3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 celery stalks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups vegetable stock
5 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Heat the olive oil and tomato paste in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the celery and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and cook until the lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.
Serve the stew warm. Top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt, some olive oil and minced celery leaves, if you wish.