- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups/500 mL)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon/15 mL)
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon (2 to 4 mL) fine sea salt, to taste, plus a pinch
- 1 medium/large jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced (about1 1/3 cups/325 mL)
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chili powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) smoked paprika
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) tomato paste
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can lentils, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked lentils
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) apple cider vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sriracha or other hot sauce
- 2 batches All-Purpose Cheese Sauce
- Pickled sliced jalapeños, drained, for garnish
- Corn tortilla chips, for serving
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, stir, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
- Stir in the fresh jalapeño and 1 cup (250 mL) of the bell pepper and cook for a few minutes more. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika and stir to combine.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes with their juices and stir. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the tomato paste, lentils, and kidney beans. With a potato masher, roughly mash one-third of the mixture—don’t try to mash it smooth, just until it’s slightly thickened.
- Add the vinegar, salt, black pepper, and sriracha. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or longer if desired, until thickened to your liking.
- Into individual bowls (or a 2 1/2- to 3-quart/2.5 to 3 L cast-iron pot or glass dish), ladle a layer of chili. Top with a layer of the cheese sauce. Keep layering until the chili is used up and you’ve added as muchcheesesauce as you prefer (I usually reserve 1/2 cup/125 mL of the sauce for another use). Top the dip with the remaining bell pepper, pickled jalapeño, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Serve immediately with corn tortilla chips. Let any leftovers cool completely (otherwise, the steam will create more water in the dip) before transferring to a container and refrigerating for up to 5 days. Reheat leftovers in a saucepan on the stovetop while stirring to combine with the cheese sauce. Cooled leftovers can be frozen in freezer-safe zip-top bags with the air pressed out or in freezer-safe containers filled to the top (to prevent freezer burn) for up to 1 month.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon (Penguin Group Random House Company).