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.
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 5 M
- Serves 4
Special Equipment: Kitchen twine (optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek (white and pale green parts), roughly chopped (1 to 2 cups)
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped (1 cup)
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
- 5 cups (1 1/4 liters) homemade vegetable broth (or substitute homemade chicken stock)
- 1 pound (500 grams) new potatoes (or substitute Yukon Golds or russets), peeled if desired and roughly chopped
- About 7 cups (350 grams) fresh watercress leaves, washed and trimmed
- 1 lemon or lime, quartered (optional)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons crème fraîche or plain Greek yogurt, for serving
- 1. 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.
- 2. 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.
- 3. 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.
- 4. 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.
- 5. 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).
- 6. 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.