28 November 2010

Watercress Soup

In case you're wondering, I'm not a vegetarian although I have friends who are. This is yet another recipe based on one from Rose Eliot's Vegetarian Cookery. I picked up a copy that was being deleted from our library and have found it really good for soups.
A word of caution here. Some ingredients are not sold in any particular weight or volume. Watercress is one of them. You either get a bag (which is labelled with the weight) or a bunch which can vary in size depending on where it is packed. My local greengrocer sells a bunch which weighs about 80 or 90 grams including stalks (which you can chop and cook with the potatoes and onion) I used 165 grams for this recipe (two bunches) Don't stint on the watercress, you need a lot to get the lovely peppery flavour!

For 4 servings

1 medium onion, sliced
15g butter
700g peeled and diced potatoes
900ml light vegetable stock (see previous post) or water
165g watercress (reserve 4 sprigs for garnish)

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently (without browning) covered, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes and any watercress stalks (cut them into 10mm lengths otherwise they may wrap themselves around the blade of your liquidiser) cover the pan and cook on low heat, without browning, for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the stock or water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

4. Add the watercress leaves to the pan and liquidise with a hand blender or transfer to a liquidiser. Season with salt and pepper and serve in warm bowls topped with a sprig of watercress (you can also swirl in some cream)

The Photograph
This lighting set up was very similar to the last bowl of soup, a 60cm soft box above the table, a 30cm soft box to the rear left and my polystyrene block reflectors below the lens lifting the shadows in front of the bowl. I needed to crop this quite close. There was a lot of empty space top right. Once I have sorted out the lighting, I must concentrate on the styling!

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