Chili? In April?
I know…it’s not exactly your typical spring dish, but like I mentioned with my Chicken and Rice Soup a few weeks ago, I’m an all year round soup/stew/chili eater.
If that’s not you, bookmark this delicious recipe and save it for October!
Well I was suppooooosed to write this post yesterday, but Seth and I traveled to Savannah, GA this weekend to photograph our friends’ wedding. It was a really fun weekend, but SO exhausting! We woke up at 3:30 am (ouch) on Saturday morning and drove to Savannah, got there and immediately headed to the venue, took a short nap after all the festivities were over, and then went out to downtown Savannah and didn’t get back to our hotel until 3:00 am. I am getting sleepy right now just thinking about it! Then we woke up the next day and drove back to Columbus. We got back at about 6:00 pm and I just couldn’t think coherently enough to write this post :).
So…apologies for my lateness. But this Vegan Chili is worth the wait!
I never thought I would speak (or write) the words “Vegan Chili.” I mean, doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of chili?? Chili is supposed to be packed full of meat. Right? Don’t worry, I was skeptical too.
I was planning on making lentil soup, and while I was thinking about the flavors I wanted to include, it popped into my mind that lentils would be perfect in chili. They don’t break down as they cook, and they are hearty and yummy. They absorb flavors well and are so good for you! So basically this chili pretends that the lentils are ground beef. I make it the exact same way I make my normal chili, just with lentils instead!
And it is so yummy! It has the exact same flavors as chili does because of the liberal amount of chili powder and cumin we add, the texture of the soup is thick and delicious because we puree part of it and then stir it back in, and it is really great for you! There are basically just veggies and lentils in here.
You can eat this totally guilt free! It makes a huge pot of chili and gets better and better as it sits in the fridge.
This chili – like traditional chili – is all about the toppings.
The chili itself is vegan, so if you want to keep the toppings vegan as well I would add lots of avocado and some green onions. If you choose the non vegan route for the toppings like I did, you definitely want to throw some cheese in there…yummy melt-y cheese. I also added a dollop of Greek yogurt along with the avocado and onions.
You won’t miss the meat in this delicious vegan chili!
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green peppers, diced
- 16 oz bag of lentils
- 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) chili powder
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cumin
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons coco powder
- For the toppings:
- Sliced green onions
- Cheese (optional: not vegan)
- Greek yogurt (optional: not vegan)
- Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat
- Add your onion, garlic, and peppers along with a little salt and pepper
- Saute for about 5 minutes
- Add in a 16 oz bag of lentils and stir to combine
- Add your chili powder, cumin, and pepper flakes
- Stir to combine until everything is evenly coated with the spices
- Add your tomatoes along with six cups of water and stir to combine
- Season with more salt and pepper
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer
- Simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender
- Remove from heat and ladle 4 cups of the chili into your food processor or blender and puree
- Stir the pureed chili back into the pot with the rest of it - this makes it nice and thick
- Stir in your coco powder
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Add toppings to each bowl and you are ready to go!
*The chili itself is gluten free and vegan**
If you make this or any of my other recipes, make sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
Want some other yummy soup recipes? Check these out: