Soak the lentils for at least an hour before cooking. This process speeds up the cooking time.
Wash and drain the lentils and set aside.
Roughy chop the onions, celery and garlic.
Core and slice the apples - no need to peel the skin.
Heat the oil in a large pot and add the bay leaf and peppercorns.
Add the onions, garlic and celery. Saute for about five minutes or until the onions are soft.
Add the sliced apples and sauté for five minutes.
Add the drained lentils and vegetable stock.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Once its come to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and remove the scum, or froth from the top carefully. Then cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
The lentils should be cooked by now. If not continue cooking till done.
Leave to cool and then puree in a blender.
Bring back to the pot and heat before serving.
Garnish with herbs of your choice.
Optional, but highly recommended - garnish with boiled rice.