garden herb and lentil chili
It’s officially fall, and there’s a rainy front moving through that promises at least a day or two of cool-ish temperatures. I say that’s reason enough for me to make my first chili of the season. For several years now, I’ve been making this vegetarian chili, and today’s chili is a variation on that tried-and-true theme. Now that I always have fresh herbs on hand, thanks to Daniel’s truck garden, this chili is bursting with chives, parsley, oregano, bush basil, lemon basil, and sweet basil. And because I didn’t have any pre-soaked beans, I used red lentils, which cook quickly and nicely in the chili.
I always begin with the same base: five or so minced garlic cloves and roughly chopped onion, green bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and celery – all sautéed in a dash of olive oil. Then I added in the roughly chopped herbs.
Daniel does have some lovely cherry tomatoes in the garden now, but I used organic canned tomatoes for the chili and seasoned liberally with fresh ground black pepper, chili powder, and Louisiana hot sauce while everything simmered.
Finally, I poured in about a cup of dried red lentils and added water (until the lentils were mostly covered), then covered the pot and let simmer until the lentils were cooked.
This chili is particularly lovely over long grain wild rice. And the leftovers, which only get better, will last several days. Happy fall!