All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

watercress and mushroom soup - a hint of Spring

Hallelujah - the watercress has arrived! This spicy, hollow stemmed green signals the start of Spring, just as asparagus does. Related to the Brassicaeae (cabbage) family, it's an aquatic perennial that grows clear, cold, clean streams and ditches - and according to this website, it's in every state in the United States. Check out directions for growing your own watercress while you're on the site - wouldn't that be heaven?
Watercress salads, watercress sandwiches, and watercress soup are dandy ways to utilize this vegetable, and today I tried something new - combining the flavors of sauteed mushrooms with watercress. It was a lovely, soothing soup that was a little less overpowering, as straight watercress soups can be. I held out some leaves to top off the little tomato open faced sandwich which made for the prettiest lunch I've had in a long time - and one of the quickest, too. The soup takes only around 15 minutes to make.
This recipe makes two bowls of soup.
To make:

1 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
2 cups sliced white mushrooms, stems included
1 t. dried thyme
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup chopped watercress
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet until bubbling, then add the mushrooms and saute until lightly brown and nutty.
Add the thyme and stock to the mushrooms and stir.
Cook for five minutes, then add the watercress and salt and pepper.
Pour into a bowl and puree with an immersion blender, then taste before serving.

Spring is coming!


Marianne said...

That sounds divine, Katrina, food of the gods! When I was a child, a friend of my mother's would bring her watercress and we'd dine on the most wonderful watercress salads, but I haven't had any in years, except perhaps as a garnish in a "fancy" restaurant!

katrina said...

Marianne - I wonder if you look around in the supermarket if you might find it? I've been super lucky lately - I think I just had to look a little harder:)
Glad you enjoyed - and I'm going to try growing it, since I live next to a brook. My own watercress plot would be heaven.

Barb said...

This is truly a 'Spring teaser'! Maybe I could find some at the fruit market near me, but I don't think I'll find any growing under the foot of snow just yet.

However, this does give me hope that spring is on it's way!

Barb said...


I hope you have a wonderful birthday and a joyous year ahead of you!!

katrina said...

Barb - thank you! You are a wonder to remember my birthday! Tough one, coming right after my Mum's death last week, for sure, but I have great hopes my next year will be a truly great one. And with friends like you, how can I doubt it? Merci, my friend♥