2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. chili powder
1 (16 oz.) bag of brown lentils
2 (14.5 oz.) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 (32 oz.) cartons vegetable stock or chicken stock
⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, avocado
In a large heavy duty dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and red bell pepper; saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until soft and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Stir in garlic and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
Transfer 3 cups of cooked chili into a food processor and process until pureed; add the pureed chili back into the remaining chili and stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
Stir in cilantro and serve.