Auvergnat cuisine is famous for being heavy- lots of pork, cheese, potatoes, cabbage, and as we will focus on here, lentils. Lentils have been cultivated in Auvergne, especially near Le Puy-en-Velay, for more than two millennia. They are planted in March and April and harvested towards the end of summer, though they can be kept in storage for a long time. Lentils provide high amounts of B vitamins, protein, phosphorus, zinc, and iron, yet are low in fat. Seemingly everyone could benefit from including more lentils in their diet!
Lentils are typically prepared in Auvergne by cooking some onions and carrots in olive oil, then creating a stock with water, salt, pepper, and a couple of bay leaves (some add nutmeg, thyme, and/or rosemary, but to each their own recipe!) and are served with saucisse d'auvergne, as seen below. The lentils retain their texture while cooking in this method, and are not as floury as other lentils that we have tried from abroad.