I love homemade cream soups. This watercress one is a heavily modified version of Mum’s recipe. In the original, she uses a leek and potato soup base and bacon. I try to use as little meat as possible, but here I couldn’t make it vegetarian because I generally find vegetable stock too weak to make flavourful soup.
I make this when I have chicken stock and lots of yummy watercress from my usual vegetable stall. Try to get younger bunches with finer stems. Coarse stems would result in a rather fibrous soup.
The recipe itself is very simple although you’ll need a liquidiser. Mine comes as an attachment to my Kenwood mixer, normally used for baking. I suppose you could use a stick blender or a food processor, just that it’ll probably take a bit longer to reach the right pureed-ness!
This soup is also very freezer-friendly. I’ll make up a huge batch for lunch with salad and freshly baked bread, and then stick the rest in the freezer. Homemade soup is such a nice thing to go back to after a long day at work!
25 g butter
3 onions, chopped coarsely
1 stick celery, chopped, optional
3 tbsp flour
400 g watercress, torn to small pieces
1 litre hot chicken stock
- In a heavy cast iron pot, melt the butter and sweat the onions and celery on low heat till they turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle over the flour and continue stirring over low heat for another 5 minutes. The paste should turn slightly golden but not brown.
- Add the watercress, stir to incorporate, and then pour over the chicken stock so it just covers the vegetables. Top up with water if necessary.
- Bring the soup to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
- Blend the soup in batches. Here’s where you can freeze it for later or heat it up, then check seasoning and serve.
- Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or pesto or both if you like.
[edited on 20 Apr 2009 11.10 am to include method. My apologies for the ditzy moment.]