Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the lentils, cumin, coriander, curry and salt, and stir to coat. This step gets all the flavor on the base of the soup.
Now add the tomato, water/broth and bay leaves.
Stir and increase the heat and bring to simmer.
Place lid on and turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are soft.
Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with parsley or cilantro if desired and serve with warm crusty bread slathered with butter!