To decrease cooking time, cover the lentils with water and soak over night. Drain and continue with the recipe.
Place oil in a cast iron or soup pot. Heat over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent.
Add diced carrot, herbs, spices, and salt. Stir.
Continue to sauté for two minutes, adding two tablespoons of bouillon water at a time as the vegetables begin sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Place lentils and diced fire-roasted tomatoes into the pot along with the rest of the bouillon plus 3 cups of water. Bring to a low boil.
Cook for approximately 40 minutes on medium-low to low heat until the lentils are soft.
Add more water as needed.
Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with croutons, red pepper flakes, and chopped parsley (optional). Serve with lemon wedges.
Note: Brown lentils can be used in place of the red lentils.