Additionally, you will need:
Start this early in the day or the night before. Put the Lentils in the colander and rinse them. Dump them in the soup pot with enough water to cover them twice their original depth and cook them a little while. Half hour is fine. Turn them off and let them sit a while, a couple hours is fine for this too. Or put them in the fridge overnight and finish cooking them tomorrow after work.
After the lentils have set a while and are looking plump and comfortable, turn the heat back on under them. Throw a couple cloves of crushed garlic in the pot, along with a bay leaf, the shredded carrot, and meat of some sort. Add a little water if the soup is too thick to stir.
Saute the onion in a skillet until it is waxy looking, then add it to the pot of lentils. Cook the stew a little while (maybe half an hour) until it is hot through and rather thick. Just before serving add salt (about 2 teaspoons should be enough), pepper, and chopped canned tomatoes if you want them.