Sweet Potato Lentil Chili

Recipe from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan. Wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, & oil-free option

Red lentils work nicely to thicken this chili, while the sweet potato gives a mellow, smooth contrast to the spices. Serve with a big dollop of Guacamole con Alga Marina (p.61) and tortilla chips or artisan breads for dipping.

splash of water (for oil-free version) or 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups (425 mL) onions, diced
1 cup (250 mL) celery, diced
2 – 2 1/2 cups (500 to 625 mL) orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp (10 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) dry red lentils
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water
1 – 28 oz (796 mL) can crushed tomatoes
1 – 14 oz (398 mL) can black or kidney beans, rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp (45 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime wedges (for serving)

In large pot on medium heat, add oil, onions, celery, sweet potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and spices, and stir through. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally; reduce heat if onions are sticking to bottom of pot. Rinse lentils. Add to pot with water, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf, and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in lime juice and serve portions with lime wedges.
Serves 6.

Cooking Note: If you only have whole or diced tomatoes, use a hand blender to ‘crush’ them: first pour off some liquid from can into pot, then use a hand blender to puree tomatoes directly in the can