- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 bulb fennel, diced
- ¹⁄³ cup tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1½ cups French lentils
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the onion, carrots, celery and fennel until lightly browned, 7-10 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste. Cook until it starts to brown, two-three minutes.
- Add the bay leaf, thyme and lentils. Stir in six cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer until the lentils are al dente, 20-25 minutes.
- Season with the salt and pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
This recipe is so flexible, adding different vegetables, herbs and spices (what you have on hand) will likely yield a tasty dish.