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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

(Almost) Free Food

About three weeks ago I bought a bunch of watercress for making soup.  I cut off the stems (some of which had roots growing) and pushed them into some compost in a tub in the greenhouse.  Yesterday I was able to harvest enough for another batch of soup.

The nice thing is, the plants should produce at least another batch as they're still growing quite strongly.  The soup was delicious and had far more flavour than the original watercress I'd bought, probably because there was only about 15 minutes from plant to pan.

Anyway, thought you might like the recipe; it's very easy and doesn't take long to make.

Watercress Soup

This amount serves four generous helpings.  I only did half of this as I didn't have enough watercress to do the complete recipe.

9 oz watercress, chopped
4 oz butter
Approx 14 oz leeks, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 pts hot stock
4 heaped tablespoons creme fraiche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large pan, then add chopped leeks, potatoes and watercress and stir so they are well coated in butter.  Sprinkle in some salt, then cover and sweat over a very gentle heat for about 20 minutes, giving mixture a good stir halfway through.

Add stock, bringing everything to a simmering point, and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat, cool slightly and blend in a food processor until smooth.  Return to pan and add 3 tablespoons of creme fraiche, season to taste with salt and pepper, then reheat gently without letting it boil.

Serve with an extra swirl of creme fraiche or cool and serve chilled in the same way.

I topped ours with a parasol mushroom (flash fried in butter until slightly crispy on the outside, but tender in the middle) that we found, and an extra sprig of watercress. Delicious!


  1. That looks so delicious! I love watercress but have never had watercress soup. I'll have to give it a whirl when its back in season next year. Very thrifty that you managed to get it to keep growing too! :)

  2. You have to try it! It's delicious, and full of goodness too. It's very easy to grow - just put the stalks in water and they'll root.