Last updated on May 3rd, 2021
When it comes to springtime (or anytime) entertaining, you can’t go wrong with Watercress Soup. I love it it as a first course for formal affairs, but it is marvelous too as a main course for supper. Potatoes thicken the soup, while a handful of fresh or frozen peas temper the slight pepperiness of the cress. Here’s the recipe for this emerald-green brew that recalls the luxurious dinner parties of Victorian England:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly diced
- Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 Lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup peas
- 200 grams watercress leaves and stems, washed and roughly chopped
- Optional for garnish: creme fraiche and snips of fresh chive
- Warm the butter and olive oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-low heat. When the butter melts, stir in the diced onion and the seasonings. Reduce heat to "low," then cover the pot and let the onion sweat until tender -- about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then partially cover the pot, reduce the heat, and let simmer until the potatoes are perfectly tender -- about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Add the peas and the watercress. Stir until the leaves wilt -- about 30 seconds. Let the soup cool, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes. Then ladle it into the jar of a blender. Blend at high speed until smoothly pureed -- about 30 seconds. Wash out and dry the soup pot, then pour the pureed soup into the pot.
- Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or even cold from the fridge. Garnish each serving, if you wish, with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of snipped chive.
Watercress Soup: The Video
Click the play arrow above to watch me make Watercress Soup on my YouTube channel. After we make the soup, we can sip it under the new pergola in the garden!
Warm the butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat.
When the butter melts, add the roughly diced onion…
Plus salt and pepper to taste.
Cover the pot, and let the onions sweat until soft — 5-6 minutes.
Now add the peeled, roughly chopped potatoes…
Plus 6 cups water.
Bring the works to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, partially cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are perfectly tender — 10-15 minutes.
The potatoes are tender when you easily stab them with a paring knife.
Turn off the heat, stir in the fresh or frozen peas…
And the thoroughly cleaned and coarsely chopped watercress leaves and stems.
Stir until the leaves wilt — about 30 seconds. Permit the soup to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Ladle the cooled soup into a blender, then blitz from low to high speed until perfectly pureed.
Oh, baby. This is one gorgeous soup!
Divide the soup among bowls, add a dollop of crème fraiche or yogurt, and, a sprinkling snipped, fresh chive. Serve hot, warm, or cold with a crusty baguette and some chilled white wine!
Hungry for more? Get my email updates.