As I mentioned, I’m going through a very domestic phase where I simply must share my current inspired moments of making delicious, warming and nutritious food. I normally subsist on salad and smoothies and so cooking warm foods for winter is a little bit thrilling right now.
I prepared this soup for a few friends last week and they were all extremely satisfied and impressed by the “meatiness” of the dish. Good! Watercress happens to be one of my absolute favourite green leafy vegetables and food in general and gives this soup a more-ish flavour. In France, where I first had this soup, the women use it for weight loss and simply have this soup for a few days as a kind of one-food detox and fast. Clever and delicious!
Watercress Health Benefits thanks to The Health Cave:
- Early Romans considered it as a valuable brain food which strengthened the nervous system.
- It purifies the blood and tones the whole system. It has high revitalizing powers.
- The leaves of the plant are rich in chlorophyll. These leaves are chewed to absorb breath odours.
- It also helps in digesting the heavy food and is an effective anti-cancer substance. You can get these benefits only if you eat fresh and uncooked leaves.
- It contains sulfur which helps in protein absorption, blood purification and cell building.
- The potassium content of watercress helps in weight loss.
- Watercress juice when mixed with vinegar helps removes lethargy and drowsiness. The Salernitan School of Medicine has proved the watercress juice as a tonic for promoting hair growth.
- Watercress is used for treating allergies, watering eyes, sneezing and stuffy head. It is used as a poultice for swollen feet and sprained ankles.
- It is a source of the germanium which acts as an antiviral, antibiotic, and body detoxifier.
- It strengthens the immune system.
- Because of high calcium content it helps in strengthening of bones and teeth. It contains lutein which helps in preventing arterial damage and heart disease.
- It is helpful in normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol level.
- It aids in increasing sexual energy and enhances fertility.
- Is high on iodine, thus has a strengthening effect on the thyroid gland
- Improves mental health by acting as a stimulants. Helps fight depression.
delicious creamy french watercress soup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion roughly chopped
2 leeks sliced (include as much of the dark green part as you can)
2 large potatoes peeled and diced
2 celery stems with leaves chopped
2 garlic cloves diced
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg to taste – I used about half a teaspoon
2 vegetable stock cubes
1 large bunch of kale chopped roughly ~ traditionally people use kale but I add in any greens such as spinach or this time chinese broccoli
1 large bunch of watercress ends removed only
In a large soup pan place the coconut oil, garlic, inion and leek and sauté.
Add the potato, stir through and allow to infuse for a few minutes before stirring in the kale or whatever greens you choose to use and the celery.
Boil a kettle and in the meantime crumble two stock cubes over the top of the vegetables, then add the boiling water until everything is well covered by the liquid.
Allow to simmer for 20 minutes or so, or until the potatoes are cooked through and nice and soft.
Turn off the heat, add the watercress and let it wilt in the pot for 10 minutes. There should be plenty of liquid in there now as the other vegetables will have reduced a little throughout the cooking process.
Whiz through until silky smooth with a hand blender. i usually wait till the soup has cooled down a bit before I attempt this so I don’t get burnt.
Make sure the soup is throughly amalgamated and soft and creamy.
Add the nutmeg and salt and paper to taste. I usually don’t add any salt because a) it’s better to limit salt intake anyway and b) the celery and stock cubes are generally salty enough on their own.
Reheat gently when you’re ready to serve. Make sure not to overheat the soup in order to keep all the nutritional value of the watercress in tact.
I served mine above with Naturis Buckwheat gluten free bread topped with avocado, feta and freshly cracked pepper. Yum!
Do you have any great soup recipes to share? I think it’s time for a winter soup cook-off!