This year, I am participating in a challenge with the ladies in my family to expand my knowledge of cooking different fruits and vegetables. We are going to go through the alphabet A-Z and each week pick a fruit/vegetable that we don't normally cook with and try a new recipe. Here's to more successes than flops...
For A, I went with dried apricots. I found a recipe in "Color Me Vegan" by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau that spiked my interest.... Apricot Red Lentil Stew.
Caleb and I both really enjoyed the stew. It took about an hour to make from start to finish, but had several simmer times, so it wasn't hands on the entire time. This will definitely be added to our make again list. The recipe is vegan, soy-free, and gluten free... As per usual... Caleb requested that next time I add some really thick slices of bacon. My reaction... next time you cook the stew, feel free to add anything you like!
Apricot Red Lentil Stew
4-6 servings, 364 calories
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup halved dried apricots
1 1/2 cups red lentils, picked through and drained (I used 3/4 red and 3/4 green for variety!)
5 cups vegetable stock
3 Roma 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 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, garlic, and apricots...cook for about 7 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
2. Add the lentils and stock. Cover, bring to a boil...simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, thyme, salt, and pepper...simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Puree half of the stew in a blender or food processor and then return back to pot. Add the chickpeas and cook until heated through... about 5 minutes.
5. Ready to serve... garnish with dried apricots and a sprinkle of thyme.