Add ¼ cup of oil to a large pot on medium heat. Once the oil is warm add the chopped onions and saute for 10 minutes, making sure not to burn the onions
When onions are soft, add the chopped potato, carrots and celery. Saute for 5 minutes
Add the chopped garlic, 2 tsp of Italian seasoning, 1 tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp cumin and saute for one minute
Add the can of tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes to get the tinny flavor out of the tomatoes
Add a cup of rinsed brown lentil, stirring everything together, then add 6 cups of water and 2 veggie bouillon cubes. Stir well
Add in the bay leaves , cover with a lid and bring soup to a boil
Once it's boiling, turn heat to medium low and keep it on a low simmer, with the lid on
Simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Add a splash of water if needed.
With an immersion blender, blend the soup for 10 seconds to make it a little more creamy. If you don't have an immersion blender, take a cup of the soup out, add it to a blender, then add the blended soup back to the instant pot.
Add the chopped kale and let it sit in the soup for a minute or so or until it's wilted and slightly cooked.
Stir in the juice of half a lemon and salt to taste