Gobble Up Life Against Covid-19: Guy Savoy’s Lentil Curry

In these times of generalized confinement, we have an old family legend about lentils, peddled from generation to generation. That of a grandfather lost somewhere between the Meuse and the Somme during the First World War. Imagine, survival in the mud and shit of the trenches. Another form of containment. We pulled the bayonet out of the barrel, under the machine gun, to expose ourselves to another kind of deadly virus. In the family story, our furry young grandfather had been stranded for days under a bus storm when a ladle of lentils was thrown into his bowl and he lapped up without paying attention to this ragougnasse. Up to the spoon too much, when a nasty piece of junk was stuck in one of his ratiches, causing him terrible pain that he had to endure for three days and three nights. “We were in the middle of a pipe breaker, he said. Me, it was nothing, my tooth, next to the comrades who had their holes drilled. But if you knew what I tasted … “


One day, he told us that he may have survived this steel storm because he had “The rage that you treat your tooth”. He had kept from this painful episode a holy scare of lentils, which made him say when he was served: “You trilled them well, didn’t you?” Are there more stones or scrap? ”

Read also Let’s eat life against the Covid-19: two desserts for the price of one


Not only is the lentil today, most of the time, well sorted but it is above all a precious vegetable protein and a universal legume in all cuisines of the world. In France alone, there is a slew of varieties to delight all the simmerings: we think of green lentils from Puy, Berry but also the blonde from Saint-Flour and lentil from Champagne.

Multi-star chef

We borrowed its lentil curry from multi-star chef Guy Savoy in his amazing book Gourmet vegetables (1). You need 100 g of carrots; 100 g onions; 200 g lentils; a teaspoon of curry powder; 15 cl of fresh cream; a tomato; a knob of butter; salt and pepper.

Wash the lentils several times in plenty of water and soak them for 45 minutes, then drain them.

Peel onions and carrots and cut them into small dice four millimeters per side. Put these in a frying pan over a low heat with a knob of butter, just long enough to let them return their vegetable water. Then add the lentils and twice their volume of water. Put a lid and cook over low heat 45 minutes. In the meantime, check from time to time that there is enough liquid in the pan so that it does not stick and, if necessary, add a little water.

After 45 minutes of cooking, add 15 cl of fresh cream and a teaspoon of curry powder. The cream will first liquefy, then when the boiling begins, it will start to reduce.

Meanwhile, world a tomato. Start by cutting a cone around the tail with a small pointed knife in order to remove the slightly hard part of the flesh at the same time. To peel the tomato, cut a small cross at the base of the fruit then immerse it for twelve seconds in a saucepan of boiling water, and then fifteen seconds in cold water. The skin then withdraws on its own.

Cut the tomato crosswise and, using the knife, remove the seeds and the pulp to keep only the flesh. Then cut the tomato into small dice.

Pour the lentils into a baking dish. Add the diced tomatoes and place in the oven for three minutes, enough time to heat the tomato.

(1) Gourmet vegetables by Guy Savoy with Guy Langlois (ed. Plon, 1985)

Jacky durand


Sardines in oil, the dream box

Animated photo Emmanuel Pierrot for Release.

The other night, we go down to smoke a cigarette in the deserted street. A handful of minutes stolen at containment, without certificate of exit. And you know what ? It takes three attempts to dial the front door code. Forgotten sesame, lost the four digits during this temporary amnesia. Or rather, it’s a furious urge to go outside that bars our memories.

Marseille’s soap

Everything escapes us, even the usual scent of waxed stairs on Friday. We hang on to the purring of France Inter on the landing of the fourth floor. Back in our perch, we wash our hands mechanically with big Marseille soap and then just as mechanically, we go to watch the twilight on the roofs of Paris where the golden point of the Bastille column stands out.

Porthole and radio

It’s crazy what we started to love, our window on the courtyard. We open it at dawn and close it at midnight. This is our porthole to the world, with the radio, of which one can never say enough how much the voices are a breadcrumb in these secluded times. During the siege of Leningrad (September 8, 1941 – January 27, 1944, one million civilian victims), the speed of a metronome radio signaled to residents the impending air strikes. At the moment, we are constantly eating war books as if we had to reconnect with the memory of the worst to try to find our bearings in this present which confuses us. This is how we borrowed the Path of souls by Joseph Boyden (1), the story of two Cree Indians enlisted in the Canadian army on the northern front of France during the First World War.


