Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cold Cream of Watercress Soup

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There is nothing more elegant as a starter than watercress soup, hot or cold.  When I have a dinner party I serve it in demitasse cups.  About a half hour before we sit down to dinner I bring out a large silver tray with the cups and pass them around.  Not only is it a pleasant surprise for the guests but also a simple way to serve the soup. I am always thinking of ways to eliminate dishes particularly when I do not have outside help.

Watercress is in your grocery stores right now.  Don't pass it up if you see it, even if you are not entertaining.  I made some last week and we have been enjoying it since them.  Perfect for a quick lunch.

There are a few recipes out there but the one I have always made is Julia Child's.  Here is the recipe:

(Cream of Watercress Soup)

from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child


1/3 cup minced green onions
3 Tbs. butter
3 to 4 cups packed cups of fresh water cress leaves and tender stems, washed and dried in a towel
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. flour
5-1/2 cups boiling chicken stock
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 to 2 Tablespoons softened butter
Watercress leaves, for garnish, optional


Cook the onions slowly in butter in a covered saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender but not browned.

Stir in the water cress and salt, cover and cook slowly for about 5 minutes until tender and wilted.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir over moderate heat for 3 minutes.

Off heat, beat in the boiling stock. Simmer for 5 minutes, then puree through a food mill (I used a blender). Return the soup to the saucepan and correct seasoning. (If not to be served immediately, set aside uncovered. Reheat to simmer before prodeeding.)

Blend the yolks and cream in a mixing bowl. Beat a cupful of the soup into them by dribbles. Gradually beat in the rest of the soup. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir over moderate heat for a minute or two to poach the egg yolks, but do not bring the soup to the simmer.

Off heat, beat in the enrichment butter a tablespoon at a time. (I skipped this step).

Pour the soup into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the optional watercress leaves.

TO SERVE COLD: Omit the final butter enrichment and chill. If too thick, stir in more cream

1 comment:

  1. I love love love this soup and have made it many times! There is nothing quite like it on a hot summer night and I agree, so very elegant!


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