Software updated and recipes2share is alive once again. A break can be good, offering time for reflection, reformatting and reprioritising the jigsaw that fits together to form our own individuality and life. Effective changes don’t have to be huge; a small tweak here and there can make the most enormous differences even though in the beginning, everything may outwardly appear to be the same.

Soups remain a staple in my home though I do have a sneaky suspicion that not everybody in my family enjoys them quite as much as I do. There are already lots of different soup recipes on recipes2share but, it is rare that I actually follow any, much preferring to see which vegetables I’m drawn to, and often move away from my regulars to choose something different, ‘for a change’.

Cream of Watercress has remained a faithful friend, never failing to deliver its peppery warmth from a very simple list of ingredients: diced onion, a small potato, also diced; a bunch of very fresh watercress, pinch of tarragon, chicken stock and a dash of cream which, once cooked, are blitzed together to silky smooth. Re-heat and serve immediately or, cool quickly to preserve the vibrant colour and pop it into the fridge for later.

Today’s lunch was a pureed soup of Pumpkin and Red Lentils which, to balance the richness of the lentil, I added black pepper and chopped, fresh coriander and served slightly more liquid than normal, garnished with a swirl of cream. The result was a perfect antidote to a showery, damp Monday.

There are no stringent quantities to give but, this would make about 8 portions – I filled 2 containers to pack into the freezer but, kept a tasting bowl for now:

In a large saucepan, sauté a chopped onion in olive oil until it is translucent and soft. Peel a chunk (I used about 1.5 kg) of pumpkin, discard any seeds and chunk into regular sized pieces and add to the pan. Add about a cup of red lentils and mix well. A little hot stock is next: I like the jelly-style stock cubes and normally choose chicken, though if you are in the mood for extra richness, then veal stock is perfect. I begin with about half a liter and top up as required, preferring to adjust the final liquid as I puree, taste and texture determining exactly how thick/thin I would like the consistency to be. Adjust seasoning with a pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and chopped coriander. Re-heat and serve with a flourish of cream and a scatter of coriander in warmed bowls. Enjoy….