- 1 Teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, roughly chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- One 14.28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 Cup green lentils
- 2 Cups water
- Tortilla and taco garnishes, for serving
Toast the cumin seeds quickly in a dry pan and then grind in a mortar and pestle, a spice blender, or food processor. Put the red bell pepper, carrot, celery, and onion in food processor or use a box grater and process until fine. After you’ve removed the vegetables from your food processor, add the can of tomatoes, pulse a few times, and reserve.
Add the olive oil and the bay leaf in a large Dutch oven on medium-high heat, until the bay leaf sizzles. Add the grated mixture to the pan and cook for about 15 minutes. Continue stirring at regular intervals. If the pan gets too dark, add a little bit of water and scrape the brown bits off the bottom.
After about 15 minutes add the garlic, cumin, salt, smoked paprika, and the red pepper chile flakes. Stir to combine. Add the tomato purée, lentils, and 2 cups of water. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover for about 1 hour, or at least until lentils are tender. Serve in tortillas with desired garnishes.