I buy my watercress at the market stand where I purchase our beef and pork. Their watercress is wild, it comes back every year, growing near their natural spring. After a little research (read: wiki), I discovered that watercress is basically a superfood. It has high levels of iron, calcium, and folic acid. It contains cancer-fighting properties and is touted as anything from a digestive aid, to expectorant, and stimulant. Go here to learn more.
Next week I'll be investigating the best way to make a watercress sandwich, but this week called for soup.
Last year, my mom's friend brought us her famous watercress soup. I raved about it here. I've kept her recipe in my inbox since last May. Basically, the soup is a tasty cream of potato soup with wilted and pureed watercress leaves. All I'll say is that Emma ate three bowls.
I guess playing teacher makes her hungry!
Back to the soup.....
The process is simple -
Step 1: Cook diced potatoes and onions in 3T of butter
Step 2: Add milk and broth and cook until potatoes are tender. My mixture sort of overflowed from neglect - hence the dirty pot. I then pureed the potatoes, broth and milk with my immersion blender.
Step 3: Add watercress leaves and cook briefly until leaves are wilted. The recipe says four minutes - I didn't cook mine long enough.
Step 4: Lastly, puree watercress leaves and enjoy!
This is the recipe I was given -
Watercress soup--Chef Darine Allen of Ballymore Cooking School, county Cork, Ireland
Legend has it that it was watercress that enabled St. Brendan to live to the ripe age of 180!
3 T sweet (unsalted) butter
1 1/4 c potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 c yellow onion, chopped finely
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 1/2 c chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 1/2 c milk
2 bunches chopped watercress (remove the coarse stalks)
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables over low heat for 10 min. Add the stock and milk, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes and onions are soft.
Add the watercress and boil with the lid off for approximately 4 minutes until the watercress is cooked. It will taste soft and tender. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh green color.
Puree the soup in a blender. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if necessary.