In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder, and jalapeño. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils, and bay leaf. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.
Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest, and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds, if desired, and scallions.
Chef’s note: “Clean your greens by soaking them in a cold water bath and draining to remove all dirt.”