Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4.
Put the artichokes in a roasting tray with the thyme and butter and season with salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes, moving the artichokes around every 10 minutes, until they are uniformly a deep golden colour and crispy.
Remove from the oven and blend half the artichokes with the milk to form a thick puree. Season to taste and set aside in a warm place.
Rinse the lentils well under cold water. Put in a pan with 1 litre of water, the bay leaves, garlic and thyme. Season well, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes for Puy lentils, or 30-40 minutes for green lentils, until cooked through. Drain, discarding the herbs and garlic, then mix through the oil, salt and pepper and parsley.
Put the prunes in a medium saucepan with the spices and cover with 100ml hot water. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, then lightly pulse in a blender, or use a stick blender, to create a chunky paste. Season well with salt.
Combine all ingredients in blender jug with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until a chunky paste is formed.
Share the puree between four bowls. Add the lentils and prunes, then top with artichokes, with some halved. Drizzle with the zhoug to finish.