While the sun shines bright, there is still a nip in the air and that equals "soup weather" as far as I'm concerned. Also, I'll admit it, I'm lazy. I love cooking big on the weekend and having a big pot of soup to draw on for lunches and suppers makes the week meal preparation a breeze. Often at the end of the workday, the last thing I want to do is spent a lot of time in the kitchen!
When I first made this, I was skeptical. Chili without meat? That's just not right! However, with a vegetarian in my life, I have to branch out and try new things! Adventures in cooking and eating, what can be more fun! I was very pleasantly surprised in the hearty results of this recipe. I found that I didn't miss the meat. Lentils were not a pantry item for me before this recipe, but now they are. This is easily made with things I generally have on hand and mixes up quickly.
This is a very easy, economical recipe. I vary the veggies from time to time for variety, but always use the red bell peppers, they add a nice sweetness to balance the chili.
I hope you find this thick, spicy chili tasty and that it becomes a staple in your recipe box!
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Medium onions chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 16 oz. bag of brown lentils
2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
2 32 oz. cartons of vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and bell peppers.
Salute the veggies until the onion is soft.
Mix in the garlic, chili powder and cinnamon. Continue to cook, stirring to mix for an additional minute or so. It will smell amazing!
Rinse the lentils in a colander to remove any dirt or dust.
Add the lentils to the pot along with the tomatoes, bay leaf and vegetable stock.
Lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Don't panic, it will thicken up and turn into a thick hearty soup.
Remove from the heat and find the bay leaf and discard it.
Taste and add the salt and pepper, adjusting to your personal taste.
Top with the cilantro; add some sour cream or cheese to dress it up further.
.....and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!