As soon as we get the new Bon Appétit each month I go through it looking for recipes that sound like something good to try. In the February '08 issue this was the first one that caught my attention. It is in their restaurant recipes section & is from the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas.
2 t olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 t dried oregano leaves
1/8 t cayenne pepper
4 c (or more) water
1 c dried brown lentils, rinsed
1/2 c tomato puree
1/3 c plus 2 T chopped green onions
Heat oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic & sauté 30 seconds. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano & cayenne pepper; stir 30 seconds. Add 4 cups of water, lentils & tomato puree. Increase heat & bring to a boil, skimming off any foam from surface. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes, adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if dry (we added another 1/2 cup). Stir in 1/3 cup green onion. Season with salt & pepper. This can be made 2 days ahead. Cover & chill. Rewarm over medium heat stirring occasionally.
Garnish bowls with remaining green onions.
Makes 4 servings.
We also garnished with cheddar cheese & sour cream. Since this was a spa recipe those were probably no-nos. I thought the sour cream added a really good flavor to it. This was a good vegetarian chili & it went together really quickly. The seasoning is good (it smelled terrific) & not too spicy which is good for a wimp like me. They do say to add more cayenne if you like things hotter. I think I still prefer Matt's Smoky Chili or his Chicken Chili (which we haven't written about yet) but I think we will make this again.