Watercress Soup

Watercress Soup

Confession 1: This is not really watercress soup. I was only able to find something called upland cress at the store and according to Google they are in the same family so…there.

Confession 2: I had every intention of sharing Irish beef stew with you this week but as it turns out, large chunks of beef and potatoes don’t make for a very attractive photo shoot. (Who would have thought???!!!)

Confession 3: I ended up liking this soup more than the Irish beef stew anyway. Plus it’s Irish…and GREEN!

Confession 4: Leprechauns terrify me. And that’s the last time I’ll be mentioning them on this blog.

In other news, Watercress! Whichever cress you find, this is a simple and delicate soup with a stunning green presentation. But that vibrant color is short-lived and your soup may go from shamrocks to pond scum if you don’t serve it quickly enough. Wait until the very last minute to toss the watercress leaves in the broth and whirl in the food processor. And while some watercress soup recipes go heavy on the cream, I found just swirling in one rounded tablespoon did wonders. Sprinkle with some chives and a spritz of lemon and we’ve got one hell of a soup. Enjoy!

Upland Cress

Watercress or Upland Cress should be very fresh. Mine still had the roots attached!

Saute Onion

Saute a small onion in butter until nice and golden. Add broth and cubed potato and simmer for 20 minutes.

Lemon, Chives, Watercress

Chop up some chives, a lemon and remove the larges stems from your watercress leaves.

Cream and Chives

Prepare your garnish. Beat heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form and sprinkle in the chives. If I were to make this recipe again, I’d save myself some time and use creme fraiche instead. This soup has a very delicate flavor so the chives add a much needed kick. Don’t skimp on the lemon juice either!

Add watercress to the pot

Once potato can easily be pierced with a fork, remove the pot from heat. Add the watercress leaves and whirl in the food processor. Spritz in lemon juice. Garnish with a dollop of prepared cream and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately!

What kinds of dishes will you be whipping up this St. Patty’s Day? Beer or Whiskey recipes encouraged…

Watercress (or Upland Cress) Soup

Makes 1 quart

  • 2 bunches fresh Watercress or Upland Cress, thick stems removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large waxy potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 half of lemon, juiced or more to taste
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream or creme fraiche
  • 1-2 tbsp minced chives

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until golden, about 8 minutes. Pour in broth and potato and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until potato can easily be pierced with a fork. Remove the broth from heat and season with salt and pepper.

While the broth simmers, pour cream into a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Pour in most of the chives and beat until combined. (If using creme fraiche, this step can be omitted. Simply whisk the chives into the creme fraiche). Set aside

Toss the watercress leaves into the pot and stir until just wilted, about 1 minute. Add lemon juice and additional salt and pepper if needed. Blend the mixture using an immersion blender or food processor until desired consistency. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with a tablespoon of the cream mixture. Sprinkle with additional chives and spritz of lemon. Serve immediately.

*Adapted from Canal House Cooks Every Day

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4 Responses to Watercress Soup

  1. Leprechauns scare me too. I would much rather eat that soup than a beef stew. It’s looks light and healthy. Love the color also.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Great looking soup! Unfortunately, I can’t get watercress where I live. It’s probably too delicate for a sub-tropical climate! Could a different green leafy plant be used?

    Some lovely photos too!

    • Thanks Stephanie! As for substitutions, I think the best bet could be arugula because it also has a pepper bite to it. Spinach or baby mustard greens could also work, but I’d try a bit more seasoning with those. Let me know how it turns out.

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