Watercress is one of my favourite vegetables. Once considered a weed, it was fist cultivated in the UK in the 1800's. According to many health organizations, the world over, watercress is a disease fighting power house. Packed full of disease fighting antioxidants it is also a fantastic source of vitamin k. Us Portuguese know a thing or two about soup. In my house soup is a given...no matter when you pop over, I can guarantee I have soup in the fridge. Healthy, low calorie and easy. It is truly the ultimate comfort food. Love in a bowl can be yours too, just follow my recipe below. Make sure to serve with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive. Olive oil is healthiest when unheated and raw therefore, unlike my mother's soup recipes, I never add olive oil to my soups before serving. Many people will cook the watercress with the rest of the vegetables and then blend. I am not particularly fond of green soup, so I add my watercress at the end. It preserves it's delicate, peppery flavour and nutrients. Win, win.
Tip: cut carrots and potatoes to roughly the same size for even cooking.
Watercress Soup with Carrot and Pumpkin ❦ Sopa de Agrião com Cenoura e Abóbora
Serves 4-5 about 1-½ cup servings
Under 30 mins.
900 g. Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
400 g. Potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
150 g. Pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled
150 g. Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
200 g. Watercress, leaves and stalks washed and roughly chopped
1 Garlic clove, peeled and left whole
2.5 litres (2,500 ml) water, vegetable or chicken stock. I used chicken stock
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil to serve as needed
1. In a large stockpot add all ingredients except watercress.
Salt can be adjusted later, as stocks may be salty enough
Cook covered on medium to low heat for 20 minutes.
2. Take off the heat, taste and adjust salt.
Remove just a few carrots to a bowl and set aside. These are added back cut into little chunks after you purée the rest of the soup.
3. With a stick blender, purée soup.
Note: If using a traditional blender, let soup cool completely before adding to blender.
4. Add watercress and and reserved carrot pieces, on a very low heat, gently cook for 6-8 minutes more.
The watercress will perfume the purée beautifully.
5. Ladle into bowls and swirl a good tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into each. Serve immediately with some good crusty bread.