Copyright: Ina Garten
16 ounces lentils -- Small French green lentils are preferred over the larger brown ones.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large onions -- chopped
3 cloves garlic -- minced
2 large leeks -- white and tender green parts only, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 whole celery ribs -- chopped
6 medium carrots -- diced into 1/2" pieces
3 quarts chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons dry red wine -- or red wine vinegar
In a large heatproof bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot (at least 5 quart size). Add onions, garlic, leeks, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.Add the carrots and celery and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, lentils, and tomato paste to the pot. Increase the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender (about 1 hour).
Stir in red wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil if desired, and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.