2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. chili powder
1 (16 oz.) bag of brown lentils
2 (14.5 oz.) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 (32 oz.) cartons vegetable stock or chicken stock
⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, avocado
In a large heavy duty dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and red bell pepper; saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until soft and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Stir in garlic and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
Transfer 3 cups of cooked chili into a food processor and process until pureed; add the pureed chili back into the remaining chili and stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
Stir in cilantro and serve.
If you like your chili spicy, add chopped fresh jalapeno or red pepper flakes for some heat