· · 1 pound lentils1 bay leaf3 large carrots, peeled and sliced2 stalks celery, chopped1 large onion, chopped1/2 teaspoon cumin powder2 cups crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned)2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilSalt and pepper to tasteVinegar (red wine, cider or balsamic, optional)·
Step 1Pick over lentils to remove any stones, dirt, or other foreign objects.Step 2Rinse them well in cold water and place in a large pot with enough cold water to cover lentils by 6 inches. Add the bay leaf.Step 3Bring to a boil, skim off foam, lower heat, and boil gently, partially covered, until lentils are just tooth-tender, 20-30 minutes.Step 4Add carrots, celery, cumin and onion to the lentils. Cook partially covered till carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes.Step 5Add crushed tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, partially covered, until lentils become very creamy and soft. Stir occasionally and add boiling water if necessary to prevent sticking.Step 6Remove bay leaf before serving. If you like, stir in a little vinegar just before serving.