I got the original version of this recipe from Peta's cookbook The Compassionate Cook, which I highly recommend for great vegan food. I don't know who Beth is, but her lentils are great! And the ease of a one-pot meal is welcome on work nights. Serve it with cornbread for a perfect cool-weather supper.
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
between 1/2 and 1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
crushed red pepper, to taste (optional - This dish is good with and without this ingredient. Decide whether you're in the mood for something spicy tonight!)
1/2 t. dried thyme
3 c. vegetable broth or water
1 c. lentils (I used the tiny black French lentils, which gave the dish an elegant feel, but the the plain green lentils work fine, too.)
1 t. salt (or to taste)
2 14-oz. cans of chopped tomatoes (or maybe even the fire-roasted type of tomatoes)
4 or 5 large sprigs of fresh oregano (You can substitute 1 T. dried oregano if fresh is not available.)
Heat the olive oil in a small Dutch oven or large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrot, and crushed red pepper (if using) in the oil until the onion is transluscent, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and sauté one minute longer.
Add all remaining ingredients except oregano, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, about 50 minutes. Add the oregano after simmering 40 minutes. Serve immediately.