Monday, November 1, 2010

Renee's Rockin Red Lentil Chili

I have to tell you that I am VERY much a carnivore, but even I will eat this. As do most of the people I know. In fact, I make it with veggie broth if I need a vegan-friendly potluck dish. :) I'm not sure how it's going to taste minus tomatoes, so we may just make it with tomatoes and suffer. I'm not sure.

Kind of spicy, but you can also modify that to taste. It's a different kind of "chili" (don't think beans and hamburger), but so incredibly hearty and yummy.

Red Lentil Chili

1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (I use cayenne pepper and add to taste--maybe 1/4 teaspoon.)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups lentils (I use orange split lentils.)
28 oz. diced tomatoes, in juice
2 red bell peppers
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

In a heavy pot, cook the onion in oil for 10 minutes over low heat. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, paprika, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring, for 3minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, lentils, and tomatoes; simmer for 40 minutes; add up to 1 cup water if the mixture becomes dry.

Add the peppers and celery (I ran them through a food processor first) and simmer until lentils are cooked and veggies tender, about 30 more minutes. Stir in the brown sugar toward the end.

Serve over basmati rice. It’s even better as leftovers!

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