Braving the elements yesterday morning, I ventured out to the local Farmers' Market. It was 3oC and pouring rain. Instead of the usual stroll admiring produce, sampling wares and chatting with the producers, I had to employ my emergency smash-and-grab technique. This is usually reserved for trips out with Argy and Bargy and makes for a far less satisfying shopping expedition. Never-the-less, I managed to come away with some rather scrumptious things from here and here.
As my nose went red and fingers a little numb and I slid clumsily in the mud, I found myself drawn to a huge stand of pumpkins. And so it was that I came home armed with a mountain of butternuts. This could mean only one thing: soup, the lazy girl's way!
After completing the detested task of chopping all the pumpkin, I petulantly tossed it into a baking dish. This was followed with a liberal glug of olive oil and a smattering of salt and pepper. Then I roasted it all in the oven until the pumpkin was partly caramelised. And yes, that is a fancy term for I-got-engrossed-in-something-else-and-they-went-a-bit-black-at-the-edges. Next I threw it all into a pot with a packet of red lentils and about two litres of chicken stock. I then popped it onto the stove and neglected it 'til the lentils were soft. To add a little extra flavour, I fried a bit of bacon and hurled that in with some chives for the last minutes of cooking.
Finally I confronted the pot with a potato masher. A bit of judicious mashing always ensures that the kids - and, more importantly, Mr Hoppo Bumpo - are not able to identify or reject the pumpkin that hasn't already disintegrated.
Isn't deception the key to all successful family meals?