Recipe: Cream of Watercress Soup
The trick with getting a great-tasting soup is not to let the fresh leaves sit for too long on the heat or they will go very bitter.
170g watercress, washed and dried
1 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, minced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1¾ cups vegetable stock
1¾ cups whole milk or light cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the butter and oil over low heat until butter is melted. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the diced potato and cook for another 3 minutes. Cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Trim watercress leaves from the stems. Roughly chop the stems. Add the stock and milk to the onion/potatoes and stir in the chopped stems. Season and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add all but a few of the watercress leaves (reserve some for garnishing) and simmer for another 2 minutes.
Working in batches, purée the soup in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and gently heat with the reserved whole leaves. Taste and season with the lemon juice and more salt and pepper if necessary. Add a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche.