World Travel

December 4th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

It was a dark and stormy night.

Actually, it was just a cold and gloomy Friday morning. And I was in the mood to cook.

Ingredients for Apricot Lentil Stew

I was also in the mood to shake things up! I went googling my way around the world wide web in search of something outlandish to do with a bag of red lentils.

Like… string them together to use as garland on our Christmas tree? Get started on a lentil mosaic of A Starry Night? Toss lentils at wine glasses filled with varying levels of water and teach myself to play I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In?

All awesome ideas for sure, I opted for a lentil dish made with dried apricots.


Yes, apricots. I know. I was a tad suspicious too. But since I had dried apricots in my fridge, I decided to give it a go.

Turns out this is an Armenian dish. Turns out I’d never heard of Armenia until I found myself looking at a bunch of lentil recipes made with apricots.

People of Armenia, please don’t be offended by my unawareness of your presence in Asia. I doodled my way through Social Studies. This is why I write a food blog instead of a political science blog, a geography blog or a former republics of the Soviet Union blog.

Oh, and those are Turkish apricots. That’s why they’re brown instead of orange. Again, I hope I have not offended anyone by using Turkish apricots in an Armenian dish. Tomorrow I’m going to put an ad on Craigslist for someone to come and homeschool my children in world history.

So! Dice up an onion, slice up some garlic and chop up your apricots from Turkey. (Or the orange ones from bulk foods.) Saute everything in a few tablespoons of olive oil.

Garlic, Onions, Apricots Muir Glen Tomatoes BPA Free Can

When your vegetables are soft, add in your lentils and a can of diced tomatoes. Muir Glen is has a great line of canned products that do not contain BPA in their liners if you’re feeling BPAranoid like I am.

Add 4 – 5 cups of water (or veggie broth), season with salt, a tsp each of cumin and thyme. It’s going to look super soupy for a while, but don’t sweat it.


Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for about 30 or 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once your lentils are soft, carefully (it’s hot!) ladle about half of your stew into the blender and puree until smooth. Return to pot and stir to combine.

Transfer Lentils to Blender

Serve immediately, or put away so your husband who will be home late has something to eat when he scrounges through the fridge that night. Move some to an insulated thermos so you’ve got a hot lunch for Friday’s outing with friends.

Apricot Lentils

Served with a tossed salad, hot lunches rule.

Packed Hot Lunch

Enjoy again on Saturday and Sunday with some diced avocado, feeling grateful that you had the energy to cook on Friday and made enough to feed yourself and your loved ones for two more days so you can spend the weekend lounging around in your elastic waist-banded pants and cooking nothing more complicated than toast.

Apricot Lentil Stew with Avocado

Armenians, I’ve got to hand it to you. This dish rocked like the Geghard cathedral four miles south-east of the Garni village.

(You can’t say this post didn’t teach you anything.)

The apricots made this so delicately sweet, they softened right up while cooking. This was perfectly seasoned with thyme and cumin, we’ll be visiting this recipe again.

Apricot Lentil Stew

2 – 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
1/3 c apricots
1 1/2 c red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
4 – 5 cups of water of vegetable broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
salt to taste (you’ll need more if you used water instead of broth)

Saute vegetables in olive oil until soft. Add lentils, tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 30 – 40 minutes or until lentils are very tender. If desired, move puree half with blender or food processor and transfer back into pot. Stir to combine and serve!

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10 Responses

  • What? Muir Glen doesn’t have BPA in their liners? How did I not know this? Christmas just came early for me!

  • Robin says:

    I love lentils, that looks delicious as always. Hope your weekend was very relaxing!

  • Jessica says:

    I stumbled upon this blog while looking for banana whip. I love this blog…so thanks for writing it!! I can not wait to try this recipe. I’m always looking for new dishes to try.

    On a side note, I had to laugh when you said you used Turkish apricots in an Armenian dish and then followed it with a comment about causing no offense. Just a little bit of historical info for you (I actually majored in International Studies in college and my concentration was in Post-Soviet studies). The Armenian and the Turks HATE one another. Very few people in this country know that Armenia is a country or where it is located–so you were not alone :) This of course also means very few people know about the Armenian genocide or have any idea that these two countries have had very strained relations for centuries. To this day, in fact, they have no diplomatic relations whatsoever. Sorry–it’s the teacher side of me coming out.

    Hope you had a great weekend. I so look forward to your next recipe!

    • Hey Jessica, thank you for your side note! I came across info on the Armenian genocide in my search for random facts on Armenia, thanks for sharing what you know and making it so clear! I loved this!

  • Cindy says:



    I’ve printed this because it looks and sounds perfect for a cold chilly night.


  • Katheryn says:

    This looks so good. I’m always trying to be more creative with lentils, but sadly, I’m not. This will definitely be made later this week.

  • I love lentils, this soup looks great. I also enjoyed the geography/history lessons from you and your commenter, Jessica. 😀