Puy lentils

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Puy Lentils
Cooked Puy Lentils

Puy lentils or lentilles vert du Puy are an expensive small green speckled lentil. You can get cheaper versions that do just as well but are called Green Speckled Lentils, but Puy lentils themselves have become a Protected Designation.

Puy lentils are smaller and more subtle than the larger, more rustic other Brown or green lentils. Puy lentils have a pleasing earthy taste and a decent bite and generally are not too soft.

Generally, Puy lentils are sold dried, but you can get precooked Puy lentils with added flavourings. These can be microwaved.

To prepare:

Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until cooked, or about an hour to be mushy. They do not need to be presoaked and do not add salt until the end of the cook.

For a refined Puy lentil dish, have a go at creamy puy lentils or in French - les lentilles du Puy à la Crème. Serve lentils as an accompaniment to pigeon or other game birds, as well as roast beef or even fish.


Puy lentils last for a good length of time, but do toughen with age, so buy in smallish quantities. If you buy in bulk, check for dirt and insects as these are not uncommon and should be anticipated. Store somewhere dark and cool, and free from potential insect contamination.

Further reading

  • Christian, G. (2005) Real Flavours: the handbook of gourmet & deli ingredients, Grub Street. ISBN 1904943209.
  • Stobart, T. (1981) The Cook's Encyclopedia: ingredients & processes, Harper & Row. ISBN 0060141271.