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Watercress Soup


English watercress soup is a creamed soup in a light stock and potato base with onion. This is identical to the French 'soupe cresson'

Although watercress has been a popular accompaniment since ancient times, we can't find any receipts for the soup before the beginning of the 20th Century.

Original Receipt from

Classic Watercress Soup
Calories: 167 Preparation: 5 mins Cooking: 15 mins Serves: 4

15ml/1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small stick celery
350g/12oz potato, peeled and diced
600ml/1pt chicken or vegetable stock
3 (85g) bags watercress
150ml/¼pt milk
pinch of nutmeg
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and celery and saute over a medium heat for 5 mins until pale golden. Stir in the potato and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 mins or until the potato is tender.
Stir in the watercress, cover and cook for a further 5 mins or until the watercress is wilted. Transfer the soup to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Return the soup to the rinsed out pan add the milk, nutmeg, lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Gently reheat until piping hot and serve with crusty bread.

From around 2002 there was a minor craze for 'The Watercress Diet' promoted by one Marianne Dawson, and vigorously supported by The Daily Mail. It was described as; "the new dieting craze that the celebrities swear by ... guaranteed to lose up to 10 pounds in a week."

See: Watercress

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