En effet, fascinant – Ragoût de lentilles et oeuf poché à l’huile de truffe

 Anytime I eat a poached egg, it reminds me of this teenager sitting next to our table, at Gary Danko, a well known San Francisco restaurant, who was astonished to see a yolk running while he poked a poached egg on top of his salad. He could not believe his eyes. He shout out loud, Oh it’s fascinating!!!

Fascinating might not be the word, but poached eggs are certainly delicious. Lentils and eggs are a quite a good match.

I used lentilles du Puy, which is a French green lentil and the best of all green lentils. Lentilles du Puy only comes from a little town called Puy-en-Velay in France, in a region of Haute-Loire where you can find a micro climat perfect for growing lentils (what you can find in the US under the name French lentils, are not necessary French). They still use traditional methods to grow them, with no fertilizer and natural irrigation, the crops are harvested the first two weeks of September.

Lentils from Puy-en-Velay are traced back to 1600 so it’s nothing new. They call lentils in France, “caviar des pauvres“, “caviar of the poor”, which was long considered a poor people’s meal. The difference between green lentils and brown lentils (lentilles blondes) is that they are less starchy, don’t loose their shape, and more flavorful.

Of course, you could use brown lentils if you don’t have the other kind, but don’t overcook them, or they’ll turn into a purée. I call this a stew because it’s thicker than a soup, but you can make it thinner and make into a soup, you can also, blend the lentils and make it into a cream…it’s all about the way you like it.

Ingredients or 4

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk diced
  • 1/2 leek, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300 g lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 tbs crushed tomatoes
  • vegetable bouillon or water
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • truffle oil
  • salt and pepper


In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add onions and brown them. Add garlic, stir for a few minutes, add all the other vegetables. Add bayleaf and cloves and mix well. Add broth and cover until lentils are cooked but a bit firm. Add salt and pepper.

Poach eggs in water (see for technique).

Divide lentils among four plates, place one egg in each plate, drizzle with truffle oil, pepper and parsley and serve hot.