This recipe calls for ingredients found in most real food pantries: beans, lentils, and canned tomatoes. The basic ingredients come together to create a flavorful and "meaty" chili--without actually using any meat.
Heat the olive oil in a stockpot (or Dutch oven) over medium heat.
Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots. Saute the veggies until the onions become translucent and the carrots and peppers begin to soften, about 4-5 mins.
Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves. Saute the spice mixture for about 30 seconds.
Add the broth and lentils, and stir to combine.
Bring to the lentil mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils soften.
Add the pinto beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, diced green chilis, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine the ingredients, and continue cooking for 25 more minutes, until the beans are soft.
Taste the chili, and add more salt if needed. Serve warm, with your choice of toppings.
*I use green lentils in this recipe, because that's what I stock in my pantry. I think red lentils will also work, and they'll probably soften very quickly.
**You can use mild or hot diced green chilis in this recipe. I use a can of hot diced green chilis. If you'd like additional heat/flavor, you're welcome to increase this amount to two cans. This really depends on your personal preference.
***I don't add salt to my homemade broth, so I've found that I'm always increasing the salt amount in soups/stews. This amount will really depend on your taste preferences. I personally use about 2 teaspoons of salt in this recipe. Laura used 1 teaspoon. I recommend starting with 1 teaspoon of salt, and then increasing the amount until the flavor is just right.