Lentil and Sausage Soup
Heat oil in a large pot (with a lid) over medium heat. When hot, add the carrots, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just softened, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sausage, and thyme, and cook 1 minute more.
Add the stock and bay leaves, and bring mixture to a simmer over high heat. Stir in the lentils, then reduce heat, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until tender, for about 50 minutes.
Remove and discard the bay leaves.
Optional: Remove the garlic pieces and transfer to food processor. Using a slotted spoon, strain 1/2 cup solids (vegetables and sausage) from the soup and puree them with garlic pieces in a food processor, or combine them with garlic pieces in a small bowl and smash with the back of a fork. Stir in the pureed mixture into the pot; this will thicken the soup slightly.
Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. Sprinkle some parsley over each serving.