All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

watercress soup, watercress sandwiches

You know winter is slowly coming to an end when you see the first bunch of watercress in the market. And what a find it is - crunchy, slightly peppery thick stalks and delicate leaves make for a delicious sandwich as is, a remarkable salad green - and a subtle, healthful soup.

Watercress is loaded with antioxidants, as well as iron, iodine, folic acid, and calcium : another good reason to add it to your February menu. Here, I've made the traditional watercress sandwiches and the classic French soup, potage cressoniere, which is slightly thickened with potato and onions before the watercress is briefly stirred in and then pureed. Instead of stirring in heavy cream, I whipped the cream and added a pillow of whipped cream to each bowl. The cream slowly melts into the soup, but stays firm enough to scoop up with each spoonful of soup.

Watercress Sandwiches:

White, finely textured bread, crusts trimmed

Unsalted soft butter

Finely minced watercress, on a plate

You can use the food processor to mince the watercress, but you will find a few stems - just pick them out.

Cut bread into "fingers" or rectangles, or any other shape.

Butter the bread generously.

Gently press the bread into the minced watercress until each sandwich is covered.

Scatter a little sea salt and pepper over the watercress sandwiches, and serve.

* * * *

Watercress Soup ( Potage Cressoniere):

1 T. olive oil or unsalted butter

1.2 cup diced white onions

1/2 cup peeled, diced potatoes

1 cup water

2 cups packed watercress, cut in about 2" pieces

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped (for the garnish)

Place the water, the olive oil or butter, the onions, and the potatoes in a saucepan.

Cook on medium-high heat until the potatoes are soft.

Add the milk and watercress and cook about 3 minutes.

Using an immersion, or "stick" blender, puree soup.

Add salt and pepper as desired (pepper goes especially well with watercress).

Add a large spoonful of whipped cream to each bowl, sprinkle with a little parsley, serve.

Makes 2 bowls of watercress soup.


Barb said...

Oooo what a pretty green color!! I have a watercress/cauliflower soup recipe (thanks to Martha Stewart)that is yummy. It makes me think of spring - which is a long way off. We're getting a BIG dump of snow - first big snow of the season!

I made the oatmeal cookies over the weekend - deeeelicious!!! Mine spread a little more than I thought they would, but I suppose that is because there really isn't much flour in them. They are very tasty - believe me, I know they will get eaten!!!

katrina said...

Hi Barb! I'm amazed you're getting snow! I thought it was the Washington area - just don't send me more than 4 inches, please:)
I'm surprised the cookies spread - did you use rolled oats and room temp butter? If you use instant oats, they spead more, which is why I changed the recipe to rolled. Humm. There are so many variables, aren't there? We should be able to figure out why yours came out differently - let me know....

Barb said...

Hi Katrina~ I used room temp butter and old-fashioned rolled oats (I don't really care for the instant oatmeal either), toasted the walnuts - who knows what the difference is? Just as you said - so many variables. Nonetheless, they are really good and nobody's complained that "they spread too much" (ha!ha!). They just munch 'em down and eat another!

I'll try them again and see what happens! Kind of a nice change from chocolate chip cookies (which I also love and use rolled oats in too.) Have I mentioned that I love cookies????

Fat Girl Gone Thin said...

This soup looks fantastic! How long will leftovers keep fresh in the fridge?

katrina said...

Hi Barb! Well, it still bothers me. I notice you said you used a half cup of flour, but the recipe calls for 2/3rds of a cup - maybe that could be the problem. I sure hope those few tablespoons of flour will make a difference next time. Someone mentioned they make dried cherry oatmeal cookies - and I suddenly thought dried cherries and mini choc chips might make a lovely oatmeal cookie as well. Good luck !

katrina said...

Fat Girl Gone Thin - I don't know! It makes two bowls of soup, which I promptly had for lunch, and then a little more lunch ( well, it WAS very good!) With cream, I'd say no more than three days. I'm not sure the whipped cream would hold up beyond 5 hours. Glad you enjoyed!

Chef Fresco said...

I've never cooked with watercress- ever! This soup looks amazing! I might just have to give it a try.

katrina said...

Ah, Chefs - I was blessed with a Papa that loved watercress, both raw and cooked! I usually just crunch on it raw, but I love this soup! Pepper really brings out the taste,and the cream was a total delight. Yum, yum, yum - hope you try!