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Coconut curry lentil & apple soup

My house is rarely without apples any time of year. They work nicely in both sweet and savoury dishes and they fit neatly in kindergarten lunch boxes, disorganized purses and hungry toddlers. We go through so many that I usually buy them by the bag, but we also grow some apples of our own. Not that I know how that happens every year. They just kinda show up on the tree and we pick 'em and eat 'em and high five each other for having such an awesome tree full of snacks. Yup, I love apples. So I was thrilled to be asked to partner with BC Tree Fruits in celebrating Apple Month in February by creating a new apple recipe.

While making this vegan coconut curry lentil and apple soup I reached for a British Columbia original - the Ambrosia apple. They're sweet and hold their shape nicely while cooking, which means the savoury onion and hearty lentils in this aromatic soup are offset with soft chunks of sweet apple. With a loaf of bakery bread, this makes a lovely February dinner.

Here's how I made it:

a splash of olive oil
2 cups diced Ambrosia apples (or other sweet, crisp variety)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 398 ml can of coconut milk
6 cups of water
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp salt

The olive oil, apple and onion were added to a large soup pot and cooked over medium heat just until beginning to soften. I stirred in the curry powder, lentils, coconut milk and water and brought the mixture to a boil over high heat. I reduced the heat to low, covered the pot, and allowed the soup to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then the soup was removed from the heat and the cilantro leaves and salt were stirred in to finish.

To celebrate Apple Month, BC Tree Fruits is offering Canadians a chance to win $2,000 plus another $2,000 for a charity of your choice. All you have to do is upload a photo of yourself enjoying a BC Tree Fruits Apple! Happy Apple Month indeed!

Do you have a favourite apple variety? How do you use them in savoury dishes?