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Cinnamon-Scented Lentils

3 cups dried lentils
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 red onion -- finely diced
1/2 cup finely-diced yellow onion
1/2 cup finely-diced peeled carrots
1/2 cup finely-diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red bell pepper -- seeded, deveined, and finely diced
1 poblano chili -- seeded, diced fine
6 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste


Rinse and pick over the lentils for stones. Set aside.


In large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté the onions until they are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, bell pepper, and poblano. Continue to cook for2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but firm.


Add the lentils, water, and remaining ingredients. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but firm. Remove and discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, if using.


This recipe yields 4 to 5 cups.



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