Wash and drain
, 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.