I was going to start todays blogs with something really naughty, but so completely fab, however, Hubby made it and I do not know where he got the recipe from, so watch this space, I will be back with the recipe soon! For now I bring you, Brown Lentil Chilli, the perfect dish to warm you up on what seems to be a rather chilly June so far.

The boys were not keen at the idea of this dish, I got the usual teasing of being a Hippie, LOL, which I am use to and honestly I do rather like the thought that they see me in such away, when they were younger I was called an Earth Mother, all titles I am happy to have, I am happy that I have brought them up to eat healthy, to connect with nature and to be themselves, in our home being different is seen as a good thing.

Anyway, teasing aside, they all ended up really enjoying this dish, it is warming, hearty and filling and just perfect on these chilly evenings, I am just hoping that June being this cold leads into a long hot summer, I am a true sunshine girl and it means far more time outside.

But, until the sun returns I will make do with this Brown Lentil Chilli to keep me warm, which we served with sour cream and coriander, but the recipe does suggest other options such as cheese, tortillas, etc. We had crusty wholemeal bread, which was gorgeous with lashing of the chilli heaped up on top of it, a slightly messy way to eat it, but hey who cares, it was delicious.

You can make this as mild or as hot as you like, just add more chilli powder, chopped fresh Jalapeno or red pepper flakes, you can cater the hotness to suit your diners.

So with the weather lady promising that it is going to get warmer, I will keep my fingers crossed and hopefully we will get to eat outside all weekend, if not, this Brown Lentil Chilli may just well be on the menu again.

Buon appetito

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Serves 4 to 6

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons chilli powder (If you like your chilli spicy, add chopped fresh Jalapeno or red pepper flakes to add extra heat)
500g bag of brown lentils
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
900ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
⅓ cup fresh chopped coriander
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese,tortilla chips, avocado

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and red bell pepper; saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until onion is soft and lightly browned.

Stir in garlic and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.

Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.

Transfer 3 cups of cooked chilli into a food processor and process until pureed; add the pureed chilli back into the remaining chilli and stir to combine. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Stir in coriander and serve.

brown lentils

Note : Your lentils will probably need soaking before cooking, just follow the instructions on the packet. Mine needed washing & rinsing, a minimum of 30 minutes soaking time, then in clean water brought to the boil, boiled for 10 minutes and then I added them to the chilli and continued the cooking time that they required.