Lentils are a huge source of vegetable protein, minerals and fibre (which regulates your appetite and helps keep you regular). Get stuck in...
> French green (or Puy) lentils are the most common variety and come from the volcanic Puy region of France. They have fine skins and stand up well to cooking. They're superb in dishes such as smoked salmon and lentil salad.
> Red lentils are much like green lentils but a little more floury, and are great for soups and purées.
> Brown/green lentils are the standard variety sold in supermarkets. They're flatter than the above types, pale green/brown in colour and multi-purpose.
> Coral lentils cook very fast and turn yellow when cooked. They're widely used in Indian cuisine.
> Beluga black lentils are smooth, round, floury but sweet, and perfect for purées.
Cook all of the above lentils in 5 times their volume in water (from cold), then add salt when cooked.