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Watercress & mint recipe

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Adjust Servings:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion , diced
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
scant 4 cups (900 ml) Vegetable Broth or chicken stock
1 small Potatoes (about 175 g/6 oz), peeled and diced
10½ oz (300 g) Watercress
2 oz (60 g) Mint , leaves picked
Sea Salt
freshly ground Black Pepper
Creme Fraiche , to serve (optional)
7 oz (200 g) hot-smoked Trout , flaked, to serve
For the Lemony Shards
1 thick slice of Sourdough Bread (about 150 g/5½ oz)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
a good pinch of Sea Salt flakes
1 small finely grated Lemon Zest

Watercress & mint recipe

  • Serves 4
  • Medium


  • For the Lemony Shards



This soup may be my one concession to nostalgia in this book. On sweaty summer days when we were young, my sister and I would be herded into the family Nissan-Cherry-cum-sauna and ferried to the local river. There was a ‘troll bridge’ and a conveniently located watercress farm where Mum could stock up while us and Dad paddled. Her bounty was generally turned into something akin to this, and so as happy memories tend to rose-tint all around them, I have always loved the peppery taste of watercress. Combined with freshwater trout and garden mint, there’s something undeniably English about this, excusing the fact that lemon trees weren’t such a common sight along the banks of the River Chess.



Preheat the oven to 190°C fan (375°F) Gas 5.


Heat the 2 Tbsp oil in a large saucepan set over low heat and sauté the onion, with a good pinch of salt, for about 5–6 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and continue to cook gently for about 5 more minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.


Add the stock and potato to the pan, cover with a lid and turn up the heat up to high until the liquid is boiling. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and leave to simmer, still covered, for about 15 minutes until the potato is cooked.


Meanwhile, to make the lemony shards, rip the bread into small pieces and put them in a bowl with the olive oil. Season well with the sea salt flakes and toss everything together so that the bread is well coated in the oil. Spread the shards out on a baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes, or until turning golden and crispy. Remove them from the oven and stir in the lemon zest. Leave to cool on the sheet.


Once the potato is cooked, uncover the soup pan and add the watercress and mint, letting them wilt in the hot liquid for a few seconds. Use a stick blender, or transfer the soup to a liquidizer and blend until very smooth. Tip the soup back into a clean pan and season really well with salt and pepper.


Divide the soup between bowls and top each with a dollop of crème fraîche (if using), a quarter of the flaked trout, and a scattering of lemony shards, to serve.


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