Whenever I cook lentils (or split peas), the recipe always calls for a cooking time of about 20-40 minutes. However, it takes me several hours to get lentils to a stage that is even approaching soft - one time, I cooked them for 3 hours, left them soaking overnight, then cooked them some more in the morning and they STILL were chewy. I've heard that having hard water can affect the cooking time dramatically, and I live in an area where the water is hard.
So, Foodpicklers, what can I do to cut down on the cooking time for lentils? Is it due to the hard water situation? Is it because I'm doing something wrong? If it is due to the water, what can I do to combat this?
Thanks so much!