- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk, chopped, any leaves reserved for garnish
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 3 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put the oil in a pot over medium heat.
- When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the carrot and celery and keep cooking and stirring until the carrot turns bright orange, 2 more minutes.
- Add the lentils, bay leaves, and 6 cups water; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the soup bubbles steadily and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 35 minutes.
- If the soup gets too thick, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.
- Just before serving, fish out the bay leaves.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with any reserved celery leaves, and serve.