Heat olive oil in a large pot, or dutch oven, over medium heat.
Add diced onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes to the hot oil; sauté for 8 minutes, or until veggies are slightly tender and browned. Stir often.
Stir in parsley and garlic; continue to cook for 1 more minute.
Season with paprika, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper; stir and cook for 1 more minute.
Add vegetable broth, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf; turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil.
Stir in the lentils and the dry chili peppers, if using. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered, until lentils and potatoes are tender.
Stir in leafy greens and continue to cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, or until wilted.
Remove from heat; taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs; serve.