Don’t be afraid of leftovers; this soup is just as good reheated. Reused glass jars are great for storing leftovers.