This is a hearty soup, perfect for a cold winter night. It seems to improve with each reheating, so make a good amount of it.
Wash the lentils in cold water and drain in a sieve. Heat the oil in a heavy pot and cook the chopped onion until soft. Add the tomato, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and lentils. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1 to 2 hours. Cooking time will depend on the size of the lentils (they should be tender but not mushy).
Prepare the croutons, cutting them into
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