This is a very easy, filling, and satisfying dish to make. It's vegetarian, but if you can add some hot or mild Italian sausage.
3 cups water
1-28 oz can peeled Italian tomatoes-undrained
1-6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
3/4 tsp basil
3/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 pound lentils, rinsed, drained and picked over
1 large onion chopped
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/2 thick slices
3 garlic cloves-minced
1 tsp salt
1. In slow cooker, combine water, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, red wine, basil, thyme, and crushed red pepper (if desired).
2. Break up tomatoes with wooden spoon, and stir to blend the tomato paste.
3. Add lentils, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.
4. Cover and cook unitl lentils are tender 10 to 12 hours on low, or 4 to 5 hours on high... then stir in salt to taste.
**If adding Italian sausage, cut into slices, or crumble, precook, and drain well...then stir in when adding lentils.