Indeed, watercress (like wild rocket) is an excellent base for any soup and you can blend watercress with fruit like pears or apples or with sweet roots and tubers like parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes to produce great-tasting soups.
Watercress SoupServes: 4
600ml (2 1/2 cups) chickens stock, veal stock or vegetable stock
225g (8 oz) old potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
25g (1 oz) butter
2 bunches watercress, chopped
300ml (1 1/4 cups) whole milk
freshly-grated nutmeg, to taste
chopped chives, to garnish
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Method:Cook the onion gently in the butter until soft but not coloured (about 4 minutes). Now stir in the potatoes, add the stock and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Add the watercress and cook for 30 seconds, or until wilted. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly then pass the soup through a vegetable mill or purée briefly in a blender. Pass the soup through a fine-meshed sieve then pour into a clean pan and mix in enough of the milk to yield your preferred consistency.
Add the nutmeg and season to taste then heat to just below the simmering point and allow the soup to heat through (but do not boil).
Serve ladled into warmed soup bowls and garnished with chopped chives.
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