In pot, cook onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, stirring until softened about 3-5 minutes.
Add the carrots and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Add the broth, lentils, bulgur, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Cover and cook over low heat until the lentils and bulgur are very tender, about 25-30 minutes. Discard bay leaves after.
Add salt and stir in lemon juice. Add pepper to taste.
Serve with cilantro sprinkled on top.