Sunday, May 12, 2013

Watercress Soup




Watercress is an excellent source of the antioxidants vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin K, an essential micronutrient for bone health. I found out from the web that it is also a rich natural source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoid nutrients that are gaining attention for their ability to protect vision and support cardiovascular health.

I enjoy watercress soup since young - the chinese version which is a clear soup cooked with pork ribs and dried red dates. The old folks believe that the soup has a "cooling" effect and this was one of the daily soups that grandma would cook for our dinner besides lotus root, ABC soup and many others.

What I am posting here is a western version of the watercress soup.  The taste might be different from the clear oriental version but it is yummy in its own way and a great starter with hot toast.


Ingredients (Serves 6)

2 bunches watercress (about 300-400 grams)
1 carrot (peeled and cut into thin slices)
1 potato (peeled and cut into thin slices)
1 onion (peeled and chopped)
800ml chicken stock
200ml heavy cream
salt and pepper
40g unsalted butter
2 tsps roasted pine nuts


Method

Heat up a large pot on medium high fire. Melt butter and sweat chopped onion for few minutes until cooked and transparent without browning. 

Add chicken stock, chopped carrots and potatoes. Bring to boil. Continue to cook until vegetable is cooked.

Add the watercress to the pot. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and purée the soup with an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, pour the soup in batches into a blender and transfer the blended soup to a clean pot. Be careful when blending hot liquids to only fill the bowl a third of the way, and to hold down the blender's lid while you purée the soup.

Reheat the pureed soup and add heavy cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, scoop soup into a soup bowl and sprinkle roasted pine nuts on top.
















42 comments:

  1. I confess the only reason I read blogs anymore is to get ideas that don't naturally occur to me. This is an example of that.

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  2. I love watercress but only cook them Oriental style, similar to the one you've mentioned. This is a much posher and I bet tastier soup.

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    1. Hi Adora! I would say each has its own style and I love both.

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  3. Wonderful soup, Alvin. I grew up eating the Chinese version too, your Western versions certainly intrigues me :)

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  4. Never tried that! Guess it's nothing like pea or broccoli soup. Sure would love to give it a try.

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    1. Good to know that our dear Arthur is going to give this a try! :D

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  5. Alvin, I would love to try this western version. I love the Chinese version a lot but haven't cooked it for a while. I am making an effort to get into western style cooking to get out of my comfort zone.

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    1. That sounds encouraging! Similarly, I should do more baking too... :D

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful creamy soup, did you bake that loaf of bread too? Looks crusty and delicious!

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    1. Thanks Jeannie. No, I bought the loaf from the bakery! :D

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  7. Wow, looks delicious! The chinese watercress soup is one of my favourites. Have not tried this western style before, looks incredibly good!

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    1. Thanks Joyce! Looks like everyone is familiar with the chinese style watercress soup.

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  8. I love watercress soup! This looks flavourful and delicious.

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  9. I haven't had watercress in years. We used to have it in sandwiches. Cheers

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    1. I have not tried it in sandwiches... Good idea!

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  10. Think Watercress Soup, first thing that comes to my mind is the Cantonese style! This is indeed a great alternative :)

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  11. Yum! I love watercress! though I'm not a huge fan of puréed soup as I like different textures and taste the 'bits', it does look extra comforting!

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  12. Bro, you have made normal Chinese watercress soup look so stylist!

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    1. Ha A-Chi, just exploring different cooking method using similar ingredients. I had fun... :D

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  13. Lovely idea. I have been guilty of making our Chinese watercress soups most times. Time to try a Western version for a change.

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    1. Hi Hi missyblurkit! Welcome to my blog!

      You shouldn't feel guilty! Chinese version watercress soup is yummy too! :D

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  14. I like what I see ^^ looks delish! Give me a bowl of this, and I'd gladly go meatless tonight ^^

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    1. Hi Hui! You will like this! I guarantee you no MSG unlike what you had in Taiwan! :D

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  15. Daddy loves watercress in Korean fish stews but this way is so elegant and relish looking! Love how silky and luxurious you made it!

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    1. Hi Angela! Cook this for Daddy then... :D

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  16. I don't normally buy watercress for my cooking, but yesterday for some reason, I stopped at the watercress and look at it and debated for good 5 seconds if I should grab it. And I didn't!!!! Duh. Maybe you were telling me to grab it. lol. I'll pick some up next time. The soup sounds very nice! I love potatoes and carrots in the soup too. Love your nice creamy texture.

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    1. Huh Nami! Go grab few bunches the next time... :D

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  17. i'm learning how to make western type of soup, very glad to see this. I wonder if it's nice without the cream...

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    1. Hi Lena! I would prefer to have it with the cream.... Hmmm, I know... the fat content! :D

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  18. Hi Alvin, your comfort soup sure look awesome. I only tried the Chinese watercress soup yet to try the western style. Thanks for sharing the recipe but best if you can cook for us when we meet up. :)

    Best regards.

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    1. Ha Amelia! You are stressing me out! LOL!

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  19. Never thought of watercress creamy soup...good idea. We tried cream if broccoli, cream of celery, carrot ginger.. We will use your recipe and try it next week. Thinking of beetroot and ginger combi too. Jazz

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    1. What about your Bah Kut Teh? Need us to bring some over next month?

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  20. Hey I was really searching for this recipe as I have drank it once at a friend's place and I adore this! Nice recipe!

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    1. Thanks Eiling! Hope you try and like it!

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  21. I love watercress soup, whether Western or Chinese way. Actually I like any kind of soup lah. But really this is one of my absolute favourites. Especially when the watercess is so lightly cooked that when I sip it, I can still taste the slightly sharp and bitter bite, like in arugula. Have you ever tried making cream of arugula? I like it too!

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    1. Thanks Denise! Nope... never thought of using rocket in soup! Hmmm... let me think about it! :D

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