green lentils and poached eggs

by Sharon Santoni

In the south of France, we eat lentils at the beginning of the year to bring good luck.    They may or may not work for luck, but what is sure is that they are quite delicious, especially when paired with a poached or fried egg or two.


I thought that after the holidays, you may enjoy this simple and wholesome recipe, invented by my husband, a great cook! As you serve the dish be sure to wish you and yours good luck for the year ahead.

To prepare the lentils you will need:

1 onion and one shallot peeled and finely chopped 

2  large spoonfuls of tomato concentrate

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 ¼ cups French lentils

1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme

3 bay leaves, 1 sprig rosemary

lentils and quail eggs

In a large saucepan pour a good spoonful of olive oil, and add the chopped garlic, onion and shallot to soften for about 5 minutes.   Add the lentils and cook very gently then start adding the water in the same way you would for cooking a risotto.   Add a little water, wait until the lentils have absorbed the water until adding more.

Add tomato concentrate,  salt and herbs.   Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.  Add more water if the lentils are becoming too thick or dry.    Cook for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender and most of the water has been absorbed.

lentils and quail eggs

If you want a little more flavour to the lentils you can add a  smoked sausage such as a French Morteau, to the pan at the same time as the tomato.

To add the egg, either lightly fry or poach the egg and serve with the lentils.   I love to use quails’ eggs for this recipe but regular chicken eggs work well too.   If you have added a sausage to the recipe, cut it into slices before serving with the lentils.

quail eggs on wooden board

Happy New Year to you my friends, thank you for reading me.   May the year ahead will be full of love, laughter and shared creativity.

lentils and quail eggs


Marsha Scott January 1, 2017 - 5:31 pm

Those eggs are absolutely beautiful! Sending my best wishes for even more love, happiness & beauty in this new year. Cheers, Sharon !!

Sharon Santoni January 2, 2017 - 10:19 am

thank you Marsha, and a very happy new year to you too


suzanna January 1, 2017 - 5:37 pm

Happy New Year Dear Sharon from across the pond in Florida ~ this looks delicious ~ it’s blackeyed peas over here, cornbread, and collard greens, merci beaucoup XO

Sandra Evans January 1, 2017 - 5:59 pm

Happy New year I hope the absolute best throughout the coming year!

Colleen Taylor January 1, 2017 - 6:54 pm

Happy New Year Sharon! I love those eggs! Wishing you all the best life has to offer in the coming year! X

Jenny January 1, 2017 - 7:56 pm

Thanks for your recipe. I have all the ingredients including the French lentils so I will make them today. A blessed New Year to you from Cleveland, OH

Holly January 1, 2017 - 8:50 pm

Happy New Year Sharon! Today is my birthday and the one gift I bought for myself was your book, My Stylish French Girlfriends. I plan on meeting each one on the pages as I read and embracing their beauty and grace into my own life, even though I am far away in Southern California! Thank you for your book and blog and I am sending happiest wishes to you and your family in the year ahead. xx-holly

Sharon Santoni January 2, 2017 - 10:20 am

Thank you Holly, I hope that you enjoy the book and wish you all the best for the year ahead 🙂


Carolyn Smith-Kizer January 1, 2017 - 9:42 pm


I just happen to have some canned quail’s eggs [don’t ask–I live on Adak Island, the farthest west city in America and the farthest west inhabited Aleutian island in Alaska–fresh eggs are hard to come by] and regular lentils, sorry, no green French ones. I shall have try this. I invite you to check out I shall be updating it regularly now that i have finally relocated all of my cookery books and cooking implements.

Thank you for such a lovely blog–it has been an inspiration to me for quite a while. Carolyn

Rosalina January 1, 2017 - 9:55 pm

I love lentils. This sounds good. Was looking at your recipe for strawberry tarte of May 16, 2014 it said “… bake blind at 190 ..” Could you Please clarify what this means and also the temp. So enjoy your blog.

Sharon Santoni January 2, 2017 - 10:24 am

Hi Rosalina, for me baking blind means baking the pastry case with a greaseproof paper over the pastry, weighted down with baking beans. I generally bake for about 10 minutes and then lift the paper and bake again for a couple of minutes until the pastry is golden.
190°C is 370°F, happy baking!


Susan B. January 1, 2017 - 10:28 pm

One of my favorite dishes! I’m going to try your method for cooking the lentils.

Happy New Year, Sharon!

Stacey Caron January 1, 2017 - 10:35 pm

I love this simple recipe……I will try it with tomato paste and a fried egg right now (I always make lentils on New Year’s for prosperity)……
Happy New Year to you and the cook!

Cheryl January 1, 2017 - 10:50 pm

I always enjoy reading your blogs and as a gourmand, as my retired French neighbour calls me, I am very interested in good recipes like this one.
So for 2017. would your nearest and dearest like to share with us some of his favourite recipes?

Vicky from Athens January 2, 2017 - 12:24 am

Another of your yummy recipes to try! I have just finished an uncomfortably large helping of black eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread which is our traditional New Years Day meal here in Georgia.
All the best to you and yours for 2017!

Lynn Groves January 2, 2017 - 1:34 am

Looks delicious…Where can we purchase French Lentils in the U.S.?

Bronwyn Lee-Coward NSW Australia January 2, 2017 - 4:37 am

Thank you I was wondering what to cook for an early low key dinner for two. Perfect to have on the sofa with a glass of red and continue our indulgence of watching Star Wars movies back to back in tribute to Carrie Fisher who the world lost 27/12. Fondest regards to you all enjoying the cooler weather.

Pauline January 2, 2017 - 9:06 am

Great synchronicity!
Just minutes ago was holding my packet of green lentils, unsure what to do next since I had never cooked it with cotechino before and here you are with this easy recipe!
Thank you and a Happy 2017!

Sharon Santoni January 2, 2017 - 10:24 am

happy days! 🙂

Linda todd January 2, 2017 - 12:39 pm

Hi Sharon,
This is may first time to make a comment on your blog but I have been following you for years as I have enjoyed your posting tremendously.
I am a senior and since you change it’s format I some difficulties. reading and following it.
The picture is nice and lovely as always but the small print is a chore for the eyes for reading. I wish you can make it more senior friendly as before.
All the Best for the Happy New year

sharon santoni January 4, 2017 - 8:01 pm

Hi Linda

I am sorry that you are experiencing problems with the new blog format. I thought we had ironed out any issues

I’m not sure what to say about the font size because to my knowledge we didn’t change that aspect of the blog. Our changes were more a question of layout and page order than colours and fonts.
I don’t know which computer or device you read the blog on, but if it is a computer, may I suggest that you use the keyboard or touch pad to enlarge the screen image.
Sorry not to be able to help more than that, and thank you for your kind words about the blog,

Taste of France January 2, 2017 - 9:15 pm

This way of cooking lentils (like risotto) is new to me. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

Julia January 3, 2017 - 7:08 am

Lentils for luck?
I can’t help wondering at the origin of this tradition, could it be that folk had used up all the more rich food by New Year…
Whatever, you remind me that I promised myself I’d keel quail when I am back in Brittany, such pretty eggs so nice to eat
Happy New Year Sharon!


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