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 (a good glug, I used about 1/4 cup) 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.
Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Ladle into bowls and top with fresh chopped herbs (optional but delicious! I top with chives and dill)