In a medium-sized pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the carrots, celery, and onions, along with a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.
Raise the heat slightly and add the lentils, bay leaf, thyme (if using), the wine, and a cup of the water or stock. When the lentils begin to simmer, lower the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, and adding small amounts of additional water or stock as each is absorbed. After about a half-hour, the finished lentils should be nutty but tender and just slightly wet. (You may have water or stock left over.) Salt to taste. Drizzle with the final tablespoons of olive oil and cook for another minute, then serve.