Tag Archives: lentils

Lentil Chili

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One my best friends, Allison, lives 752 miles away in Oxford, MS (home of Ole Miss, the Manning’s and my Rebels. Hotty Toddy!). She and I have been friends since we were 12 years old when training bras were a big deal, school supplies translated to Lisa Frank, three-way calling was the “in” thing,  and our crushes on boys only lasted one week.

I hate that she lives so far away! It’s pretty dumb. Then again, she probably thinks it’s pretty dumb I chose to live in a state shaped like a mitten where it gets colder than ever, while she gets to maintain a garden in February like it’s no big deal – pretty badass if you ask me.

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The point is, she’s one of my rocks. I talk to her every. single. day. You heard that right.

Friends are essential. Especially ones you’ve known more than half your life. I was in her wedding, she was in mine. She’s heard me cry, I’ve heard her cry. She’s vented to me about what upsets her and I’ve vented to her (sometimes multiple times a day) about what’s bothering me.

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One thing she and I definitely do is exchange recipes. We’re both big foodies and literally spend hours talking about food, coming up with recipes, giving each other tips or suggestions on how to alter a recipe, what flavors would work and more. We’ve even thought about starting a blog together. She’s all classic-southern-comfort-cooking-but-also-healthy-ethnic-dish (or feasts as I call ‘em) gal, and I’ve got the vegetarian-health-nut-freak-thing on my end. Together, our kitchens are unstoppable!

So this lentil chili was born as a result of one of our chats. It’s her lentil soup recipe and my vegetarian chili recipe. Together they’re married in soup harmony. Equal soup rights, y’all. Support it.

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It turned out boss, and made enough to feed an army. And if I could, I’d fly her up here to eat it with me. Then we could laugh, eat good soup together, talk for hours and it wouldn’t seem like she’s 752 miles away.

Lentil Chili
 
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My best friends lentil soup recipe combined with my vegetarian chili recipe. Together, it’s an unstoppable force of flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Chili, Soups
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can fire roasted diced tomato
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4½ cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1 cup brown lentils, picked through, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 15-oz. can peeled, crushed tomato
  • ½ cup meatless crumbles (Boca brand or similar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Start by heating olive oil in a large stock pot.
  2. When heated, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
  3. Then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Next add carrot, green and red bell peppers and cook until peppers and carrot are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the drained beans and vegetable stock and cook another 10 minutes.
  6. Then add in the lentils, cover and let the soup come to simmer, another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Add your spices: cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and also add in the frozen corn kernels. Give the whole soup a good stir.
  8. Finally add the crushed tomato, meatless crumbles, salt and pepper and stir well.
  9. Cover and bring to small bubble and then simmer 30-35 minutes.
  10. Top with your favorite garnishes and enjoy!

 

Presidents Day Soup

I think I’ve mentioned before that I started a new job this year. In my previous job, I traveled almost every two weeks and was away a lot. While it was fun and a perfect time in my life to travel and see the country, near the end, I was ready to just be home and actually live my life. I started a new job in September working for a not-for-profit company located right downtown in Ann Arbor. The job is great, pretty laid back, I can take the bus to work and I’m home for dinner every night with my favorites! It’s been working out so well. Another added benefit? Having random days off in observance of holidays, like President’s Day today! I spent the day catching up on sleep, hanging out with the pup, and making a most fabulous soup for lunch.

One of my best friends, who lives in Mississippi, made a lentil soup last week and was nice enough to share her recipe with me. I made a few changes to fit my needs a little better, and I also scaled it down so I wouldn’t have a ton of leftovers.


The only lentils I’ve ever cooked with is for Indian cooking to make dal. I’ve actually never made a lentil soup with brown lentil that needed to really cook for a long time. The other star ingredients?


Fire roasted tomatoes and ground cumin! That plus other spices made this soup spicy, hearty, filling and full of flavor! You’re sure to love it. The great thing about soup is that you can throw anything you want into it. If you have leftover veggies, throw them in! I kept this soup simple with just some root veggies, though.

Here’s what you need:
•1 tablespoon olive oil
•1/2 cup brown lentils, picked through and rinsed under cold water
•1 carrot, diced
•1/2 cup red onion, diced
•1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and cubed
•1 teaspoon garlic, minced
•1 14.5-oz. can fire roasted tomatoes (you can use the kind with roasted garlic, or any flavor you want)
•1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
•1/2 teaspoon paprika
•1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
•1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon pepper
•2 cups vegetable stock
•1/2 cup water (more as needed)

In a large pot, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. When it’s hot, add in the onions, carrots and potatoes. Cook about 5-8 minutes until so they start to cook and get a little soft (the potatoes will take longer to soften, but they’ll cook completely through the duration of the recipe). Add the minced garlic and stir for 1 minute to allow it to cook and blend in with the flavors.

Add the can of tomatoes (liquid and all!), vegetable stock, spices and stir well. Cover and bring to a boil (about 15-20 minutes). Once it’s boiling, simmer partially covered for another 15 minutes. After that, you may need to add more liquid if you notice the soup getting too thick. You can add 1/2 cup water,  then add in the lentils, leave uncovered and cook for 40-45 minutes or until the lentils are soft. If you notice the soup losing too much liquid, you can add more water, 1/2 cup at a time until it’s the soup-y consistency you want.

Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy! Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro or parsley, freshly squeezed lemon juice or drizzle of olive oil. Serve with crusty bread or roll. This should serve about 4 people.

OK so this soup might not be presidential, but I do know it was delicious and perfect for a relaxing day at home.

What are your favorite flavor combinations in soup?

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