In a medium heat pan melt the coconut oil and add the onion slices. Caramelise these over a low heat for 20 minutes until soft and golden. Then add the remaining ingredients (reserve the cheese for topping) and bubble away until the soaked lentils are cooked – 20 or so minutes or 10 minutes if using tinned lentils to allow the flavours to develop. Add some water to the potato starch and stir into the soup. Cook for a few more minutes until it thickens slightly. Remove star anise, cinnamon and bay leaves and serve in large bowls with some crusty bread and top with cheese if desired. Delicious and so warming! Enjoy.