Friday, November 17, 2006

Watercress soup

When I moved to Paris in 1986 I had never heard of watercress let alone consumed it in any form. At the time I was living with my sis and her then husband, Paul Dymock, who loved watercress, in sandwiches and salads but more than anything in soup. This recipe is roughly how he made the soup although I suspect he did not have a recipe and just threw things in that he felt like using.
  1. 100 grams watercress (I actually like to use landcress which is a lot more peppery and more interesting) carefully washed as for some reason watercress can carry sand;
  2. 2 shallots roughly cut;
  3. A garlic clove, chopped;
  4. 2 medium potatoes, preferably mealy ones as the potato is for thickening the soup;
  5. A handful of chopped parsley (or some other more interesting herb I’ve used tarragon which was a mistake, coriander which was great and basilicum which was ok but kind of clashed with the watercress);
  6. 400 ml chicken stock (or vegetable if you prefer);
  7. 1 tbs butter;
  8. 1 tbs olive oil;
  9. Salt and Pepper;
  10. Parmesan cheese grated or sliced;
  11. Good quality crème fraiche.

In a heavy bottomed pot heat the butter and olive oil and when hot put in shallots and garlic. Sweat the shallots until soft then add the rest of the ingredients except cheese and cream. When the potatoes are well done purée the soup in a mixer or with a magic stick until creamy and no large pieces remain of the vegetables. Serve in a soup bowl with the crème fraiche floating on top of a table spoon’s worth of parmesan cheese.

This serves two as a regular soup or four as a small starter.


It has been (forcefully) pointed out to me that in respect to making this soup all references to ahem... "him" should be replaced by ahem... "her". If you would please take note of this small correction...

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