Watercress soup is sublime and tradition in our household means that we have it as a starter every Christmas. I have considered the fact that we can’t use onion – the complete taste profile onion gives to the dish – including the slight amount of sweetness it provides and I have replaced the onion with alternatives in hope of retaining it’s benefits without its nasty gut side effects.
Watercress is a member of the brassica family of vegetables, therefore it is related to broccoli, cabbage, radish and rocket. Watercress has lot’s of peppery goodness, but although it is rich in some nutrients you would only gain benefit if you include it in your diet regularly – luckily it has lots of uses. It tastes excellent with salmon and watercress is great to use as the leaves for a salad, if you enjoy it’s slightly hot taste! It contains some vitamin A, vitamin K and folate, plus iron (plus is a reasonable source of vitamin C to help absorption of the iron – it is probably better eaten as a salad leaf to achieve this benefit.) As it is a source of iron it is therefore useful for vegans to include in their diet alongside other sources – but this recipe would have to be made with almond milk and dairy free margarine instead of butter to make in suitable. Perhaps I could try that next!
The soup does contain butter and uses full cream milk – but this is a soup for special occasions – so it is OK to have this amount of fat occasionally and you could change to semi skimmed milk and 20g fat, if needed, if you do find that rich foods result in symptoms. The garnish I have used is watercress leaves, radish sprouts and dried seaweed – radish sprouts and seaweed are not integral to the dish, however – and the conkers in the picture are not edible. I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 bag of fresh watercress
- 500ml of full fat lactose free milk
- 1 sprinkle of asafoetida
- 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
- Salt to taste
- 40g butter
- 1 tablespoon of corn flour
- Melt the butter in a pan and add the cornflour whilst mixing and the sprinkle of asafoetida and the sugar. This will not form a traditional roux, but not to worry.
- Slowly drizzle in the milk – note that it will start to thicken at this stage and a whisk might be a better tool to use to ensure that no lumps are formed.
- When all the milk is added then bring to a slight boil to thicken.
- Add the watercress and cook until wilted then blend the soup
- Season to taste.
- Serves 1-2