As I have said before, soup is one of my favorite ways to meal prep. Its so incredibly simple and cost effective to make a giant pot of soup on a Sunday and pour it into some mason jars. I am a huge fan of making hearty soups; really, the heartier the better. Lentils of any variety frequently make an appearance in my soups because they are legumes that taste better and better the longer they cook. I use the same standard base for all of my soups — chopped celery, carrot, white onion, garlic and (often but not always) green bell pepper. The fragrance of these four ingredients as they cook down in a tbsp of olive oil is heavenly and comforting. I used red lentils in this recipe because I love the creaminess they add to a soup; red lentils seemingly naturally puree themselves once they’ve been cooking for at least 20 minutes. Though I am not vegan, this recipe is vegan and I would say that most of my soup recipes are vegan; Im not particularly keen on meats in soups unless its shredded chicken (Which Corey suggests that this soup recipe would be great with shredded chicken added). When it comes to the seasonings of the recipe, I going to have to tell you that I can only give an approximate measurement — I ran out of cumin and had to use some of my Trader Joe’s taco seasoning mix (which I love: no added preservatives or junk). This chili came out so wonderfully comforting and delicious; and is just meant for those nice fall football Sundays. Add some crumbled tortilla chips and some shredded cheese (dairy or non-dairy) and enjoy it knowing that your eating a chili thats full of protein, fiber, and vegetables.
Red Lentil & Veggie Chili (makes 4-5 servings)
What you need:
- 1 1/4 cup red lentils
- 3 carrots (chopped)
- 4 stalks celery (chopped)
- 1/2 white onion (chopped)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 green bell pepper diced (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 zucchini (chopped)
- 1 can organic diced tomatoes
- 4 cups veggie broth (or chicken)
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt ( more or less to taste)
- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
How to Make it:
- In a large pot, sauté the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, green bell, red bell pepper and zucchini until they start to cook down (about 3 minutes)
- Add tomatoes and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the lentils and seasonings and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Stir and taste broth, adjust to taste.
- Cover and cook for at least 25 minutes.
- Serve and top with tortilla chips, corn tortilla strips, sour cream, yogurt, or shredded cheese (all optional).
- For meal prep, separate into mason jars and let cool. Top and store in fridge for upto a week.