Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in stock pot.
Add finely chopped onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes on medium-high heat.
Add lentils, bay leaf, and pumpkin (or winter squash of choice) with 8 cups of water.
Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to halfway between medium and high heat and cover pot.
After cooking for 30 minutes, add a roughly chopped medium tomato. Add another 30 minutes to your timer. Do not put cover back on pot.
Add remaining seasonings (turmeric, cumin, paprika, ground red pepper, ground black pepper, and salt)
Mix well and allow to continue to cook for the remaining 30 minutes.
Let cool until all liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes to 1 hour)