Today, I’m going to show you how to make a delicious watercress soup, inspired by the famous British chef Mary Berry. This soup is light, easy, and full of flavour. It’s perfect for a starter or a light lunch, especially on a cold day. You’ll love the creamy texture and the fresh taste of watercress.
Let’s get started!
What is Mary Berry Watercress Soup?
Mary Berry Watercress Soup is a simple and delicious soup recipe that uses watercress as the main ingredient. Watercress is a leafy green vegetable that has a peppery and slightly bitter taste. It adds a fresh and vibrant flavour to the soup, along with onion, celeriac, chicken stock, and milk. The soup is blended until smooth and creamy and can be served with some cream for extra richness. This soup is inspired by the recipe of Mary Berry, a famous British chef and cookbook author who is known for her classic and easy dishes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You’ll love this recipe for many reasons, such as:
- It’s easy to make. You only need a few basic ingredients and a blender or a food processor to make this soup. It takes less than an hour from start to finish.
- It’s versatile. You can adjust the amount of curry powder to suit your preference. You can also use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock if you want a vegetarian version. You can even add some cheese or coconut milk for extra richness and flavor.
- It’s nutritious. Parsnips are high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants. They can help boost your immune system, protect your bones, and prevent infections. They’re also low in calories and high in satiety, making them ideal for weight loss.
- It’s delicious. This soup has a smooth and creamy texture that melts in your mouth. The parsnips add a natural sweetness that balances the savoury onion and garlic. The curry powder adds a warm and aromatic touch that enhances the overall flavor. It’s a satisfying and comforting dish that you’ll want to make again and again.
Mary Berry Watercress Soup Ingredients
To make this watercress soup, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- Cream (optional)
You’ll also need a large saucepan, a blender or a food processor, and a ladle.
Method to Make Watercress Soup?
Here are the steps to make this watercress soup:
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
- Peel and chop the celeriac into small cubes. Add it to the saucepan along with the chicken stock and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the celeriac is tender.
- Wash and chop the watercress, reserving some leaves for garnish. Add it to the saucepan and cook for another 5 minutes, or until wilted.
- Transfer the soup to a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the milk. You can also add some cream if you like your soup richer and creamier.
- Reheat the soup gently over low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with some watercress leaves. Enjoy!
Tips and variations
- You can use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock if you prefer a vegetarian version of this soup.
- You can also use other root vegetables instead of celeriac, such as potato, parsnip, or carrot.
- You can add some cheese to the soup for extra flavor and protein. Try cheddar, gruyere, or blue cheese.
- You can serve this soup with some crusty bread or croutons for some crunch.
What do I Serve With Mary Berry Watercress Soup?
Pairing the right accompaniments can elevate the experience of enjoying the Mary Berry Watercress Soup. Given its light and creamy texture, here are some delightful suggestions to complement your soup:
- Crusty Bread or Rolls: The soft interior and crunchy crust of freshly baked bread or rolls serve as the perfect tool to soak up every last bit of the soup. Consider offering a variety of bread, such as sourdough, whole grain, or even a classic baguette.
- Green Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette can be a refreshing contrast to the creamy soup. Ingredients like cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and toasted nuts can add an array of textures to the meal.
- Cheese Platter: Offering a selection of cheeses, from soft bries to sharp cheddars, can be a delightful pairing. You can also include some fruits like grapes or slices of apple to add a sweet contrast.
- Quiche or Savory Tart: A slice of a vegetable quiche or a savory tart can add substance to the meal, especially if the soup is being served as a starter. Varieties like spinach and feta or mushroom and gruyere can complement the flavors of the watercress soup.
- Roasted Vegetables: A side of roasted root vegetables, drizzled with a touch of olive oil and seasoned with herbs, can provide a warm and hearty addition to the meal.
- Wine: For those who enjoy pairing wine with their meal, a glass of crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, can be a wonderful complement to the peppery undertones of the watercress soup.
How do I serve Mary Berry Watercress Soup?
To serve Mary Berry Watercress Soup, ladle the warm, creamy soup into individual bowls. Enhance the presentation by garnishing each serving with a few fresh watercress leaves. For a touch of sophistication and extra flavor, consider a sprinkle of black pepper or a dash of nutmeg on top. Accompany the soup with crusty bread or croutons for added texture and a complete meal experience.
Tips to Make the Best Mary Berry Watercress Soup
Here are some tips to make the best Mary Berry Watercress Soup:
- Use fresh watercress. Watercress is a delicate vegetable that wilts quickly. To get the best flavor and texture, use a fresh watercress that is crisp and green. Avoid watercress that is yellow or slimy.
- Wash the watercress well. Watercress grows in water or moist soil, so it may have some dirt or sand on it. To clean it properly, soak it in a large bowl of cold water and swish it around. Drain and repeat until the water is clear. Then pat it dry with a paper towel or a salad spinner.
- Don’t overcook the watercress. Watercress only needs a few minutes to cook until wilted. If you cook it too long, it will lose its color and flavor. Add it to the soup at the end of the cooking process and blend it quickly.
- Add some cream for extra richness. If you like your soup richer and creamier, you can add some single cream or double cream to the soup after blending it. This will also make the soup more filling and satisfying.
- Garnish with some watercress leaves. To make your soup look more appealing and add some freshness, garnish each bowl with some watercress leaves. You can also sprinkle some black pepper or nutmeg for some extra flavor.
Benefits of Mary Berry Watercress Soup
There are many benefits of making and eating this watercress soup, such as:
- It’s easy to make. You only need a few basic ingredients and a blender or a food processor to make this soup. It takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
- It’s nutritious. Watercress is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world. It’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and antioxidants. It can help boost your immune system, protect your bones, and prevent infections. It’s also low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great choice for weight loss.
- It’s delicious. This soup has a smooth and creamy texture that melts in your mouth. The watercress adds a fresh and peppery taste that balances the savoury onion and celeriac. The milk adds some sweetness and creaminess to the soup. It’s a satisfying and comforting dish that you’ll love.
Can I make this soup in advance?
Yes, you can prepare Mary Berry Watercress Soup in advance. Once cooked, allow it to cool, and then store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently over low heat before serving, and if needed, you can add a splash of milk or cream to bring back its creamy consistency.
Is there a vegan version of this soup?
Absolutely! To create a vegan version, substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock and use plant-based milk instead of regular milk. For added richness, consider using coconut milk or a vegan cream substitute.
How do I store leftover soup?
Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you wish to keep it longer, consider freezing it. When ready to consume, thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat gently on the stove.
What other herbs can complement the flavor of this soup?
Besides watercress, other herbs that can complement the soup’s flavor include fresh parsley, chervil, or even a hint of mint for a refreshing twist.