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Monday, 26 March 2012

Watercress and Potato Soup

I've been having an influx of visitors lately. I love having everyone over, but of course, this does mean that life does get a bit hectic. My in-laws left today, and we miss them terribly. But now that they've left, I do have an excuse to go back to my lazy ways :)

Edmonton has been having some weird weather lately as well. First it seemed like spring was coming early with temperatures into postive digits and the shining bright and warm. Then it snowed more in a day, than it has all winter and the skies went all cloudy and grey. The next day the snow all melted away and the sun started shining again. Talk about confused! So I decided to make a soup. Like you do, of course.

The one thing that has been gladdening my heart, though, has been the beautiful sunshine and that is staying light longer and longer every day. Amazing what a little bit of warm sunshine can do for your happiness quotient! So of course, while its still cold outside, I keep feeling that spring is just round the corner and my mood has lifted immeasurably as a result.

Watercress and Potato Soup

I made this watercress soup, because I wanted to celebrate the spring like freshness in the air, but also as a last hurrah! to winter. I love watercress, with its fresh, spicy, crisp taste, and I used to buy huge bunches of it back in England. But fresh watercress isn't something that you find very often in Edmonton. However, Kathryn found some beautiful watercress from the lovely Michael at MoNa Foods for one of her classes and very kindly handed down the rest of the bunch to me. I knew almost immediately that I was going to make a soup with it to match my easy, happy, bright mood [and I can tell you, this mood isn't one that strikes me very often :)]

I deliberately kept this soup super simple, as I wanted to highlight the gorgeous spicy taste of the watercress. I added potatoes, because I wanted to give body to the soup without the use of heavy cream. It worked brilliantly, as the soup was thick, creamy and absolutely delicious. The crisp taste of the watercress shone through brilliantly and the colour... oh.my.word... have you seen a more beautiful shade of emerald green?

I served this soup with a dollop of creme fraiche stirred in to add a slightly tangy element to the rich soup, and with some crusty leftover French bread and it was a perfect lunch. And all I say is that spring sure has come early here, in my kitchen at least :)

Watercress and Potato Soup

Recipe:
(Printable Recipe)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large potato, or 2 medium potatoes, chopped
4 cups (1 litre) of vegetable stock
250 gms watercress, stalks and all, washed and lightly dried
Salt and pepper to taste
Dollop of creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt, to serve

Method:

Place the oil in a heavy pot on a gentle heat. Add the onion and celery and sweat for about five minutes, not letting the onion colour too much.

Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the potatoes to the pot, and stir for another two minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Season with a little salt.

Add the watercress, stalks and all, and cook for about 3 - 4 minutes.

Transfer to a blender, and blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender to blend it in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more salt if necessary, and a good grind of black pepper.

Place back on the heat, and heat gently until piping hot. Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or greek yoghurt, swirling it gently into the soup. Serve with crusty bread.

Watercress and Potato Soup

7 comments :

  1. Lovely lovely green colour! I loved both the bowls too. I have nevre known the taste of watercress but looking at this bowlful makes me wanna! and I love hot bowls of soup than the cold ones !
    Lovely clicks.'

    Shobha

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  2. Oh yes, watercress in soup, lovely.

    You are welcome to join in my food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Michelle,

    Please visit our blog and collect the award awaiting you.

    Aparna from Square Meals

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, this is so beautiful! It's been a long time since I made anything with watercress. It might be time to try it again!

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  5. Such a pretty color, and I love the swirl! So pretty. Such a simple soup too, I'll definitely be making this in the upcoming months.

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  6. This is a great colour - my father is a huge fan of watercress and is always bemoaning you can't buy it fresh in plant form these days, it used to be sold in bags in soil like living lettuce or salad cress but now only slimey stuff in bags.

    Your swirling is very artful! I can never get mine to do that!

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  7. nice idea.. thanks for posting..

    ReplyDelete

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