Moroccan Lamb, Lentil, and Chickpea Soup
I made this for my make-ahead cooking group "The Make-Ahead Mamas'" holiday soup swap. The wonderful traditional Moroccan cinnamon-spice combination is lovely with the ground lamb and sweet potatoes, and the chopped apricots or cranberries add a surprising tart sweetness with every few bites. Whenever I make this recipe, I make a double (or triple!) batch and freeze a few portions.
Barley can be used in place of lentils, and dried cranberries can be used in place of apricots.
To make this soup ahead, I suggest not cooking the soup fully until just before serving it, so that the vegetables stay firm while frozen. Follow steps 1 to 3, then transfer soup to a freezer-safe container. Place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze. When ready to eat, if refrigerated, simply transfer to a pot and follow step 4. If frozen, thaw in the the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours, pour into a soup pot, and follow step 4.