Who says chili needs meat when this one comes chock full of cinnamon spiced lentils, paprika seasoned peppers, roasted tomatoes and corn? With all those aromatic spices, this chili’s rich smoky flavor will fill your house as it stews. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.
- 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ inch piece cinnamon stick
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded and membrane removed
- a little oil or cooking spray, to coat the pot
- 2 red chilies, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 vegetable stock bouillon cube
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cobs worth of fresh corn kernels
- 1 can corn
- 2 ripe avocados, flesh removed
- juice of 1 lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Add the lentils, onion, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and 6 cups of low sodium vegetable stock to a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer gently, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Set the additional 2 cups vegetable stock aside.
Place the halved bell pepper cut side down and the whole tomatoes onto a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until bell pepper and tomatoes are soft and their skins are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven a set aside to cool. Once bell peppers and tomatoes are cool, puree them a food processor or pass them through a sieve to get a smooth consistency. Set aside.
Lightly film a large heavy-based pot oil or cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add the chopped chilis and diced garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute, or until garlic begins to become fragrant. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper and sweet paprika. Cook one minute more, or until spices become fragrant.
Add the pureed tomatoes bell pepper mixture, tomato paste, brown sugar and stock cube to the pot. Cook over a medium heat 2-4 minutes, or until the sugar and stock cube have dissolved.
Add the corn kernels, lentils and any remaining liquid to the pot. Stir well to combine, bring to a simmer and turn heat down to low.
Gently cook the chili over very low heat for up to 2 hours, adding additional vegetable stock when needed to keep it from sticking from the pot.
While chili is cooking, mash the avocados in a bowl with the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick before serving. Top with simple guacamole and enjoy!