Maple Lentil Chili

Served alongside the Maple-Kissed Cornbread from my first book, The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread, I love the combination of spicy and sweet in this super easy recipe. Like most soups and stews, this one tastes even better the second day. If you want a sweeter chili, add a little more maple syrup–of course! Depending on who I am serving it for, adding some finely chopped jalapeño into the bell pepper mix adds just the right amount of kick that I love.

 

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Maple Lentil Chili

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 large red bell peppers, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 pound/16 ounces portabello mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups water
2 (28 oz/796 ml) cans diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (285g) brown lentils (dry)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground thyme
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
1/3 cup (80 ml) pure dark maple syrup
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers, stirring until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic, continuing stir often until mushrooms have released their juices and are cooked through.

Add the water, tomatoes, lentils, chili powder, cumin, thyme, and cinnamon to the mixture. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cooking for at least 45 minutes, and until the lentils are soft. Stir in maple syrup, add salt and pepper, and adjust seasonings to taste.