Watercress Soup

Watercress Soup

A perfect soup for the spring and summer months when watercress is in season and you are craving lighter, fresher flavors. This watercress soup recipe is great cold, too, for when it gets really hot.–Shelagh Ryan

LC What's Sup? Note

“What’s up?” you ask. We actually prefer to inquire “What’s sup?” It more pointedly asks what lovely thing you’ve been supping or, in this case, sipping as of late. And we gotta say, we hope your answer to the query is this soup. If you’re like us, one sip—er, sup—is all it took to get us hooked.

Watercress Soup

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 5 M
  • Serves 4
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Special Equipment: Kitchen twine (optional)



Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan placed over medium heat. Add the leek and celery and cook until the vegetables start to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Tie the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf together with some kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni (or you could cram the herbs into a tea infuser). Add the bouquet garni to the pan along with the garlic and salt and pepper to taste and cook for 1 minute. Add the butter and continue to sauté until the vegetables are completely softened but not colored, 6 to 10 minutes.

Add the broth (or stock) and potatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and cooked through.

Add the watercress and stir through. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and wait until the residual warmth of the soup wilts the watercress, about 5 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb bouquet. Purée the soup with an immersion blender (or wait a few minutes to let the soup cool a tad and purée it in a blender, working in batches if necessary).

Taste and season the soup with salt and pepper and, if desired, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Ladle the soup into bowls and stir in a dollop of crème fraîche or yogurt. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or chilled.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

We loved this soup. The fresh watercress turns the soup a gorgeous shade of green, making it the perfect soup for spring and summer. We ate this soup hot, warm, at room temperature, and cold, and it was great at each temperature. We found that a lot of salt and pepper was needed to coax out the flavor. The hands-on prep time was 30 minutes, and the cooking time was 30 minutes for a total time of one hour. My chopped leek weighed 5 ounces and came to 2 cups in volume. I used peeled, Yukon Gold potatoes, which I cut into 2-inch chunks. I didn’t have crème fraîche, so I used a teaspoon of heavy cream which worked very well. Sour cream or Greek yogurt would probably also be good substitutes for the crème fraîche.

This watercress soup is just the ticket for spring. Easy to make, full of flavor, and a beautiful shade of pastel green—what more could you want? I didn't peel my potatoes, and I enjoyed the added texture the skins gave to the finished soup. The crème fraîche is almost optional, as the soup ends up so creamy. But I did say almost, so treat yourself to a little extra indulgence and add that dollop. To take this soup right over the top, add a judicious squeeze of lemon juice before serving. It really brings it all together.

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