When I Stopped Judging Books (and Lentils) by Their Covers

Everyone knows that quote about not judging a book by its cover, right? It’s the reason I’m reading a children’s pop-up book about cats right now.

I kid. Meow.

Lentils are legumes and legumes can be ugly…. like real ugly. When I say ugly, I mean like real, real, real ugly. They are among the items in the grocery store that you shouldn’t judge by ‘their covers.’ Celery root, dates, and ginger are also on that list FYI.

It’s unfortunate that we eat with our eyes first.

Do me a favor and close your eyes for a second… or maybe an hour. (Note: don’t drive or do anything crazy during this hour.. and finish reading this blog post first… I need the page views).  Make this soup with your eyes closed, eat it with your eyes closed, and enjoy it with your eyes closed. It’s super delicious. What it lacks in color, beauty and flavor, it 100000% makes up for in flavor.

Don’t look.

Don’t look.

Ok, you can look.


I know what you’re thinking. You looked at the picture and thought, ‘No, I will not make mud/dirt paste for dinner.’ Maybe you even thought something far worse… but you most certainly didn’t think ‘Oh, look at that pretty soup.’

Trust me on this. Close your eyes and try this one. Some ugly-colored soups are worth trying. And don’t judge books by their covers, mmmmkay?


Lentil Soup
Source: Food Network
Printable Recipe

2T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped finely (~1C)
1-2 carrots, finely chopped (~1/2C)
1-2 stalks of celery, finely chopped (~1/2C)
1 clove garlic, minced
2tsp kosher salt
1lb lentils, rinsed
1C peeled and chopped tomatoes
2qt low sodium veggie broth
1/2tsp ground coriander
1/2tsp cumin
1/2tsp grains of paradise

Chop and prep all veggies.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Sprinkle with salt. Sweat until onions are translucent and veggies begin to soften, about 6 minutes.
Add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin, and grains of paradise. Stir.
Increase heat to high. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer.
Simmer for 35-45 minutes, until lentils are tender and veggies soft.
Use immersion blender to puree to desired consistency. Enjoy!

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