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Watercress Soup

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675 g/1 lb potatoes, cut into chunks 900 ml/1 pints vegetable stock
or water and 2 vegetable stock cubes
100 g/3 oz watercress, washed
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
150 ml/5 fl oz single cream or milk


Serves: 4


1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with the stock or water and bring to the boil. Pull off the leaves of the watercress and set aside. Add the stalks - and the stock cubes if using water - to the saucepan and simmer until the potatoes are really tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Tip the contents of the saucepan into a liquidizer or food processor and blend until smooth, then return to the pan. Chop the watercress leaves finely and add to the soup. Season to taste with nutmeg and pepper: you may not need salt if the stock cubes are salty. Add the cream or milk, heat through and serve hot.

Serve this country soup from Normandy as a warming lunch with French bread and a board of ripe French cheeses. Or, for a winter dinner, serve it as a starter.

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