This stew is hearty, healthy, and simple. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days and freezes well. I double the recipe to prepare multiple meals.
Combine the dry spices (1st 6 ingredients) in a small bowl. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add garlic, onion celery, carrot and potato. Stir in half of the seasoning mixture and the soy sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 7. Minutes or until the onions are tender. Add water or broth a little at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking.
Add 3 cups of water, the broth, tomatoes and lentils. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid askew for 30 minutes. Add the remaining seasoning mixture, and cook for 20 minutes longer or until the lentils are soft.
Serve in bowls and garnish with cilantro and/or roasted pumpkin seeds