Olive’s Chilled Watercress Soup

After pulling out copious quantities of weeds from my garden the other day, my body was crying out for greens. I decided to let my British shine, pull a Mrs. Patmore (TV series Downton Abbey’s quick-witted head cook), and cook up a pot of Chilled Watercress Soup.

Watercress doesn’t seem as popular today as it was when I was a child. When I saw a farmer rave about watercress on a recent Jamie Oliver episode, I decided it was high time that I got better acquainted with this healthy green.

Watercress

Here is my version of Chilled Watercress Soup, refreshing and satisfying. It’s a fast and easy recipe. Olive to make up a batch, store it in the fridge, then pull it out for a quick lunch or serve it in small bowls as an elegant starter to a summer dinner.

Olive's Chilled Watercress Soup

Now, where’s that Daisy to help me with the dishes?

Olive’s Chilled Watercress Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow cooking onion, chopped
6 mini potatoes, skin left on, sliced
4 cups cold water
2 bunches watercress, large stems removed, washed carefully, spun dry
1 knob of butter (A British term which means about one or two tablespoons. The precise amount is not critical. The point is you decide and just eyeball it)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the potatoes and onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are tender,  stirring frequently so that potatoes don’t stick.

Stir in the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the watercress and simmer just until the watercress is wilted but still bright green, only about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. Stir in the butter.

Let cool, then carefully purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Adjust salt to bring out the flavour, if necessary. Chill in the fridge. Serve cold, straight from the fridge. Garnish with a tablespoon of light ricotta cheese, a crumble of soft chèvre, or a sprinkling of snipped chives.

3 comments to Olive’s Chilled Watercress Soup

  • Jill  says:

    Great recipe for watercress soup, Olive! Olive watercress, too, but it has been hard to find in regular GTA grocery stores in the last many years. It used to be widely available in the 1980’s/1990’s. We need a bring back watercress movement!

  • Olive  says:

    I agree! Longo’s has been carrying watercress recently.

  • carolfroom  says:

    Mmmm I might just give this a try Olive. Thanks for the tip on where to find it. P.S. was at the Georgetown Farmer’s market today and it just wasn’t the same without you.

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