Heat a splash of oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed soup pot. Sauté the onion and red pepper for 5 minutes or so, stirring often.
Add the garlic, and stir for another minute.
Add the seasonings, tomatoes, beans, corn, lentils, and water.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and let cook, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are mushy and fully cooked. Add liquid as needed and stir occasionally to prevent from sticking.
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Add salt to taste, chili powder for heat, and paprika for smokiness.
Garnish with toppings of choice and serve.