Easy Watercress Soup Recipe

When people think of gorgeous food, of veritable food as art, even, they almost invariably think of desserts. And sure, the teams on shows like "Ace of Cakes" or "Cake Boss" can churn out some undeniably stunning cakes, but we say it's time other dishes get their due respect for looking as great as they taste. No, we're not talking about a striking sandwich, a breathtaking baguette, or even a perfect pizza — we're talking about a stunning soup. Because if there is any word other than "stunning" to describe this watercress soup devised by chef and recipe developer Nathaniel Lee of Beginner Food, it's "delicious."

And one of the truly beautiful things about this fetching and delectable soup is that it's really not that hard to make. Sure, the top of the bowl looks rather like painting by Jackson Pollock (albeit in brighter colors than those usually favored by the artist) and the dish is going to get you plenty of oohs and aahs, but you'll secretly know that, aside from precise slicing, this soup is about as hard to make as your garden variety chowder or chicken noodle. As for how to serve it? Lee tells us, "I serve it as a starter, but it's like a medium-light bodied soup, so you could squeeze it in a pinch as a meal."

Gather your ingredients

It actually doesn't take many ingredients to make this gorgeous soup, and aside from the watercress, microgreens, and English truffle oil (which can be skipped if you don't have it), you might have everything you need in your house already.

All told, you'll need cooking oil, a white potato, a yellow onion, a pinch of salt, some chicken stock, one bunch of fresh watercress (with thicker stems and roots removed), a teaspoon of heavy cream, a drizzle's worth of English truffle oil, radishes, a pinch of microgreens, and a teaspoon beet chips.

Lee tells us there are two things to watch out for with watercress. "One, don't get old watercress — [the] leaves should be fairly intact and crisp. The living kind with roots is best,"  he advises. Second, be sure to avoid stems that are "as thick as a straw," as these can be bitter. Lee recommends removing more stem for a milder soup.

Prep the veggies

Wash all of the vegetables, then remove any thicker parts of the stems and all of the roots from the watercress. Next, peel the potato and then slice it into thin pieces — this is so it cooks well, not for looks, so don't worry too much here, as it will be blended into a quasi liquid later. Next slice the onion following the same logic.

And then slice the radish as thin as possible, noting that this time your diners will indeed see (and eat) these slices, so keep them thin and even and lovely. Then set the radish slices aside for the garnish. Finally for this step, crush the beet chips into a dust and set aside for the garnish as well.

Cook and then blend the onion and potato

Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan or pot over a burner at medium heat, and as soon as the oil has warmed, carefully add in and cook the sliced potatoes and onion. Plan to cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until both are starting to grow tender.

Now add in the chicken stock and the salt to the pan and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next, carefully pour the cooked onion, potato, and the broth mixture into a blender. If it's too difficult to pour in all at once, use a ladle to scoop out batches of the mixture into the blender. Then, blend these ingredients on high until they form a smooth mixture.

Add the watercress to the blender, then serve and decorate

Once the onion, potato, and broth blend is completely smooth and even, add the watercress to the blender and blend it again until everything is smooth. And now the mixture will be a vibrant green.

Pour out servings of that bright green soup, ideally into broad, shallow bowls. Then, you can garnish the top of the soup with streaks and swirls of the cream and truffle oil, a few thin slices of radish, mini mounds of microgreens, and pinches of beet dust. Now it will look like a Jackson Pollock painting in a bowl and taste like a chef's masterpiece. Looking to "frame" the soup, so to speak? Lee recommends that you "Pair [it] with any white meats — chicken, fish, and pork all go very well with watercress."

Leftovers will keep for up to three days. Lee recommends reheating the soup on medium-low on the stovetop, as microwaving it can "mess with the fresh taste a bit."

Easy Watercress Soup Recipe
5 from 51 ratings
If there is any word other than "stunning" to describe this watercress soup, it's "delicious." This fancy dish will totally blow your guests away.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
bowl of watercress soup
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch watercress (about 1 cup, packed tightly)
  • 1 white potato
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 radishes, for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons beet chips, divided, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoon heavy cream, divided, for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons English truffle oil, divided, for garnish
  • 4 pinches of microgreens, divided for garnish
Directions
  1. Wash all of the vegetables. Remove any thick stems and roots from the watercress.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the potato and onion.
  3. Slice the radishes as thin as possible, and set the slices aside for the topping.
  4. Crush the beet chips into dust and set aside for the topping.
  5. Heat the cooking oil in a deep pan or pot over medium heat, then add the potatoes and onions. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add the chicken stock and salt and cook for 10 more minutes.
  7. Pour the onion, potato, and broth mixture into a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  8. Add the watercress to the blender and blend until smooth.
  9. Pour into 4 bowls for serving.
  10. Garnish each bowl with ½ teaspoon of heavy cream, ½ teaspoon of truffle oil, a few radish slices, a pinch of microgreens, and ½ teaspoon of beet dust, and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 156
Total Fat 8.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 7.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 4.2 g
Sodium 232.7 mg
Protein 4.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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