As Fall settles in and the temperature drops we find that we make more soups and chili. We love this Butternut Squash Turkey Chili and we love making Instant Pot Chili. Both warm the soul and it’s just a great way to get a full healthy hearty meal in a bowl. Today we’ll show you how we make our Vegan Wegman’s Inspired Red Lentil Chili and talk about why we love lentils!
You Rock Wegmans!
I love Wegmans! And I’m not alone. In 2007 Wegmans was received the Best Grocery Store Award from the Food Network. And I’m pretty sure those guys take their food seriously. Not only that, Wegmans has made it onto Fortune’s list of “Best Companies to Work For”. That’s refreshing…a store chain that cares about their employees. I can think of a few other chains that maybe don’t set the bar as high (cough: ah…Walmart!). But, let’s not go there. But Wegmans, ah yes, Wegmans! I love Wegmans.
The bad news: We don’t live near a Wegmans. 🙁 As a result I find I just have to recreate many of their recipes. And I knew when I tried the Wegmans Red Lentil Chili I knew I had to come up with a version I could make it at home. I had done this before. Our lasagna with red lentil sauce is a Wegmans inspired recipe. That was around the time I was falling in love with lentils and…well…confession…I’m a bit of a food hoarder. I think it was a little out of control when I was pregnant. I’m slightly better about it lately. It’s been a little while since I collapsed any pantry shelves. But we do still tend to have a fair amount of ingredients around…like lentils. Hey, we run a food blog, what am I supposed to do?
What’s so great about Red Lentil Chili?
Aside from how awesome chili is, lentils rock! For starters, they have a lot of nutritional value and are a great source of fiber and protein. They are also super low in fat content! Combine this with ease of preparation and I’m sold. I find that they go great in sauces and soups, soaking up the surrounding flavors.
I’m a fan of thicker soups like our cauliflower soup and our thai butternut squash soup. That’s where my immersion blender comes in handy. I love using it to thicken up soups. So when making this red lentil soup I decided I would keep half the lentils whole, but then blend the other half and use them to thicken the soup. If you prefer brothy soup with larger chunks you can skip the blending step when you get to the recipe.
But I have to say, lentils are pretty versatile. The more I work with them the more I find I like them. And everywhere I look around the internet I see recipes I want to try like this quick and easy lentil soup recipe from Give Me Some Oven. And this one from thekitchn.com. Or over at Produce on Parade they have a Spiced Lentil Soup with Roasted Beets and Delicata Squash. Uhh…yes, please! I could go on and on. I have a soup problem. You might even say I’m souped up! See what I did there? Okay bad jokes means it’s time to move on to the red lentil chili recipe:
- 1 c . red lentils
- 2 c . water
- 2 Tbsp . coconut oil
- 1 onion , diced
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 red pepper
- 3 c . broth
- ½ tsp . cumin
- ½ tsp . ground corriander
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp . chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring red lentils to a boil in 2 cups of water.
- Simmer on low for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions in oil for 6 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add peppers, celery, and carrot and cook until soft approximately another 6-8 minutes, then add broth and spices.
- Once lentils are done, drain any extra water off.
- Add all but 1 c. of lentils to the soup.
- Blend soup with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
- Add 1 cup of reserved lentils.
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