Rinse lentils and sort through to be sure there are no little stones or sediment. Set aside.
In a large soup pot over medium heat sauté onion, carrot, celery, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and garlic in olive oil for 8 minutes stirring frequently.
Add mushrooms to the pot, sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add marsala wine, stir well, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until wine has almost completely evaporated this should take a few minutes.
Add lentils and 6 cups of stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and slow simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until lentils are tender.
Once lentils are tender, using an immersion blender blend the soup for a few minutes until thick and creamy. (this step is optional)
Add kale to soup and cook stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes.
Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Ladle into bowls and top with fresh chopped herbs and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese (optional)
TIPS FOR SUCCESS:
Blend a little of the soup using an immersion blender for a creamier texture
Use brown or green lentils, not red
Don't skip the marsala wine, or substitute balsamic vinegar
Switch up the veggies based on what you have on hand. Some veggies that work well in lentil soup are; sweet potato, white potato, parsnips, fennel, spinach, swiss chard, and cauliflower
LEFTOVERS - HOW TO REHEAT - AND FREEZING TIPS:
FREEZING: This soup makes quite a bit so consider freezing half for another day. You can freeze in individual containers or a large container.
REHEATING: Warm leftover soup in a small pot on the stovetop or in the microwave.
LEFTOVERS: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.