In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Sweat the onions and the carrots.
Stir to combine, add spices and salt.
Sauté for 5-7 minutes to get some caramelization.
Add the lentils, water or broth, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer until the lentils begin to fall apart and they become creamy all on their own.
Add more water or stock if needed. The lentils will thicken as they cook about 20-30 minutes.
Stir your soup often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Serve in bowls with the optional garnishes to sprinkle of sumac, radishes, green onions, cilantro leaves, lemon wedges, crispy pita chips and a squeeze of lemon juice.