In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil and saute the onions and garlic. Stir in the salt, pepper, thyme and cumin.
Add the carrots and celery and saute 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, and juice from 1 can, along with the tomato paste and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes until the lentils are cooked through.
Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and serve hot, topped with avocado (optional).