1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
½ cup dried apricots, quartered
¼ cup chopped onion or shallots
¼ to ½ tsp. Thai red chili paste
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
¾ cup light coconut milk
½ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro (optional)
4 Tbsp. pomegranate juice or seeds (optional)
Active time: 25 minutes Total time: 50 minutes
Place sweet potatoes, lentils, apricots, onion, chili paste, and broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are falling apart, about 25 minutes. Let soup sit, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Add coconut milk. Using a blender, puree soup until smooth, in batches if necessary. Stir in salt and pepper, and add more if desired.
To serve: Divide pureed soup among bowls, and top each with cilantro and pomegranate juice or seeds (if using).
Tips: You can substitute brown or green lentils for the red; they won't fall apart as easily, so forgo the blending and serve the soup as a chunky stew instead. Freeze up to 8 weeks.