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Apricot-Spiced Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup w/Pesto Recipe


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     Apricot-Spiced Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup w/Pesto

Category   Salads - Soups - Sidedishes
Sub Category   Vegetarian
Servings   8
Preptime   50 min.

6T olive oil
4 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, peeled
6T (about 8 large) dried apricots, finely chopped
3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 c red lentils, rinsed and drained
8 c (64 oz.) vegetable stock
1 - 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes with liquid
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. Greek oregano
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3T apricot preserves
1 c flat leaf parsley
2T orange juice and 1 tsp. orange zest
1T agave syrup
1/2 c slivered, toasted almonds

Heat 2T olive oil in dutch oven over med. heat. Add shallot, 1 clove minced garlic, and chopped apricots. Saute 2 - 3 minutes. Add 1 tsp. salt, sweet potatoes, lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to boil, cover and simmer over low heat 15 min.
Add tomatoes, paprika, coriander, oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. cayenne. Simmer, covered, an additional 10 - 15 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in preserves.
Let soup sit, covered, 10 minutes. In food processor, combine parsley, 4T olive oil, orange juice and zest, 3 cloves garlic, almonds, agave syrup, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. cayenne. Puree to pesto consistency.
Puree soup with stick blender to thick consistency. Serve soup with parsley pesto.
Serving Suggestions
Garnish with chopped parsley if desired

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