Pick through the lentils to remove any rocks or sticks. Wash lentils until the water runs clear.
Soak the lentils overnight in enough water to cover an inch over the lentils.
The next day, drain the water from the lentils and rinse them once with fresh water.
Peel and chop the carrots into ¼ inch thick rounds. Place them in the cooking pot.
Cut the bell pepper into ½ inch pieces and place in the cooking pot.
Add the olive oil to the cooking pot and heat on the stove top on medium for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If your slow cooker does not have a stove-top browning feature, skip this step or use a stove-top save pot for this step and then transfer the contents of the pot to the slow cooker.)
Add the ground cumin, oregano, salt, and chili powder to the cooking pot. Stir to mix in the spices. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Stir the tomato paste in with the vegetables. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Move the cooking pot to the slow cooker. Use oven mitts as the cooking pot will be hot.
Add the soaked lentils, crushed tomatoes, and water to the cooking pot.
Place the lid on the cooking pot. Cook on low for 6 hours.
This recipe was developed using a Crock Pot 6 quart slow cooker with stove-top browning. The flavors will come together more over time. Chili often tastes even better the next day. This dish freezes well. Freeze in a plastic air-tight container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.