Watercress Soup


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The peppery flavor of watercress is complemented by the warming qualities of fresh ginger root. It brings a subtle Asian accent to this substantial soup, which can stand as supper when accompanied by chunks of bread.


3 tablespoons olive oil
6 large leeks, washed thoroughly and thinly sliced, white and pale green parts only
3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 2-inch knob of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
6–7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 bunches watercress, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup whole milk
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch nutmeg
Garnish: sour cream or plain Greek-style yogurt


In a 4- to 5-quart heavy-bottomed pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and cook, stirring, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook 3 more minutes. Add the garlic and ginger root and cook until all the vegetables are soft, 6 to 7 minutes longer.

Stir the potatoes into the leek/onion mixture, then add 6 cups of the broth. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the watercress to the pot and simmer until the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then purée in a food processor in batches. Return purée to the soup pot, add the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and warm over medium-low heat for a few minutes. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add more broth. Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Cooking & Recipes


8 main-course servings

Preparation Time: 

45 minutes

Start to Finish Time: 

55 minutes

Preparation Method

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