This chili is the ideal candidate for make ahead meals. The flavor changes from slightly spicy on the first day to rich with a touch of sweetness on the second day. I adapted this vegetarian version from a beef chili originally published by ROBTX99 here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe.... I highly recommend the beef version for meat eaters, but hopefully this veg version is hearty enough to satisfy even the most discerning of carnivores! —AmiJoy
baby portabello mushrooms, cleaned and roughly choped
yellow onion, chopped
green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
cloves garlic, minced
black lentils, uncooked
cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
3 1/2 tablespoons
can petite diced tomatoes with juice
bottle stout beer
prepared Better Than Bouillon mushroom broth
brown sugar, packed
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over med-med high heat on the stove top. Add the chopped mushrooms, onion, green pepper and garlic to the heated oil. Season with salt and 2 splashes of soy sauce. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms have released their juices.
Add the Black lentils, kidney beans, black eyed peas, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper and mustard powder to the vegetables. Toss everything until well mixed, adding a little more olive oil if it looks dry.. Cook for about 2 minutes longer.
Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes with juice, beer, broth, coffee, brown sugar and chopped peppers to the vegetables and spices. Stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer on the stove top then cover and transfer to the oven. Cook at 350deg for about 2.5 hours until the lentils are cooked and the sauce has thickened. Check periodically, adding 1/2 cup broth if the liquid is evaporating too quickly.
Once the lentils are cooked and the chili is to your desired thickness, remove from the oven and allow it to rest. You can enjoy immediately.
For optimal flavor, allow the chili to cool a bit and transfer to a container for storage. Refrigerate overnight. To reheat chili for serving, heat in a crock pot on low for several hours or in the Dutch oven on the stove top until heated through.
Top with sour cream, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese or other toppings of your preference. Enjoy!