Red Lentil Mexican Soup with Lime

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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1 c red lentils, rinsed
1 T oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
2 t chili powder
1/4 t chipotle powder (made by grinding dried chile in a coffee grinder)
salt & pepper
1 14oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 c vegetable stock (homemade if you have it) a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce
juice of 1-2 limes
1 c chopped parsley or cilantro
avocado, diced (optional)


Add rinsed lentils to a small pot and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat leaving cover on pot. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and saute onions, garlic, celery, and red pepper. Let things soften and add in the spices, and tomatoes. Dump in the whole pot of lentils along with the vegetable stock. Stir everything well, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and the parsley or cilantro. Pour into bowls and garnish with diced avocado, if using.

Makes 4-6 servings.