Lentil soup with dried apricots

1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
28 ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice — this takes a few lemons
Chopped cilantro for garnish

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.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional values per serving

Calories: 253
Fat: 7 gm
Saturated Fat: 1 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 38 gm
Fiber: 13 gm
Protein: 13 gm
Sodium: 62 mg

Reprinted with permission from: Preston Maring, MD
Reviewed by: Sue Heikkinen, MS, RD, CDE
Last updated: April 23, 2007