Heat the oil, add the bay leaves and garlic paste. Stir a couple of times and add the onions. Saute till soft and add the 4 cups of water and stock cube (or stock). Bring to a boil. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Cover the pan and turn down the heat to low.
Let the soup simmer, for about 20 to 30 minutes, till the vegetables have cooked and the soup has reduced a bit in quantity.
Pour into bowls and serve hot with bread.