Puy Lentils with Smoked Lardons and Balsamic Vinegar and Sausages

This hearty warming dish makes a great weekday dinner for the whole family.  Filling and flavourful, serve it with creamy mash for an extra treat.

The sweetness of the lentils makes it a firm favourite with children, plus it's got lots of hidden vegetables.

I've served the lentils with sausages here but they work beautifully with any meat or a flavourful fish like salmon.  You can even serve them cold.


  • 250g dried puy lentils, rinsed (don't be tempted to use ready cooked as they will just become mushy)
  • Approx 750ml chicken stock
  • 1 small packet (approx 150g) smoked bacon lardons or diced pancetta
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced 
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced (or why not replace with finely diced celeriac in Winter?)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Gently sauté your celery, onions, carrot and lardons together in a splash of olive oil.
  2. Once the vegetables are beginning to soften and the lardons to crisp, add your rinsed Puy lentils to the pan. Cook gently for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Add your stock a ladle-full at a time as you would in a risotto. Let the lentils cook down slowly and gently adding more stock as necessary.
  4. Don't rush - you don't have to obsess about this dish but you do need to be patient and show it some love.
  5. After about 20 minutes add your balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses to sweeten the dish.
  6. Add your fresh thyme leaves. Season.
  7. Keep adding stock until your lentils are cooked. They should be 'al dente' (have a slight bite) and coated in a glistening sauce.  
  8. The consistency you like is up to you. Add stock and balsamic vinegar until you achieve what suits your palate.

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4 adults





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