Basic French Lentils

Photo by: Sarah Shatz

by Whole Foods Market

over 2 years ago

These small, deep green lentils with pretty turquoise marbling are prized for their excellent flavor and the fact that they hold their shape after cooking. True French lentils grow in a mountainous area in central France known as Le Puy (thus earning them the name "lentilles du Puy") and are said to get their slightly peppery flavor from the region's volcanic soils. The same variety is grown domestically on family farms in Northern Idaho. French lentils make a delicious side dish or bed for meats, fish or game. Try them seasoned simply with butter, salt and pepper. For more flavor, add a handful of finely chopped aromatics (such as onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and/or ham) to the pot at the start. You may also simmer the lentils in broth in place of water.

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 cup dried French lentils (du Puy lentils)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Pick over the lentils and rinse in cool water.
  2. Put lentils in a soup pot or large saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered or loosely covered, until tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain; If you like, reserve the cooking liquid for making soup.

Nutrition Info:


  • 678 calories
  • 2g total fat
  • 0g saturated fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 346mg sodium
  • 115g carbohydrate (59g dietary fiber, 4g sugar)
  • 50g protein
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