Super easy and so delicious creamy watercress soup recipe. Your stove will do all the heavy cooking, and you can enjoy a super earthy soup in less than 30 minutes.
Imagine a cream soup with the tanginess of the watercress and the richness of the potatoes with a light touch of cream to give it an even more savory flavor.
One of our favorite soups that are also very cost-effective.
Selecting the best watercress
Watercress is related to mustard greens. It grows wild in running water year-round. Look for crisp, dark green leaves without any blemishes. If you see any flowers, it means the watercress will be bitter.
The watercress leaves must be bright green and not limp.
The season runs from September to May. Usually sold in stores with the earth still attached in a bundle. This will keep them fresh.
How to prepare watercress for cooking
Cut the dirt bundle off and go thru all the leaves to ensure nothing is stuck in between.
Fill a large container with cold water and rinse the watercress bundle. Add baking soda or vinegar to your water to eliminate any tiny bacteria.
If you eat it raw, use the small tender leaves. If you are cooking with it, you can use the whole bundle and not cook it too long.
You will want to use green leaves and stems for this soup or added to any soups. Be sure to wash the greens a couple of times in a basin of cold water. Keep washing until you don’t see any more dirt.
Remove and discard any limp or yellowing stems.
If you are preparing watercress for a salad, you will want to trim off the stems.
How to store your watercress
If you must store them before preparing your recipe, place them in your refrigerator, wrapped in a soft cloth or paper towel, and keep them in the vegetable drawer. I do not recommend longer than two days as the tiny leaves will start to wilt.
Cook them and store them in the freezer for later day use. Make sure you wrap them in parchment paper so they will not get freezer burns.
Storage instructions and reheat this cream watercress soup
Watercress soup can be stored in the refrigerator for three to three days. Just be sure to leave out the sour cream until serving.
It can also be frozen (sans sour cream) for up to three months in an airtight container. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Then, gently reheat in a saucepan until heated through.
Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
Watercress: always comes in bunches with the earth still attached to it. Look for green leaves that are not limp.
Potatoes: Idaho potatoes are my choice. Free of any bruising.
Unsalted butter: I always use unsalted butter and always recommend it. It will not change the flavor of your food for once. Secondly, it will not overseason your dishes. Much easier to add salt to your food than remove it.
Bay leaf: The secret weapon of this beautiful soup. Gives a wonderful flavor to your dish.
Vegetable or chicken broth: I leave it up to you which one you select. My recommendation is always sodium-free stock.
Salt and pepper: Sea salt and seasoning at the cooking end. The watercress is a bit peppery, and with all the ingredients combined, it may leave little room for seasoning to rectify the flavor.
Creme fraiche or sour cream: It adds another layer to your soup and makes it even creamier. Both creme fraiche and sour cream are perfect. The sour cream will bring a tangier flavor to your soup than the heavy cream.
Equipment you will need
Sharp knife to cut the potatoes. We all need a good 6″ Chef’s Knife in our kitchen. So useful for so many cooking needs.
A potato peeler in all kitchens should have at least two. You never know who can come in and help you cook.
Heavy-duty blender or a hand-held mixer. Both are great. I have a penchant and love for my Vitamix, which I constantly use and am obsessed with. Ok, it makes my life easier in the kitchen. Who does not like that?
Cooking tips and step by step to make this fabulous creamy watercress soup recipe:
This recipe is super easy and will only need your attention in several instances.
- Ensure that your watercress is well cleaned and all the dirt removed.
- Cut all your potatoes the same size. Although you will use a blender, you want all your ingredients to cook evenly so they will not disintegrate or be undercooked.
- Add your bay leaf. The flavor coming out of one leaf is lovely and yet not overpowering at all. Do not skip this ingredient. Remove before using the blender or the hand-help mixer.
- As you can see by the recipe card, you will have to use three to four cups of broth. What you need to do is cover all your watercress and potatoes. You may need less. I just wanted you to be prepared if need be.
- Salt and pepper as you go along after you taste your soup. Do not be surprised if you will not need to use it much.
- I prefer to use my blender to make this soup creamy. The texture is so refined and so creamy. Once it is all pureed, return to the cooking pot for a last-minute warm-up.
- Add the sour cream or creme fraiche at serving time.
- Serve in a soup bowl.
Can you make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this watercress soup ahead. You can store it before and after you use your blender to reduce it to a creamy puree.
Remove the bay leaf if stored before the blender or handheld mixer. The bay leaf will continue giving the aroma, which can intensify and become overpowering.
Bring to room temperature before continuing with this soup.
Substitutions and some suggestions
- Watercress can be substituted with spinach if you are so inclined. Season lightly and as you go along. Spinach adds a different flavor; you do not want to over-salt them.
- To keep it vegetarian, use vegetable broth that you can prepare by roasting vegetables and cooking them for 20 minutes in water to release and create your broth. Or, of course, store-bought will work well too.
- You may want to add cooked shredded chicken to make this soup richer in protein. Leftover chicken is fantastic to use in soups.
- Add a couple of thin slices of French Brie cheese to this soup instead of the creme Fraiche or sour cream. Add them at the last minute and place them in the middle of your soup bowl. The cheese will melt and give you a great flavor of your soup.
- Add a couple of homemade croutons or oyster crackers.
If you enjoy this creamy watercress soup, look at some of my other recipes!
Equipment and ingredients used to make this recipe.
Creamy Watercress Soup
- 2 watercress 2 bunches of watercress
- 3 potatoes 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cups vegetable broth 3 to 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- salt and pepper salt and pepper to taste
- creme fraiche Creme fraiche or sour cream
- Rinse the watercress well and roughly chop it
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the chopped watercress. Cook for 3 minutes: add the potato cubes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, and add chicken stock to cover the watercress and potatoes.
- Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. Partially cover the pan.
- Remove the bay leaf, and with a handheld mixer or in a blender and reduce a smooth, creamy puree.
- Put the watercress puree back into the cooking pan, if you were using the blender, and add the heavy cream and stir well to integrate it. Lower the heat and warm up the soup, do not boil it. Taste and season accordingly.
- Serve with a dollop of heavy cream or sour cream.
Giangi's Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
Did you make this?
Leave a comment below and tag @giangiskitchen on Instagram
Visit my Amazon Storefront for my selection of favorite kitchen essentials. I only recommend equipment that I use and love.