Wash and drain
the lentils, carefully picking through them to take out any pebbles.
In a 3-quart saucepan
, heat the 6 tablespoons oil until just smoking. Add the onions
and sliced garlic. Cook until softened but not brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the lentils
and the hot chicken stock
. Bring the liquid to a boil. Lower then heat and simmer
for 25 to 30 minutes, keeping the level of the liquid just over the lentils by periodically adding more water. Add the pasta
shells during the last 6 minutes of cooking. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
In the meantime, preheat the grill or broiler. When the soup is ready to serve, grill
or toast, slices of the bread until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Rub each slice with a cut garlic clove
Ladle the soup
into warm bowls. Place a slice of garlic bread
on top of each soup serving. Drizzle
the bread and the soup with the chili oil and serve immediately.