It’s bectance time but hunger is absent for subscribers tonight. So we turn a bit disillusioned around the stove, like a dog smelling without conviction the industrial kibbles of his bowl to which he would have preferred the master’s soup. When the desire is not imperative, you have to know how to reconnect with the preliminaries. We open the drawer and grab the Opinel with the idea of ​​slicing an onion, our muse when inspiration in the kitchen is desired. The blade of the surin being tired, we rummage in the brothel of utensils to find what takes our place of sharpening stone: a red pebble hard as iron (there must be in it). We nicknamed it “Corsica” because its shape recalls the contours of the island and yet we picked it up on a Breton beach. The Opinel likes to thread a thread over its rough skin before thinly slicing the onion into thin rings.

Gourmet lichettes

We would be an orphan of taste if the onion were to disappear. Tonight, he calls sardines in oil and a stale piece of stale bread that will make delicious lichettes to dip in the box. We have always had a real tenderness for canning because it has saved us from all our cravings at the point of time: from tuna to escabeche which we like to marry with a box of chickpeas with flageolet beans which are so pleasing to l spine, passing the box of peaches in syrup gobbles under the duvet looking at Vikings on Netflix. We must also confess that we were sometimes unfair with canned food, when on windy and chardonnay evenings, we massacred a box of cold cassoulet at midnight above the sink. But tonight is luxury, a king’s treat as we open a can of 2016 vintage sardines, caught off Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie (Vendée). And suddenly, the surf of our dreams fled to the open sea at night.

Maquis and azure

When will we see the sea, lost in a maze of sharp rocks between the maquis and the azure? Enjoy the solitude and the silence of nature and you are not maso when you write this. Because, paradoxically, confinement stifles loneliness and silence and imposes a vacuum on us. The one in the street where we almost laughed while contemplating two Vélib abandoned on a sidewalk. Vélib, funny name for a bicycle at the time of the coronavirus where one can no longer come and go, stroll on two wheels nose in the wind in Paname. So, we have the pocket kitchen window where, after the sardines and the onion, we want to read aloud the words of the narrator of the Path of souls : “I dream of the country. We don’t sleep well around here, but I learned to dream with my eyes open. “

Sardines, lentils, herbs…

Oil sardines are a lot of trouble shooting ammunition in our galley. They can accompany a multitude of ingredients also taken out of the cupboard like a salad of green lentils cooked twenty-five minutes with a bouquet but salted at the end of cooking only to prevent them from hardening. They are a real treat with potatoes cooked in a field dress with a small sauce of crème fraîche or fromage blanc and chopped herbs (parsley, chives, new onion tails, etc.). And for a TV aperitif, don’t forget the sardine rillettes: you need one or two boxes. Remove the edges if they are whole. Crumble the sardines delicately. Add fresh cheese, mascarpone or even white cheese, shallots, chopped fresh herbs, a dash of lemon juice and all the spices of your choice: pepper, cayenne pepper, Espelette, curry… Gently mix the everything and put in the fridge. Serve on toast. In season, you can stuff tomatoes with this preparation.

(1) “The path of souls” by Joseph Boyden (ed. The Pocket Book, 7.90 euros, 2018)

Jacky durand


Gobble Up Life Against Covid-19: Bistrot d’Abel’s Pickled Chicken

Unemployed technically. A week ago, the sounds of pots and pans in the kitchens gave way, for an indefinite period, to silence. Many restaurants were using social media to sell their perishable supplies to neighbors in the neighborhood on Monday. Since then, chefs, caterers, pastry chefs … have continued to share their passion for good food in a different way: some people post recipes that can be made at home online, others have wine delivered to them, taste it and talk about it in their stories on Instagram, others are still filming in the process of simmering and giving live advice, in a master class way from their personal kitchen. In short, if the doors of establishments are closed for now (at least those who do not deliver at home), the craftsmen who delight us are still there. And, paradoxically, almost closer than normal to those they feed.

Thursday, Bastien Depietri, the head of Bistrot d’Abel (1), a cork located on the Lyon peninsula, proposed on Instagram his chicken vinegar recipe. It is done in two stages and is therefore well suited for weekends. On Saturday, cut a raw farm chicken and marinate it in 15 cl of red vinegar, 15 cl of white wine, 3 tablespoons of tomato puree and 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Sunday, drain the chicken and brown the pieces in a spoon of oil (with salt and pepper) to give it a nice color. Degrease and add the aromatic garnish (two chopped onions, 4 cloves of garlic, two sprigs of thyme, and add the marinade). Moisten with chicken broth and cook over low heat 45 minutes. Check the cooking, remove the pieces. Reduce the juice, adjust the seasoning. Serve with rice and if desired, chopped tarragon. The recipe is given for four people.

(1) 47-49 rue de la Bourse, Lyon. Www.bistrot-abel.fr. Instagram: @bistrotdabel

Kim Hullot-Guiot