Put lentils in water to soak. Set aside.
Sauté onions until translucent.
Add celery and sauté for about 10 minutes.
Add carrots (and potatoes if using) and sauté for a few minutes more.
Rinse and add lentils, salt or salt substitute and bay leaves.
Fill pot with water to cover plus two cups.
Bring to boil and let simmer till lentils are soft, about one and 1/2 hours.
You can add or substitute all or some of the salt with low sodium Tamari (Soy) sauce or a little Bragg’s Amino Acids to taste, for a bolder flavor (my addition). Amino Acids go a long way so go slow.
The longer you soak the lentils or any legumes or grains, the less water you need to add as they absorb some water while soaking. In this recipe use the full extra two cups if just soaking the lentils while you are preparing and sautéing the vegetables. Otherwise use a little less water at first and you can always add in more after it cooks.
Photography by Peri Photography.