the saturday soup – red lentil chili March 5, 2011

I’m on a mission the next few weeks to use up some of the dry goods and pantry staples that seem to be like Gremlins in our cupboard. I use them and use them and their supplies never seem to diminish! The last quart of red lentils has been lingering for far too long and I’ve been determined to get them gone. I’ve made red lentil soups before for this blog but this one has a spicy kick to it. All the flavors of chili without the meat. As I’ve said before, I don’t wanna hear it from the chili purists who rabidly defend what they think their version of chili is – meat only, beans only. Goodness. As a vegetarian, this is mine. Spicy, smoky with as much heat as you desire. Certainly amp up the spice and seasonings for this recipe as you see fit. A spoonful of sour cream and some tortilla chips on the side made this an awesome meal.

While I’m at it, I want to say how excited I am that last week’s Saturday Soup has made it into the finals of Fine Cooking’s Soup Week Challenge. Posting a soup every week has been a lot of fun and, at times, challenging…so to have a recipe recognized is a big treat. Winner takes home a 7 quart Emile Henry soup pot, some Fine Cooking swag and – most importantly – bragging rights. If you haven’t yet,  I’d appreciate the vote. Voting ends Monday 3/7 at 9 am EST!

Red Lentil Chili – serves 4 as a light entree

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 green Thai chili or jalapeno, finely diced – you can take the seeds out or leave them depending on how much heat you want
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other preferred oil for sauteing)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water (you can add more liquid if you want thinner soup)
  • 1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha or preferred hot sauce
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • chopped green onions, to garnish

– In a large stock pot, head up the grapeseed oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and onions and saute until they start to soften – about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the diced chili or jalapeno and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Add in the lentils and stir to combine. Pour in the water and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cumin and hot sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables and lentils are cooked – about 25 minutes. This will also depend on the freshness of your lentils. If you need to add more liquid during the cooking process – or want a thinner texture – do so. Just adjust the spice/heat level accordingly. Before serving, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve. This soup also stores beautifully in an airtight container.



Michelle Chang Mar 7, 2011 12:03 pm

What a creative way to add lentils to chili!

[…] Red lentil chili from Running with Tweezers. It looks so healthy and delicious! A great alternative to typical vegetarian chili. […]

Kim @ Wallet Friendly Wellness Mar 7, 2011 04:03 pm

Yesss, totally making this! I just fell in love with red lentils last year when I learned how to make Sri Lankan vegetable curry. I can’t wait to try this out!

Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane Mar 7, 2011 07:03 pm

My pantry always seems to be overflowing with lentils, rice, dried beans and everything in between. I completely relate. This vegetarian chili looks so great — especially with the spicy kick!

Voted for you and am sending good bragging right mojo your way…

kelro Mar 8, 2011 01:03 pm

Congrats on your win (and all the schwag). Made the pesto veggie soup last weekend. 2 words: A Mazing!
Making the lentil chili this wknd, so I can also finally use up those lentils! Thx

Denise Mar 13, 2011 01:03 pm

This was delicious! A bowl of comfort:) I can really recommend serving this with nacho’s and cheese and naan bread…mmm!

[…] in my “cold weather recipes” Google Doc, when I ran into Running with Tweezer’s red lentil chili and realized I had nearly all the ingredients already on hand. And I realized this is a super easy […]

Domino Grátis Mar 24, 2012 10:03 pm

This was delicious! A bowl of comfort:) I can really recommend serving this with nacho’s and cheese and naan bread…mmm!