Puy Lentil and Tomato Soup

puy lentil soup

Dark green-brown with fine bluish speckles, Puy lentils are always an attractive item in the pantry and an even more attractive option for quick but elegant soups and salads. Also known as French green lentils, these little lentils have a subtle earthy and peppery flavor and hold their shape perfectly when cooked, looking like little brown pearls in this simple, fast and wonderfully fragrant tomato and dried herb soup.

If you can't find Puy lentils, green or brown lentils may be substituted although more care needs to be taken to make sure that the lentils do not overcook and turn any more mushy than necessary. I have a small fear myself that I won't be able to find Puy lentils once my supply runs out as the small store that I'd always bought them at recently closed. If anyone has spotted them in the London area, feel free to drop me a line! They really are a treasure.

Puy Lentil and Tomato SoupPuy Lentil and Tomato Soup
Recipe by
Published on March 13, 2012

A simple, quick and delicious Puy lentil soup with tomatoes and fragrant dried herbs

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes

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  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup Puy or French lentils, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup elbow or small pasta
  • 2 large firm tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • small handful of fresh parsley leaves
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Add the celery and continue to stir for another minute.

  • Stir in the dried herbs, then add the rinsed lentils and bay leaf, and cover with 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender.

  • Add the pasta and tomatoes and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.

  • Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf, and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot garnished with a sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

puy lentil and tomato soup

Puy (French) lentil recipes from my kitchen:
Saffron Brandied Lentils
Puy Lentil Soup with Spinach
Puy Lentil, Feta and Roasted Pepper Salad
French Lentil Salad with Sweet Corn and Tomato
Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


Simona Carini said...

Nice soup! I like the addition of small pasta to it.
Where I grew up in Italy, we have small lentils from Castelluccio that cook fast and are very tasty.

mynaturalself said...

Thank you for this recipe..looks good I'm excited to try it :-)

janet @ the taste space said...

It is definitely hard to switch back to regular lentils once you've tried the French du Puy... or the black beluga.. I know that the Whole Foods in Mississauga near Square One has a bunch of heirloom beans, including French lentils, but I don't know anywhere that is closer for you.

I have a host of heirloom beans that I just look at, worried that I won't be able to replenish when I find out I love them. However, since I am moving to the US in 1.5 years, I know I can replenish then... so now I have zero guilt using up my beans. :)

Spicy-Aroma said...

soup looks yummy..wonderful recipe!!

Rosh said...

Wow! This is very interesting. I don't use Puy lentils and this seems to be a great recipe to begin with :)

Chef Al dente On going event: Gimme GREEN!

lubnakarim06 said...

Comforting bowl of yum soup...love it....

Healthy Life Lessons said...


I just discovered your wonderful blog! I love cooking ethnic food and am always looking for new recipes and ideas, I can't wait to learn from you!

- Erica

Fernanda Silveira - Vegetarians101 said...

Lisa, thank you for posting this recipe. I love lentils and tomatoes, but I've never tried the 2 together! Nothing like a yummy hot veggie soup to make your day better! :)