Lentils are much easier to prepare than other dried legumes. They do not need to be pre-soaked and they cook quickly. Cooking time depends on the age and variety, so check the package for cooking instructions. Be sure to test for doneness by tasting the lentils. They should be firm, but not crunchy.
If you purchased bulk lentils without cooking instructions, you can follow these guidelines: Pick over dried lentils to remove debris, rinse, and drain. Cover with water or broth and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (to aid in digestion). Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Depending on the variety and age, cooking time may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.