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.
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!