Watercress Soup


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

I discovered a new soup! Watercress was one of those things I would stare at in the grocery, wondering what I could do with it. I even bought it once, intending to make sandwiches with it, and then couldn’t figure out quite how to make a sandwich with it. Also, I don’t really make and eat sandwiches.

But soup! Even cooked (I think) watercress is an excellent source of Vit. A, C, and K. It’s incredibly low-calorie! It tastes delightful! It promotes world peace!

Okay, not that last, sadly, but it’s goooood. Trust me. Try it. And it’s quick!

You need:

  1. 2 loosely packed cups of watercress (1 bunches), washed
  2. 1/4 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion (not red, red has a stronger flavor)
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped leek (white only; leave out if you don’t have any)
  4. 2 cups low-sodium (or sodium-free) vegetable stock/broth/bouillon
  5. 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  6. 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  7. 1/2 tbsp olive oil (EVOO)

How to:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan–something with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. When it is hot, add the onion and leek and stir.
  3. Cook for a few minutes, stirring now and again, until the vegetables are soft, but not browned. (If they do start turning brown, don’t worry about it. Turn down the heat and add a couple of spoons of the broth, and stir.)
  4. Add salt and stir.
  5. Add the potato and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes. If the potatoes start “catching” on the bottom, add a little bit of the broth. Just a little. And stir.
  6. Add the watercress and stir well. Cook until the watercress has just wilted.
  7. Add the broth, stir, and cover.
  8. Cook until the potatoes have cooked. This should take about ten minutes, but keep an eye on them. Don’t overcook the watercress or it will lose its flavor.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Put the soup in a glass bowl with high sides and blend with a hand blender. OR, take out the solids and blend in a food processor, then put the blended solids back in the rest of the soup.
  11. Strain. Dispose of the pulp (compost, use in a sauce, etc.)
  12. Add crushed black pepper and enjoy!

My plan is to eat the soup for lunch, with a little baguette, a little 18-year old balsamic vinegar…

Note: I suppose you could also make this in the slow cooker. Turn it on high, add the oil, onions, and leeks. Cover. After 30 minutes, add everything else, stir, and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Then blend, strain, etc. Be warned, though, that I haven’t tried this in a slow cooker. I’m offering a hypothetical possibility 🙂

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Slow Cooker Celery Soup

A lovely and light soup, perfect for a cold evening.

You need:

10 sticks celery, chopped

1-2 leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped
½ cup onion, finely chopped
3 small potatoes , peeled and diced
2 cups water
1 tbsp. oil
to taste salt
to taste black pepper

How to:

1. Put the oil and onions in the slow cooker. Stir and cover. Set cooker on “high”.
2. After half an hour, add the celery, potatoes, leeks, salt, and water. Stir and cover.
3. Let cook on “high” for 5-6 hours or until the potatoes are soft. You can also set it on low and let it cook for 8 hours.
4. Remove the solids and puree in a food processor. Do not discard the broth. Strain and add the puree back to the broth. Optionally, leave them in the slow cooker and use a hand blender, if you have one, then strain.
5. Return the strained soup to the slow cooker. Add pepper and serve.

Notes:
You can also add half a cup of milk to the soup after pureeing and before reheating. If you do this, reduce the water by half a cup. Do not add the milk directly to the hot soup as it will curdle. Instead, take out a cup of soup from the slow cooker and add it slowly to the milk, stirring all the while. Then add this mixture to the soup, stir well, and serve.