Watercress Soup

Photograph by Peter Cassidy

Watercress Soup

This recipe is from Simply Delicious: The Classic Collection, by Darina Allen. All the words and directions are hers. But one suggestion from The City Cook -- while the instructions say to use a waxed paper lid in step one, you can also use parchment paper to cut a circular lid instead.

From Darina: 

This soup has been a favorite on the menu at Ballymaloe House since it opened in 1964. Watercress contains large amounts of vitamins K, C, and A, and some vitamins E and B6. It also contains iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus, and is a valuable source of nutrients. Wild watercress has more depth of flavor than the cultivated version, so see if you can find some to use in this recipe.



  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss them until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with a wax paper lid and the lid of the pan and sweat over gentle heat for 10 minutes.
  2. When the vegetables are almost soft but not colored, add the boiling stock or water and milk. (It is essential to boil the stock and milk before adding, otherwise the enzymes in the watercress may cause the milk to curdle.)
  3. Return to a boil and cook until the potatoes and onions are fully cooked. Add the freshly chopped watercress, return to a boil, and cook with the lid off until the watercress is just cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the soup or it will lose its fresh green color. Serve as is or blend the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season to taste.


For a vegetarian version use vegetable stock, and for a vegan version substitute extra virgin olive oil for the butter and use extra vegetable stock instead of milk.



SoupsIrishDarina Allen


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