Potage au Cresson (Watercress Soup)

When I feel like I’m catching a cold, I make soup, even if it’s 90 degrees outside. Even if it doesn’t cure my cold, I always feel better. The other week I bought watercress to make this soup and I failed to so this week I was determined to make Potage au Cresson, or Watercress Soup.

This is just a variation of Potage Parmentier, not the more elaborate master recipe. It just adds some green. I never tried watercress before so I thought this would be a good introduction. Raw, watercress tastes quite pungent to me. In soup, it’s kind of like spinach. Unlike Potage Parmentier, this soup doesn’t taste as good the second day so I would recommend eating it the day you cook it.

Ingredients
1) 3 cups potatoes, sliced or diced
2) 3 cups sliced leeks (white and tender green parts)
3) 2 quarts water
4) 1 tablespoon salt
5) 1 cup packed watercress leaves and tender stems – my grocery store carries organic, living watercress which is a little more than a cup of leaves and stems. In the picture, you can see the root ball blurred in the background.

Organic, Living Watercress

6) 2-3 tablespoons softened butter OR 4-6 tablespoons of whipping cream

Preparation and Cooking
1) Add 2 quarts of water to a large pan, such as a dutch oven.
2) Add the salt to the pan.
3) Dice the potatoes
4) Slice the leeks.
5) Simmer the vegetables for 40-50 minutes or until the potatoes and leeks are tender.
6) While the potatoes and leek simmer, wash and prepare the watercress.
7) When the potatoes and leeks are tender, add the watercress and let it simmer for 5 minutes more.
8) Purée the soup. Julia says to use a food mill. I don’t have a food mill. I have a hand blender which works well but doesn’t purée the watercress which I’m fine with.
9) Add the butter or whipping cream.
10) Garnish with watercress leaves (optional)

Potage au Cresson (Watercress Soup)

Potage au Cresson #2

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Potage au Cresson (Watercress Soup)
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