1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
3. Cut the eggplant in thirds lengthwise, place on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
4. When there’s about 5 minutes left on the timer for the eggplant, heat a large pot over medium low to medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots and sauté for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the onions start to turn brown and translucent. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time as needed, to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
5. Remove the eggplant from the oven, let it cool a bit and roughly it chop into large pieces.
6. Add the chopped eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, turmeric, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms get nice and soft.
7. Add lentils, coconut milk, and vegetable broth and stir. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
8. Add kale, stir, and cook, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
9. Top with optional toppings and serve with quinoa or brown rice!