I love the pepperiness of watercress but picking the leaves for a salad can be quite tedious. You’ll need about 2 bunches for this soup, but the beauty is there’s no picking required, you can use almost all of it – just discard the thickest stems and any yellowing leaves and throw the rest in the pot! Serve it hot or chilled with a glass of Chalmers Greco, this full-flavoured white wine has good acid and sings with the peppery watercress and rich crème frâiche.
Serves 6 as an entrée
- 100g butter
- 1 brown onion, diced
- Salt flakes, to taste
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly ground
- 300g floury potatoes, diced
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 500g watercress, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup crème fraîche
- Chive Pull Aparts, for serving
- Melt butter, add onion and a good pinch of salt, cover and fry over low heat for about 10 minutes until tender and just starting to colour.
- Stir in fennel seed, potato and stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until potato is almost tender.
- Add watercress, reserving a few small sprigs for garnish, and stir until it wilts enough to be submerged in the stock.
- Cover and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes, until thickest stems are tender.
- Transfer to a bowl to cool a little.
- Put into a food processor and process on high speed until smooth.
- Return to a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Ladle into soup bowls, swirl crème fraîche into the centre and garnish with reserved watercress.
- Serve with Chive Pull Aparts.