This is one of those dreamy soups that is delicious eaten chilled in summer and hot in winter. It
comes from my book
(see Books) and is perfect for vegetarians as it needs no stock. I love eating
it for lunch with crusty bread, followed by fruit and cheese, but it also makes
a lovely starter.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch watercress or 170g packet of watercress
285ml single cream
6 watercress sprigs
1 Heat the oil in
a large saucepan and gently fry the garlic for a few seconds before stirring in
the diced potatoes. Make sure they are
well coated with oil before cooking over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring
regularly until they begin to soften.
2 Meanwhile trim
the leeks and remove their tough outer leaves.
Discard the dark green tops and finely slice the white and pale green
stems. Wash thoroughly in several
changes of water and drain well. Add to
the potatoes and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes or until soft.
3 Add 710ml hot
water and season to taste. Bring to the
boil, then simmer over a moderate heat for 25 minutes or until the vegetables
are very soft.
4 While the soup
is cooking, wash the watercress. Set
aside 6 sprigs – wrap them in damp kitchen paper, slip into a plastic bag and
keep in the fridge. Pick off all the
leaves of the remaining watercress.
Discard the stems (they are always impossible to liquidize), then add
the leaves to the soft vegetables. Allow
to cook for a further 2 minutes, then immediately liquidize and pour into a
clean container. This will keep the soup
a pretty fresh green.
5 If you are
serving the soup cold you can add the cream at this stage; otherwise reheat
when needed before adding the cream. Do
not let the single cream come to the boil or it will split. Adjust the seasoning and serve. Garnish the individual bowls of soup with the