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Lentils are a Pantry Staple

A Bowl filled with Puy Lentil dish

Why we love puy lentils

I’ve always got puy lentils on hand. For me, they are a pantry staple. However, I’ve noticed a lot of Aussies no longer know what to do with them. It’s great to have things like this in your pantry. Let me show you why…

For this recipe, I’m using Puy Lentils (pronounced as poy) or French Style Lentils. You can get them at the local supermarket. They don’t have to be served as a soup; they can be served as a healthy side dish.

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I often see Thermomix recipes for lentils, but they’re usually dahl. This recipe one is French, so it may suit you better if you’re not into Indian!

Varieties of lentils, with different sizes and colours, each in their own bowl.

Nana’s lentil recipes

We could all benefit by pulling out some of the recipes that our Nans used to make and minimising our dependency on the packet meal and frozen food isles as our major food source for dinner. These recipes don’t have to be hard or time-consuming like the packet food manufactures would lead us to believe.

In fact, those packets of flavour that you only need to add veg and meat too, probably take the same amount of time and effort to make as you would something from scratch. Check out my spice blend eBook. It’s full of flavour enhancing blends you can make yourself from scratch with no added rubbish.

Which flavour profile for your lentils?

People often tell me that they don’t have the skills to be able to throw a meal together without a recipe. Just think about the dishes you’ve made before, things you and or your family enjoyed, and what countries these flavours come from. It could be Asian, Indian, Italian, Mexican, French. Knowing which they (or you) like, will allow you to seek more from this category

I explain this to my students, and I notice that many just hadn’t thought about it. What comes naturally for one person may not be the same for another.

Ingredients used in this recipe:

  • Puy Lentils – I used these French Style lentils. They’re grown in Australia they’re the same variety as Puy lentils but redily available in our Aussie supermarkets. I love the flavour, and they only need to be rinced (and picked over for stones) rather than soaked overnight.
  • Herbs and spices – these are what you find in the traditional recipe but of course your the boss in your own kitchen. Cloves give a lovely warm flavour and a bay leaf, I’m lucky enought to have a tree so fresh is what I use.
  • Flavour enhancers often used in Mirepoix – Onion carrot and celery. this trio are often found in french (and other countries) Cooking in the recipe I’ve told you to use the brunoise the onion. Brunoise means small cubes. And to cut the carrot and cellery into small cubes. I tend to make them a little larger than the onion, but still small cubes about the same size as the lentils themselves.
  • Chicken stock vegetable stock, or water – my preferance is to use a stock becuase I love big flavours.
  • Cognac – This is traditional and gives a lovely flavour to the lentils but of course I wouldnt go bying a whole bottle for this single recipe, if you have brandy, whisky, burbon use that.
  • Shallot – to bring up the onion flavours in the dish.
  • Salt to taste and freshly ground pepper
  • Bacon – I think bacon makes most dishes like this taste better. Especially our Aussie smoked bacon but you could use spec or similar. or if you’re wanting a vegetarian option use vegetable stock and leave the bacon out.

A Pantry staple:

Anyway, this pantry staple recipe is another that you can have a play with. If you don’t have celery, you can choose to leave it out or replace it with something you do have. Zucchini or broccoli stems work well.

The image below shows what I had in my pantry and fridge when writing this post.

Chopped vegetable ingredients that might be added to lentil, on a white chopping board.
Some vegetables to add to lentils
A Bowl filled with Puy Lentil dish

Puy Lentils or French Style Lentils

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becs-table.com.au
Puy Lentils (pronounced poy) or French Style Lentils. They don't have to be served as a soup, they can be served as a healthy meal or side dish. Very tasty, with lots of flavour.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Dinner, side
Cuisine French
Servings 4 sides
Method Thermomix and Conventional

Equipment

  • 1 Pot or Thermomix

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup lentils du Puy (French Style lentils in Australia)
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small onion Peeled and cut into small cubes. (brunoise)
  • 1 medium carrot Trimmed, peeled, and cut small cubes. (brunoise)
  • 1 celery stalk Trimmed, peeled, and cut into small cubes. (brunoise)
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 340 g chicken stock or Vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp Cognac Optional 20 ml
  • 1 shallot finely chopped,
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 rashers of bacon optional

Instructions
 

Conventional

  • Put the lentils into a sieve and wash in cold water. If needed, pick through discarding any bits of stone that might have escaped the packers.
  • Put the lentils into a pot and add 1 litre of water.
  • Simmer for approximately 10 minutes stirring occasionally
  • Remove from the pot and rinse. Set aside.
  • Add all the other ingredients to the saucepan except for the water/stock and lentils, then cook till the onion is translucent and bacon is cooked.
  • Add 340g water/stock and add the lentils back into the pot (and cognac) and simmer for a further 15 mins.

Thermomix

  • Put the lentils into your TM basket and wash them under cold water. If needed, pick through, discarding any bits of stone that might have escaped the packers.
  • Put the lentils into the TM bowl and add enough water to reach the 1-litre mark.
  • Place the simmering basket on top of the lid, then set for 7 mins/ 100°c/reverse + slow speed
  • Remove them from the bowl, add them back into the basket again, then rinse and set aside.
  • Add all the other ingredients to the TM bowl (including the bacon if using) Leaving out the stock and lentils. Place the simmering basket on top of the lid, 5 mins/100°c/reverse + slow stir.
  • Return the lentils to the TM bowl, add 340g stock and alcohol if using. Place the simmering basket on top of the lid, cook for 15 mins/ 100°c./ reverse + slow stir Serve warm

Notes

When I don’t have any of my own chicken stock, I love using these.  You can get them at most supermarkets in Australia.  Give them a try I’m sure you’ll love them.
Image of a continental chicken stockpot

Want to know more?

For more information about what needs to be soaked or not soaked, see my post – Dried beans to soak or not to soak.

We also have some eBooks that go into much greater depth and provide various spice blends recipes.

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