Watercress Soup

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc.

Maman Blanc would only make soups with water, she never used stock. This recipe is no exception to her rule; there should be enough flavour in the main ingredients. In this soup, I use an interesting technique as I add ice to the watercress to halt the cooking process. This retains the vivid colours of the watercress, as well as the textures, flavour and nutrients. The pepperiness of watercress can vary, so taste it before cooking. If it is quite mild, leave some of the stalks attached to boost the flavour.

Special equipment: blender.

Watercress Soup

Ingredients Required

20g Unsalted butter
1/4 Onion, peeled and diced
400g 2 large bunches of Watercress (stalks removed) (*1)
50g Spinach, washed and picked (small handful)
375ml Boiling water
4 pinches Sea salt
1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper
375g Ice
To serve (optional)
4 tbsp Crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt

Cooking Method

Planning ahead

This soup can be prepared well in advance.

To make the soup

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat, add the onion and sweat gently (*2) for 3–5 minutes until softened and translucent. Turn up the heat, add the watercress and spinach and wilt for 2 minutes. Add the boiling water (*3), season with the salt and pepper (*4), and boil for 2 minutes only. Remove from the heat and immediately add the ice to stop the cooking process (*5). Purée the soup in a blender until very smooth.

To serve

Reheat if necessary (*6), then taste and correct the seasoning. Serve immediately, in a warmed tureen or individual bowls topped with a spoonful of crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt.


Kitchen Secrets

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury. 

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2011.