Spring Watercress

So Lady Fanny Truncheon was correct, it has been proved that watercress can actually improve the skin, diminish spots and freckles and even reduce your wrinkles. But you have to eat 80g of raw watercress a day, which might become quite a challenge even if you love it as much as I do.

My favourite way to eat watercress is in Lao Salad, you can retrieve the recipe from my other blog ‘Ant Egg Soup’ – Lao recipe meanderings”, here using this link – Luang Prabang Watercress Salad.   

We tried it as a face pack and since it has more vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more B vitamins than blackcurrants and more calcium than milk, it can do no harm.  My daughter and I made up an ‘eighteenth century face pack’ made from chopped watercress mixed with two egg whites, a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of corn flour to thicken it up. It was slightly tricky to apply (don’t wear white!) but our skin felt silky and plumped up afterwards.

Watercress also makes delicious soup and in order to get the best out of this nutritious plant, chop the watercress and add it at the last moment when the soup has cooled a little.

Watercress Soup  – serves 4

Fresh watercress 120g
butter 55g
the white parts of 2 leeks chopped 200g
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped 350g
Marigold bouillon veg stock 1000ml
4 heaped tablespoons crème fraîche 4
salt and freshly milled black pepper

 

Begin by melting the butter in a large thick-based saucepan, then add the prepared leeks, and potato and stir them until they’re coated with the melted butter.

Next sprinkle in some salt then cover with a lid and let the vegetables sweat over a very gentle heat for about 20 minutes, giving the mixture a good stir about halfway through.

Now add the stock, bring everything up to a simmer, cover, and cook on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are quite tender.

Meanwhile chop up the watercress.

When ready, remove the pan from the heat and when it’s cooled a little liquidise the soup.

Return the soup to the saucepan, swirl in three tablespoons of crème fraîche, add the chopped watercress and season to taste with salt and black pepper

Serve in soup bowls and garnish each one with a little extra crème fraîche and some watercress leaves.

Alternatively, garnish with horseradish and crispy chopped bacon.


 

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