French Lentil Chili
Be sure to pick through your lentils, and discard any pebbles or damaged ones. I like using French lentils because they retain their shape, and have a heartier flavor than green and red lentils. Stirring in a little red wine vinaigrette at the end pulls all the flavors together, and adds a layer of brightness to the chili. You can swap in balsamic vinegar if you like.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Small yellow onion, chopped
- Garlic clove, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
- 14 ounce jar tomato puree
- 1 cup (195 grams) French lentils
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (discard stems)
- Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe here)
- Add a swirl of oil to a heavy bottomed 4-quart pan or pot. Heat over medium flame until shimmering.
- Add the onions, and sauté until golden and slightly tender. Add the garlic, tomato paste, and tomato puree. Give it a good stir. Stir in the lentils, salt, paprika, cumin, thyme, and half the cilantro. Add 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil over medium-high.
- Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about an hour, adding more water (1/4 cup at a time), as needed. The cooking time and amount of water will vary depending on the age of the lentils (i.e. how much they need to be hydrated).
- To serve, stir the vinaigrette into the pot. Ladle the chili into deep bowls. Garnish with remaining cilantro, and enjoy!