The weather here is getting colder and wetter. That means soup time at our house. I’m a huge fan of lentils, especially the versatile red ones. They turn a beautiful salmon red when cooked and are popular in many cuisines around the world. Here, in this fresh tasting chili they really shine. Combine all the ingredients, puree them smooth or slightly chunky, press the start button on your Instant Pot and you’re half an hour or so away from a healthy, delicious and warming dinner. If you don’t have an Instant Pot know that red lentils cook very quickly on the stovetop as well. Just combine the puree, lentils and water in a large soup pot, bring it to a boil, partially cover and simmer the chili gently for about 30 to 45 minutes. And if you would prefer to use a slow cooker pour the puree, lentils and water into the crock-pot insert and simmer on low for several hours. Green onions and avocado added at the end really add a special touch. I highly recommend using them if they’re available, but lightly steamed fresh greens added at the end are also tasty.
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients! It’s mostly measuring out spices!
This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.
I usually freeze some for when the cook needs a day off.
On those days we simply reach into the freezer for an easy “Take-in” dinner! 😉
Here’s the recipe for the Vegan Red Lentil Chili:
- 1 large (28oz) or 2 small (14oz) cans of tomatoes, fire roasted are nice
- 6 oz of tomato paste
- 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
- about 6 to 12 pitted dates, depending on their size
- 8 to 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 to 2 tablespoons salt-free chili powder (not Cayenne!)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, sweet or hot (your choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or a tablespoon of chipotle en adobo
- about 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, start with less and add more later if needed
- 1 pound (about 2 cups) red lentils, washed well and rinsed
- 6 to 7 cups water
- thinly sliced green onions
- some ripe avocado, chopped small
- freshly steamed greens are nice too when added to the serving dish
Combine the first 13 ingredients in a large bowl or the Instant Pot insert.
Puree everything until smooth.
Leave some small bits for extra texture if you like.
Pour this back into the Instant Pot inner cooking vessel and
Add the red lentils and water.
Stir until everything is well combined.
Close the lid and seal the pressure vent.
Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and then let the pressure come down naturally.
Stir again and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.
And don’t forget that most soups and stews taste even better the next day!