In the Bible, Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew. I am not claiming that the lentil soup I am writing about is worth a birthright (!) but it is jolly good, especially when the weather is gloomy or miserable. Not very fussy to make, either, so well worth the effort and no qualms over inheritance issues.
Cook the lentils until they are tender and this can take up to 40 minutes. Add more water if it looks like they are drying out. Add salt too, towards the end. In the photo you see above, I had transferred only some of the cooked lentils to a large bowl. That was because I planned to freeze the rest for another time.
Wait for the lentils to cook a little and then mash them all up in the food processor. Alternatively, you can process them into a purée with an immersion blender. The kitchen purist would use a food mill to process the lentils but when you are in a hurry, the food processor or immersion blender are wonderful substitutes.
Drizzle some oil into a pan, cut up some garlic and add some fresh chilli if you like it … turn the heat on to gently cook the garlic (do not allow it to turn brown). Then add the lentils and stir them merrily merrily, tasting to make sure they are okay for salt and cooking them just enough for them to absorb all the garlicky oil.