Smoky Lentil Chili


1 medium carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


In a medium saucepan, sauté bacon over medium heat until crispy.
Add carrot, celery, and onion to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
Add ground tomatoes, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, bay leaf, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow mixture to simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir in lentils and cover. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes.




Generally when I make chili I use ground beef, which provides so much rich flavor. I was really interested to see if I could still attain the same great flavor while using lentils. Did I ever! It was sweet, smoky, spicy, and thick. All things necessary for a good bowl of chili.
The bacon added a much appreciated subtle smokiness. And using a bit of brown sugar deepened the naturally sweet flavor of the ground tomatoes and complemented the spiciness perfectly. The lentils themselves mimic the texture of the traditional ground beef chili. Filling, hearty, and healthy!


2 servings


Friday, May 28, 2010 - 9:50am


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