I do love to cook, even though frozen Trader Joe's entrees have been a bit of a staple around here while training. But I did manage a couple of my favorite fall dishes in the past week or so. The fruitstand I go to has started to get the best apples and pears in and I rustled up a batch of my favorite: Crock Pot Apple Pear Sauce. There is no real recipe, but it is genius. Peel up a bunch of apples and pears (I have one of those very cool Pampered Chef apple corers, which thrills my kid, so it doubles as entertainment.) Pour in a bit of water, and some of your favorite spices (just go crazy), turn on the crock pot before you go to bed. You wake up to the smell of baking apples and everyone thinks you're brilliant. About 50 calories per half cup, for anyone who is interested. Put it in oatmeal, pour yogurt over it, eat it plain.
The picture is of my absolute all-time favorite soup recipe, which I've been making for almost 20 years now and every person I've introduced it to has fallen madly and passionately in love with it. I shall give you the keys to the kingdom and share this recipe:
Armenian Lentil and Apricot Soup
3 tbls olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 1/2 cups dried split red lentils, rinsed thoroughly
5 cups chicken stock or canned broth
3 medium sized ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and dried apricots. Saute, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft, about 12 minutes.
2. Add the lentils and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes.
4. Season with the lemon juice and additional salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring, for another two or three minutes.
***I'm usually in a hurry and tend to use a big can of chopped tomatoes, juice and all instead of dealing with peeling and chopping.
I also use way more cumin and thyme than 1/2 teaspoon!
Me being me, I also cut the olive oil and only use one tablespoon, which, by my best math estimates, makes this soup approximately 160 calories per cup serving.