After Chloe arrived home from school in the last week of term with a thimble full of watercress which quickly became a hedgerow once she'd planted it in the garden, I had to find a way of using it. Daily salads just weren't cutting through it fast enough and it was threatening to overtake the garden.
To say that this is a recipe is probably a bit of a stretch as it's incredibly simple to make, but it was also delicious so here we go ...
A large bunch of fresh watercress
1 medium/large leek or 3-4 spring onions
2 medium potatoes, peeled or washed, whichever you prefer
Small knob of butter
1.5 pints of chicken or vegetable stock
A dairy of your choice, I used single cream, but creme fraiche, sour cream or even some soft cream cheese would be lovely.
Salt and Pepper to taste
Start by removing the watercress leaves from the stalks and set to one side.
Chop the watercress stalks, spring onions (or leeks) and potatoes and sweat for a few minutes in the butter over a medium heat. Don't let the veg take on any colour, you just want them to start to soften in the butter. Add the stock and bring up to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook, covered for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the soup from the heat and allow to cool a little before blending until smooth, you can transfer it to a blender if you prefer though I used a stick blender. Add the watercress leaves and blend again until smooth. Season to taste.
Bring the soup back to simmering point and serve with a splash of cream (or whatever you prefer) and some good crusty bread.
The soup is surprisingly rich for so few and such simple ingredients and this recipe will make about four adult sized portions.
You don't really need to bother with the garnish, but it does make for a pretty photo.