Thursday, August 28, 2008

Know What You're Eating....Apricot Lentil Soup

Geez, Louise! Lately I've been doing a much tighter job on calorie counting because it seems as if I've been getting lazy, and a little "wishful" about how much food I eat. It's been time to look closer at the foods, and the amount of food, I've been putting in my mouth lately.

When I was Shopping with Fawn at her grocery store, Mississippi Market, I was cruising the ready made soup section and saw this flavor I had never heard of before and sounded like an interesting combination, Apricot Lentil. I took a picture so I'd remember the name, and I tried to take a picture of the ingredients so I could attempt it on my own, but it was easy to find the recipe online, and so I tried it out early yesterday. Here's a copy from

Apricot lentil soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dried apricots
1 1/2 cups red lentils
5 cups chicken stock
3 roma (plum) tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Saute onion, garlic, and apricots in olive oil. Add lentils and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, and season with cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice. Puree 1/2 of the soup in a blender, then return to the pot. Serve.

I reduced the oil to 2 tbl., added a few jalapenos and one red bell, with the onions,(I know, I know, kind of predictable, lol), and used some chicken stock I made from the bones of the grilled chicken leftover from this last weekends party. The caloric information was about 250 per serving, 6 servings.

The recipe made only 6 cups of soup, making each serving only 1 cup! WHAT? Who can eat one stinkin' cup of soup? (picture above is one cup of soup inside my regular soup bowl, lol!) Unfortunately I had eaten about 1 1/2, maybe 2 cups, before I realized this, even thinning out my serving with extra stock to increase the volume of soup, without adding calories. The damage was in the 1 1/2 c. lentils @ 170 per 1/4 cup (dry), because the only other ingredients with any calories, really, was the oil, and the dried apricots.

When I make a soup with a carb as a main ingredient, I'll usually use my 'base veggie soup' as a way to extend the serving size while keeping the soup full veggies and flavor without the calories. So, I would combine 1 "carb soup" serving with a couple of cups base veggie soup, that way I could get a little more substance and texture from whatever carb, like beans or grains, maybe even pasta, and satisfy my little tummy! Besides, most soup recipes don't have near the amount of vegetables that I like to include in my meals, this one a perfect example....only 1 onion, and 3 tomatoes....I mean, come on now!

Lesson? Know what you're eating, or admit that you don't, and when you're not losing weight, or not losing fast enough consider that your calories are still too high and you are eating too much food, which is why I did the calorie count on my squash soup in a previuos blog post. I've had to be brutally honest about how much food I've been eating lately, because I say I want to weigh less, and now I mean it.

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