Pantry Lentil Chili

If you want a hearty meal for your at-home stay during this pandemic, lentil chili fits the bill. With plenty of flavor to go around, using what you already have in your home, you can make this an easy dinner option. Plus, it makes delicious leftovers. 

3 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Chile powder
1 Small yellow onion (roughly chopped)
3 cloves Garlic (peeled)
1/2 cup Roasted bell pepper (roughly chopped)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
3 tbsp Tomato paste
1 Lager beer
2 cups Black lentils ( rinsed )
1 can Fire-roasted or diced tomatoes
1 1/2 quarts Vegetable broth
1 Avocado (diced)
1 Lime (cut into wedges)
Corn or flower tortillas (for serving)

Heat a large Dutch over medium to low heat. Add the olive oil and, when warm, stir in the spices. Cook for about 2 minutes.

While the spices heat, place the onion and garlic into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Stir into the pot with the spices and turn the heat up to medium high and cook about 3 minutes until translucent.

Add the red pepper and season with salt and pepper and add in the tomato paste. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the beer and let reduce, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes until the lentils have cooked through. If the chili becomes too thick during the cooking, add a little more stock or some water to thin it out.

Check the flavor and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado and lime. Serve with tortillas if you'd like.