Red Lentil Chili
2 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium white onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced (1 cup)
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 jalapeño pepper, minced, plus fresh slices for serving
4 cloves garlic, minced and mashed
3 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 15-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes and their juices
3 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ¾ cups water, or more as needed
¾ cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can unsalted kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can unsalted black beans, drained
Chopped cilantro and diced avocado, for serving
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion and red bell pepper. Season with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper; cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring often, until they have just softened.
Stir in the jalapeño and garlic, then add 2 tablespoons of the chili powder, half the cumin, the smoked paprika, the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste and water, stirring to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-high; once the liquid begins to boil, stir in the lentils.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the mixture is barely bubbling; cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are mostly tender (they will look plumped). Add more water, as needed.
Add the kidney beans, black beans, the remaining ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, the remaining tablespoon each of cumin and chili powder, stirring to incorporate. Once the beans have heated through, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Taste and add salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Serve warm, topped with jalapeño slices, the cilantro and avocado.